Women of a Certain Age




I recently became a woman of a certain age. I don’t know what that means, but I got an email advising me of the concept or fact, whichever it is. I wonder what the certain age is, exactly, to escort me automatically into this nebulous category.…68, 73, 87? They sound like random golf scores. And, why isn’t my husband called a man of a certain age. Just askin’.


Before I became a woman of a certain age, I received tons of emails and snail mails wanting to serve as a remedy for a lot of things: ED (not so helpful these days), hair loss (helpful to some members of my family, but not me), and the constant parade of diet ads, which I must admit have tempted me from time to time. They didn’t help much, and I still look like my German mother, not like Cheryl Ladd or Vanna White.


But now that I am a woman of certain age, the promotions and products have changed as merchants are no longer trying to help me become body beautiful from the inside (pills, shakes, bars, water, grapefruit and almost anything else you can think of). The cybergods have realized I am a hopeless case and given up on an interior redesign and decided to create a new me from the outside. The promotions and offers and suggestions for expandable body shaping armor (one size fits most) are flying into my inbox. My grandmother called them corsets (some had bone stays, others not); my mother called them girdles (lacey and pretty) and gave me one for my birthday when I was fourteen, in case I needed to look twiggier than my fourteen-year-old Twiggy look. My brothers stretched it into a sling shot, rendering it nearly useless to me when I tried to wear it at Girl Scout camp. But I was able to remove the bones and rub them together to start a fire. This newfound skill could have been particularly helpful if I decided to set my brothers aflame (I didn’t).

As I think about the expandable body armor, I have to ask why anyone would spend perfectly good money to try to stuff myself into a bike inner tube?


All these emails have made me wonder: When did I leave the era of a woman of a lesser age? And where would I wear a product like this anyway, especially in the middle of lockdown orders!


Maybe I should just shut down my email.