The Invisible Woman: Fading After 50

I've been reading articles about aging and menopause. I like to think I'm getting good information that will help me continue to embrace my 50s. The truth is, I'm getting good information half the time, the other half, I'm just annoyed. In some cases, depressed or anxious over what I read.

One theme I have picked up on in a number of these 'I'm getting older and I'm awesome/I'm getting older what the hell happened' articles, is turning invisible after 50.

First of all, I am not negating the feelings of any woman who feels like she's become invisible and mourning the passing of her youthful looks. I am not minimizing the sadness a woman feels when she realizes that her days of frequently getting 'checked out' have ended. We feel the way we feel.

That being said, I have never felt invisible. I'm one hundred percent corporeal and there's even more of me than when I was younger, so I have extra for others to see.

I'm not a fan of my own picture. I rarely post images of myself anywhere because I rarely find a photo I like. If I am invisible online, it's by my choice, not because I'm aging. I wasn't a fan of my own picture when I was young, either.

Recently, I posted a picture of myself on Facebook. As is the case, I hated the picture, but it was taken with an old friend who I do not see often enough. I am trying to embrace the aging process, I am trying for self-acceptance. It would be nice if I could see a picture of myself without cringing.

My husband, Randy, and I talked about it. I told him it was a horrible picture and he disagreed.

Me: I have coin face.

Randy: Coin face?

Me: Yes.

Randy: What the hell is coin face?

Me: Something I just made up.


Me: It means my face looks like it should be stamped on a coin. I look like a dead president from a hundred years ago and not even their regular face. I look like their image stamped on a coin.


Randy: You don't look like Woodrow Wilson.

Me: I don't even know what he looks like.

Randy: He was president a hundred years ago.

Me: Fine, from two hundred years ago, then.

Randy: You don't look like James Monroe, either.

Me: I'm happy for you when you can put that history degree to good use.

I might not like my picture, but I don't feel invisible. I have substance. I mean, all the boys don't come to my yard, but really all the boys never did.

I attracted my share of attention when I was young. I was never the uber hot girl, but I rarely had to buy my own drinks at the club.

I'm going to digress here.

I am so happy that I was born in the sixties. That means I was just the right age for dance clubs in the eighties. Dance clubs were the shit. I could go to the clubs and sweat my ass off dancing to Billy Idol and Modern English and drink for free.

If the clubs were still open today? Well, I remember the last time I ever went to a dance club, I was 26-years-old. I felt like a grandma. I felt out of place and old. At 26. I can't even imagine what it would be like now. Probably more fun than when I was 26.

I'd be buying my own drinks now. I'm good with that. I don't want that type of attention anymore. That doesn't mean I'm invisible. So, the 30-something guy with the muscles and the Jake Gyllenhaal eyes doesn't notice me? Who cares? That doesn't detract from my substance at all.

Yesterday morning we were at the grocery obscenely early because my husband is a freak and never sleeps in.

I was trying to get to some red peppers and a young man working there had them blocked, so I asked if I could get by.

He gave me a look that said "Lady, your very existence annoys the shit out of me". Then he started singing Rock And Roll All Night by Kiss. It was an odd moment.

I thought, for a moment, that maybe this is what those articles were talking about. I have reached an age where a young man will no longer try to impress me, so instead I get dismissed. And apparently, serenaded.

Nope. This isn't new. I've dealt with this jackass in one form or another since I was in Junior High. I'm not invisible because I'm old. That guy is just a dick.

I'm learning that there are adjustments that need to be made as I get older. Mostly, these adjustments have been freeing and fun. Accepting that I don't look young anymore? Well, I dug my heels in at 40. I didn't want it to happen. Now? Bring it on. My husband tells me I'm gorgeous every single day. What's not to love about that?

I'm not invisible.

That would be kind of a cool superpower, though. Although, if I had it, I'd just use my invisibility to mess with people. I think it's best for everyone if I just stay visible.

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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