I recently turned 38 and I find—because for once I’m paying attention—that I am going through a serious awakening. Serious. I don’t know if it can be categorized as a crisis, but it is definitely comparable to the impulses men experience entering midlife. Impulses like when men go out and buy two seater sports cars when they have 4 kids to cart around, or suddenly plucking their eyebrows and getting manicures, or jumping out of a plane. My impulses don’t involve things that don’t already jive with my personality. Those who know me well probably aren’t worriedly chatting amongst themselves about sudden changes in my behavior, expecting me to have a mental breakdown at any given moment because all of a sudden I’m buying Prada bags and joining in on orgies. My midlife crisis is more like waking up after having been put to sleep for surgery and regaining awareness of your body by slowly wiggling your toes and fingers—realizing that you made it through okay.
Have you ever been swimming in the ocean and had a wave crash over your head? There’s a slight moment of panic you experience if you get turned around and don’t know which way is up for air. But you do get reoriented and the moment you break the surface and gasp that first drink of air, there’s a tingly feeling that charges throughout your body from the endorphin rush. And, in a quick moment you know you’re okay and go right back to swimming. This is how I’m experiencing my midlife crisis. A sudden gasp for air after having been underwater for a long time. And, like a person who has been rescued from a desert island would have a mental list of the things they want to do when they get home, I have a similar list. My list is pretty short, comprised of just a couple things: Boobs and Bicycles.
First of all, who doesn’t love to ride a bike? Think about it. It’s probably one of the only activities everyone can do as an adult that will transport you right back to being a kid again. Try it. Go get on your bike, go to the top of the steepest hill you can find, and hurl yourself down it while hollering out “WHOHOOO!”. The feeling you will get coasting down a hill on your bike is the exact same one you had as a kid. I guarantee it will make you feel young again. But, I don’t want to just get on my bike and coast down the paved hills in my neighborhood. I don’t want to shove myself into fancy Lycra cycling outfits and go on road trips with all the other well-to-do professionals. I want to hurl myself down a rocky trail, fall off it, and show off my battle scars. I want to be the gnarliest mommy trail rider there ever was. I want to take unnecessary risks and live to tell my grandkids about it. I get on my bike now days and I scour the hills surrounding my neighborhood for new construction sites being carved out of the rock. I wait for the semi-trucks hauling off their rock loads, and I blaze trails for myself. It’s ridiculous..but it’s so freaking fun.
I don’t hate my boobs. I really don’t. But, now that I have regained strength and am pretty close to the shape I had ‘pre-alienbabies-growing-and-cut-out-of-my-belly’ (yes, pregnancy and birth was a science fiction horror flick in my experience) from all the cycling and yoga I do, I look down at the girls and they don’t look like they are quite as enthusiastic about our midlife awakening as I am. In fact, they look downright disinterested. I’ll even go so far as to say that they are resentful of me for shoving us into our push up bra. Oh, they will sit up like good girls in their torture chair…but they are not about to pretend like they’re having a good time. So, I’m thinking about getting a boob job to restore my faded starlets to their glory years. I have late night fake boob google research sessions. I have looked at so many boobies online that I consider myself an augmented boobie connoisseur. I can tell you which are saline, which are silicone, and which are gummy bear. (Yea, you read that right…gummy bear! They call them that because just like if you were to take a gummy bear and cut it in half, the gummy bear silicone implant won’t leak it’s insides out.) I have already had one consultation with a plastic surgeon, and I plan on having a couple more. You know, just to get the perspective of the dudes that construct women’s boobs all day long. My first consultation went well. He was very knowledgeable and not once did I feel uncomfortable while he mashed, folded, squished, and drew upon my girls. He told me that I would need a lift and implants because the breast feeding made my girls saggy and implants alone would only make them look inflated and saggy (ouf!). The cost of his service…only $11,000.
My question now is: will my quality of life really improve that much after an $11,000 surgery? I’m not exactly walking around with low self esteem issues because of my boobs. Yes, they resent me every now and then, but at the end of the day perky boobs are just a matter of vanity and not a life and death matter. I’m happy already. Will perfect boobs make me even happier? I can’t be sure they would. A new bike, however, would provide hours and hours of happy for me. Perfect boobs would provide temporary happiness for whoever is looking at them. I’m sure if I got them I would spend a tremendous amount of time looking at and talking to them. But, I wonder if after a period of time I would even notice my perfect boobs? Or would they eventually just blend into the scenery after the thrill of the new wears off? Like a new couch does.
Of course, when you’re faced with a tough midlife choice it’s wise to discuss it with your friends—particularly the ones who have perfect boobs. Unfortunately, I don’t have any friends who have killer bikes AND perfect boobs (If you’re out there please email me! I’d like your perspective). My friend’s answers to my question, “Get a new bike, or get new boobs?”, have been varied. Almost everyone has been in favor of new boobs, but adding the advise to shop around for a better price —like I would for a new pair of shoes. My favorite response was from one of my guy friends. He said, “I would get the new boobs, use them to get a job at a bike shop of choice (it’s like all guys in those places), tell the guys how hot they look in the tight pants or on the bike, become a top seller, use my awesome employee discount to load up on gear, and then quit. Boom…you have it all. Of course, you could probably do that without the boobs, but wouldn’t help my story much.”
More than likely I won’t go through with perfect boobie surgery, but only because I’ve been told that you can’t exercise for six weeks. Man, six weeks without being on a bicycle and having endorphins rush through my body might put me back underwater again! The most perfect bobbies in the world ain’t worth that risk, I don’t care if they’re made out of gummy bears and painted with gold.
But damn…it would be lovely to ride a bicycle without a bra…hmmmm…