Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Almost 40 In A RED DRESS

The day before April 13th...






Today was one of those really bad days.



It's my last day of my 30's, but that's not such a big deal.  Not really....



...I think.



It was one of those days in which I've been racing around like a maniac, trying to get things organized before my birthday.  Laundry, vacuuming, dusting, organizing TOY HELL, etc, etc.






I knew I wanted to take some photies of me in that fabulous red dress my lovely friend Leanne sent me.  I had all these high hopes yesterday:  I was going to get a good night's sleep so there'd be no humongous bags under the eyes, drink lots of water, exercise, eat lots of veggies....

BUT,

I went to bed too late, and I've been really emotional today.





I was crying a few times today.  See, my Mom won't be there on my birthday.  Next week will mark two years since she died.  I miss her.





Then I had a LADY PARTS scare, and because I'm an A to Z kind of karen, the first conclusion I drew was UTERINE CANCER.  I'm sure it's not, but let's just say I did NOT need this TODAY.





Then, I totally, totally forgot that I was supposed to have a meeting with my son's principal half an hour before school ended to discuss what we should do about him suffering slings and arrows from fellow classmates due to all his little Autism Spectrum Quirks.  I never forget important shit like that.  The principal even had to phone me to see if everything was okay.  I apologized like crazy, and she sounded pleasant enough but underneath I could sense...DISAPPROVAL.


Enormous Sigh.




oops...sorry girlie, I eclipsed you with my hair!



try again...

And then, I almost couldn't get anybody to take my pictures.  I had this vision of going someplace scenic and just beautiful.  You know:  me beside a field of spring flowers with the sun at just the right level in the sky, or something?

But that just didn't work out.

Looks like it would have to be in the back yard.  With the kids' toys strewn around, and the towels drying on the clothesline.  But you know, life is like that, right?  It's messy, and there's laundry everywhere--whether clean or dirty--and there's hardly any time to fit in what we really want to do.



And I have to confess:  I was scared.  I was so scared to put on that red dress.  I'm used to being inconspicuous.  I'm used to hiding, trying to blend into the scenery.  I'm shy. I'm conservative out in public.  I don't do wild and crazy things out of my own home.  If I put on this red dress and go out in public, I thought to myself, I'll look like an asshole.  Who am I trying to kid?  Just because I exercised hard for a month?  I still don't make the cut.

I came so close to saying forget it, and putting my shlumpy jeans back on.

But you know what?  FUCK THAT.

I'm going to be 40 in a couple of hours.  I can take care of my family.  I am a mother.  A protector.  A warrior.  Yeah, my post-baby stomach didn't lie smoothly under the dress.  Who cares.  That size 14 Calvin Klein dress fit these 48 inch hips.

And I took those pictures, because I may not be 20, but thank god, because I don't want to be.


It's good to be here.
















53 comments:

  1. Oh so beautiful, you are! Really like the laundry in the background. It's HONEST. I may be biased, but I think this is one of my favorite shoots. It does require so much bravery to do this. I almost couldn't. Just like you, I felt shy and raw. But yes, Fuck That! Warrior. Indeed!!! Well done!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Leanne! I couldn't help but wonder if you were nervous too when you did your shoot, because you looked so confident and gorgeous.

      Delete
  2. that's a pretty dang fabulous dress and you rocked it! even if it was no further than the yard, you made it work. i especially love the picture with the couch and the ball in the background.
    i'm sorry your mom won't be there for your birthday. i know i'd have a much different life if my mom was gone too.
    happy birthday to you! only 44 more minutes to go!

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    Replies
    1. thanks Sherilinnie. I haven't worn a dress that fun in years.

      Delete
  3. You look FABULOUS in red darling!Happy birthday :)

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  4. You look great!
    40 ain't so bad! I hit that mark last October.
    It's still not fun thinking or saying the number, so I avoid it if possible.
    I even had a friend tell me that 40 was when life got better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, you know Ruth--I can see that because I felt so good to be out of my 20's...and...and. OH well. We'll see :)
      Thank you!

      Delete
  5. Are you frickin kidding me? YOU ARE TOTALLY OTALLY FABULOUS!

    Yes, I said 'otally'! And I mean it.

    You are more than a mother, protector and warrior - you are also daughter, inspiration, brilliant writer, bladder-wrecking comedienne, astute-observer and wonderful FRIEND.

    I am so sorry you miss your Mama. I miss mine too and it's been almost 17 years. The missing never goes away. It just gets easier to talk about without losing your shit. Sometimes.

    Happy Birthday Rockstar - I hope you have a FABULOUS year. You deserve every good thing and a whole lot of chocolate. Level three. man, level three!!!

    And you look AMAZING in that red dress. A-MAY-ZING

    BIGGEST HUGS, Sarah xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah, you are the best. I've been thinking about how you said "It just gets easier to talk about without losing your shit" ever since I read your comment yesterday.

      What lovely things you said. Thank you. Hugs to you too.

      Delete
  6. you know what..I love the second last shot of you in your red dress with the white laundry in the background.. It's really nice :)
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    So glad to have met you and I hope you have a great day.
    Sorry about your Mum.
    (hugs)

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    Replies
    1. thanks Sprite! I'm glad to have met you as well. Yeah, I kinda liked the laundry, because it was all my white towels, so it looked a little zen. If that's possible with laundry...

