A few days ago I was sitting in my home, with the children running and crawling all about us, talking to some good friends. We were comparing our twenties and now our thirties. We agreed we’re more comfortable in our skin, more confident, more sure of ourselves. We spoke of regrets, things we’d change, and those we’d do again. But overall, we were pleased with the possibilities of this decade and thought it held the most promise so far.
It’s not a new theme: the men getting wiser and more handsome, the women more horny. If you combine those two, you end up with two Stay At Home Moms joining their preschoolers’ class trip to see a fireman giggling and poking each other like school girls because (seriously, what IS IT) there is something that happens when men hit their mid-thirties and begin to gray around the temples. It helps if they’re in uniform. (Of course)
While we were talking, I found my old copy of Walden, Life In The Woods by Thoreau. This is The Book I’d grab if there was a fire. It’s The Book I’d take to an island and it’s The Book which has more notes in the margin and dog eared corners than any other. I guess it’s my coming-of-age bible in a way. My Hippie Bible.
This book represents my twenties to me in a way I couldn’t express on my own. There are passages that struck a chord in my college angst phase. There are the quotes that brought me clarity during the searching years. I have remembered one quote, on page 141 for those of you also pre-occupied with all things printed, “I carry less religion to the table, ask no blessing; not because I am wiser than I was, but, I am obliged to confess, because, however much it is to be regretted, with years I have grown more coarse and indifferent.” Maybe I love this because I’m there or because he uses just as many commas as I do.
Either way, this always meant something to me.
I wonder what my forties will bring and what having teenagers will do to my own reflective angsts. I wonder if I’ll keep identifying with my daughter as she goes through her own passages. I wonder if I will look in the mirror at my graying temples and see the beauty of wisdom or if I’ll simply think, “damn that Clairol. Time to color again.”
Bust mostly I hope that every stage reminds me I’m still essentially me, maybe covered in a few more coats of wrinkles or rolls, but still me. I hope I remember to listen to music, to tap my toes, to visit with good friends and to walk when the sun is just cupping the trees over the houses.
I guess, at the end, I just hope I enjoy the view around the stream. The stream I go a-fishing in.
“Maybe I love this because I?m there or because he uses just as many commas as I do.” That totally made me smile.
By Aimee Greeblemonkey on 2008 01 28
Awesome. I love the last paragraph. And the photo.
Oh, and what IS IT about fire fighters? GAH!
By AMomTwoBoys on 2008 01 28
There is so much about this post that I love. Really.
By Sleeping Mommy on 2008 01 28
Mmm sounds like a book I’ll have to track down a copy of. I enjoy the classics like that. I just don’t get what it is about firefighters that makes us women all googly(even me!).
By Mackenzie's Momma on 2008 01 28
Oh, there is so much in this post that I can relate to! A few months ago I had the same conversation around a kitchen table about how the 30’s have been full of new found confidence, comfortable with who we are, not as sensitive to what others think.
I’m still coming to grips with the wrinkles on my forehead, but they make me look wiser too, right?
By LifeAsIKnowIt on 2008 01 28
I LOVE this post. And I LOVE a good fireman. Yowza!
By bananas on 2008 01 28
Thanks, y’all. It’s so nice to relate to other people. I love LOVE my thirties. Love.
Something I realized, though, is that the mailman may possibly the only uniformed post that is not sexy. So it’s not just the uniform…
By Mrs. Flinger on 2008 01 28
This is a great post.
It truly is.
By Angella on 2008 01 28
This post was like a warm bath. (Only cozier and with less nakedness.)
I love all the thoughts and wisdom in here. (And? TOTALLY with you on the uniforms. TOTALLY.)
I wish I had a hippie bible. I guess I’ll just have to envy yours.
By Loralee on 2008 01 28
The forties are good, too.
(did I just admit I’m over 40!?!?!?!?)
By Christine on 2008 01 29
I heart this:
Bust mostly I hope that every stage reminds me I?m still essentially me, maybe covered in a few more coats of wrinkles or rolls, but still me. I hope I remember to listen to music, to tap my toes, to visit with good friends and to walk when the sun is just cupping the trees over the houses.
My mom and I have been having some really interesting conversations about how she essentially still deep down feels like she did in her 30s, even though she is now 70.
Beautiful post Les!
By Jamie on 2008 01 29
The thirties are way better than the twenties…for me anyway!
This was a great post!
By LeannIAm on 2008 01 29
Yep, 30s definitely rock. For me, this age brought some new respect for as well as from others I hadn’t had before along with a set of brass balls that seemed to drop from nowhere. Unfortunately, the boobs dropped too. Hmmm, shiny brass balls vs perky boobs??
Blah blah wisdom, blah blah age, blah blah…wait! did someone say fireman?
Sprechen of uniforms, is it just me or what about FedEx guys? Are they hot or what? (directly to the gutter I go, of course)
By TheMacMommy on 2008 01 30
That was a beautiful post.
But you know what I enjoyed the most? Being reminded of hot firefighters.
By jerseygirl89 on 2008 01 30
TheMacMommy, Balls vs droopie boobies. Now that’s something that brings a good google search. haha! Funny.
And firemen = hot yummy goodness, yes. We are all agreed then? Great.
Let’s talk about policemen now, shall we? heh.
By Mrs. Flinger on 2008 01 30
I’m out of my thirties now but I remember them fondly. You post had me thinking back to a class trip with my son to visit the local fire dept and learn what they do and I sure remember admiring those handsome men. I have never been a woman that was attracted to men in uniforms but I must say mmmmmmmm! Great post and thanks for the memories!
By Lillie on 2008 02 05
Now if you could just Photoshop some hot firemen onto the lake photo, this post would exceed its current state of perfection.
By Debbie on 2008 02 06