      Delete
  7. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful year full of all good things. One of my fav things about being in my 40s is that you don't wait for permission to do stuff anymore - including wearing a wonderful red dress. I know I quoted Laurie Anderson to you recently, and therefore I may be at risk of sounding obsessive, but that won't stop me from asking if you know that LA song called Beautiful Red Dress? Here's a bit of it, which you can sing to yourself when you need to reinforce your own awesomeness:

    And I've been around the block
    But I don't care I'm on a roll - I'm on a wild ride
    Cause the moon is full and look out baby -
    I'm at high tide.

    I've got a beautiful red dress
    And you'd look really good
    standing beside it..
    I've got some beautiful new red shoes
    and they look so fine
    I've got a hundred and five fever
    and it's high tide.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Here it tis, a link for your Beautiful Red Dress birthday: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4d1GccRMC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you very much Tina. It's kind of cool to have a red dress birthday. Like you, I love how music can fit our lives so well sometimes!

      Delete
  9. Happy Birthday Karen!
    I'm so sorry you were having a rubbish kind of a day. I'm sorry your mum isn't here to celebrate with you. I'm sorry you had a late night, felt sad and scared, had to clean the house, and felt disorganised.
    BUT I am DELIGHTED that you wore the Red Dress of Visibility! I adore seeing you in it and you look beautiful. The photos with the washing line are genius. Because that's life, isn't it? It includes hanging the washing out on the line. And it includes wearing a beautiful dress in brightest red and being a hot and sexy woman. Go Frocked-Up Karen!!!
    xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    PS. Little Girlie looks so mad that you nearly suffocated her with your hair, hahaha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you Curtise! Yeah, I certainly wasn't able to incorporate as much pretense into my photos as I wanted, but I kind of liked the way it all worked out. I think things tend to happen that way: as they're supposed to.

      Delete
  10. Happy Birthday!! You look stunning even with the washing. You should wear red a lot more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Miss Simmonds! You know, maybe I WILL!

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  11. beautiful!

    we look great for 40, don't we?

    Happy Birthday, Karen. I hope you have a great day and a great 40th year. I freaked out when I turned 40 but it's been awesome.

    *neuroticmiddleagedfistbump*

    Happy Birthday my friend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DAMN STRAIGHT, LANCE! We do look great--you probably more so. I'm okay with it, because for the past month I forgot I was still 39 anyway.

      Delete
  12. very beautiful.
    I appreciate the constant concessions you make. I am continually altering my plans and expectations. (I'm told I should be more realistic at the beginning but where is the fun if you don't get to dream it).
    Honour both yourself and your mother today. Know that you are still the person she loved and admired. Be proud of who you are and your full 40 years of accumulated experience that helped to shape you. Recognize and relish the gentle moments.
    Love Jen

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  13. P.S. Have a fabulous birthday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Jen. What a lovely comment that made me cry a little yesterday when I read it.

      Delete
  14. Happy Birthday to you! Look at you ROCKIN THAT DRESS!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeah, but I'd never wear it out, haw, haw, haw!

      Delete
  15. Ah, Karen, you look wonderful in that dress. I am proud of your guts to post your pics on line. Especially because you felt inadequate, but you did it. You are ferocious in that red dress.

    I am 45 now, and I think the 40's are my best years yet. You have a lot to look forward to.

    Happy Birthday!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know Melissa, I think you're right. Thanks so much.

      Delete
  16. You look good in red... and you look like you can handle anything... laundry and gala.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. laundry and gala would be an excellent name for a blog! Thank you Þorgerður.

      Delete
  17. I always think you're pretty. Red dress or no red dress. :) Pity about me not helping take some photies. However! Your pictures were superb.

    Happy Birthday Karen! To my most favourite sister in the world!

    Love,
    Aim

    P.S. Can't wait to have a bday cosmopolitan with you. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay! We had a lot of cosmopolitans...well...you didn't so much, but that's because you're smarter :)
      thanks nerdo. You're my favourite sister too.

      Delete
  18. Happy Birthday! Love the dress, good for you for doing it. It is too easy to let life get in the way.

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  19. Happy Birthday! Love the dress, good for you for doing it. It is too easy to let life get in the way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks Christy! Your turn in a few months, yes?

      Delete
  20. You look beautiful in that red dress and you're gonna kick 40's ass! All those things that got you upset? They won't happen again, so thank the baby Jeebus they happened at at time when you were able to handle them. You've got this under control. And shredding it, too? You're the woman!

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    Replies
    1. yeah, I shredded it! Thanks for all the inspiring things you said, Jenbug. One can only go UP from a day like the other day.

      Delete
  21. Oh my, you're gorgeous. Red suits you.

    And seriously, if being in my 40's is as much of an improvement as my 30's over my 20's was, I am looking forward to it.

    Wow, did that make sense?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leauxra, that makes TOTAL sense. TOTAL SENSE.
      Thank you for the nice compliment.

      Delete
  22. Love yourself. Just be. (I know it's hard; it is for me too.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. good advice, that I try to follow and sometimes even succeed!

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  23. I think it was worth it, because that red dress is beyond awesome.

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  24. Awesome dress! You remind me of Jessica Rabbit! =)

    http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you Hope Adela! Too bad I couldn't have had one of your beautiful photo shoots!

      Delete
  25. You. Look. Beautiful.

    I am woefully behind on my blog reading, so Happy Belated Birthday!

    Frankly, I find your pictures gorgeous and all the more touching with house and yard as backdrop. Home is where the good stuff happens.

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  26. Thanks Vesta! What a lovely thing to say. No worries if you get behind--I get behind too sometimes. Home IS where the good stuff happens! You're RIGHT!

    ReplyDelete

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