Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sex and Suburbia, The Hallelujah Fairy

Sex and Suburbia, the Hallelujah Fairy
By Julie Stankowski

When we are young, we dream about our first visit from the tooth fairy. My daughter lost her first tooth when she was six years old. We were on vacation in Cancun, Mexico. Ole! Her tooth had been hanging on by a thread for days, even weeks. It finally came out and that night, the Mexican tooth fairy came and my daughter woke up to find 20 pesos under her pillow. She was thrilled. She has gone on to lose three more teeth and has become well acquainted with her American tooth fairy, Lulu (or “toof” fairy as she now says since she has no front teeth).

When we are older, we dream about any kind of visit from any kind of good fairy. Yes, I know that I am Lulu, the tooth fairy. And yes, I know that Santa Claus is really my husband dressed up in a big red suit. But just as my daughter still believes, I too believe . . . in the Hallelujah Fairy. I’m not crazy (well, sometimes I am). I have good reason to believe in this fairy (if information disseminated by the Enquirer, the Star and talk shows constitute good reason). Watch Oprah or Letterman or Leno or Ellen and listen to what the all-knowing celebrities have to say and you too will become a believer, should you have nothing better to do.

According to the many women I have seen on talk shows, one should expect to go through a metamorphosis at the age of 40. The celebrities extol the virtues of aging and describe feeling “Fabulous at 40.” They discuss how they have grown into themselves, have become completely comfortable in their own skin and have achieved that authentic and secure feeling of being one with their mind, body and spirit. Wow. That sounds fantastic and gives us all something great to anticipate upon approaching our 40th birthdays. I always imagined it as the Hallelujah Fairy coming.

I was truly looking forward to my visit from the Hallelujah Fairy and melting into this dream-like, Zen-like experience. I expected the light bulb to go on and I would feel a bolt of electricity running down my body, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. A complete transformation. Almost a religious experience. Like I was a blob of batter resting in a little ramekin for 39 years but on the 40th year, the Hallelujah Fairy would come and place me in the oven and I would come out a delicious and gorgeous looking soufflé. I would emerge from this sacred event feeling absolutely spectacular. Like I was receiving a Swedish massage 24/7 from a buff Russian guy with magical hands. My skin would be glowing and my smile sparkling. I would feel sexy. And best of all, I would feel completely happy and at peace with who I am, what I have accomplished and who I have become.

Apparently, the Hallelujah Fairy lost my address. Either that, or all of these women are a bunch of liars. Are they on drugs? Under hypnosis? Pretending? Living in a frickin’ Utopia? Enjoying their hot flashes? Do they really believe what they’re saying? Or are they as “real” as the Real Housewives of Orange County? Well, assuming for the moment my address is readily accessible to the Hallelujah Fairy and the fabulous at 40 women are not drugged-up, pathological liars, I question why I did not receive my visit. I feel like I have completely missed the party. Like I’m the lone loser standing on the dock waving sadly as the big ship sails into the azure blue sea carrying thousands of women who were visited by the Hallelujah Fairy and who found themselves at forty. “Wait for me,” I think to myself. I must not have been aware of what one is required to do before being visited by the special fairy. I want to be on that boat! I will figure out what I need to do, and I too will sail with the ship. If it’s the last thing I do! So now, I am trying to imagine what these lucky women did first with themselves to have earned a visit from the fairy.

Is it meditating? Is that a prerequisite? Is meditating the first step to enlightenment, to being able to reach down so deep that you become one with your bodies and your minds? Well, if it is meditating, I again, have completely missed the chakra! How do you meditators do it? Don’t you have too much on your mind to sit in a dark closet and repeat the word “oooommmm” to yourself 15,000 times praying you get some sort of calming message from Allah (or whoever). Every time I have tried to meditate, I have sat in my dark closet, closed my eyes and prayed for peace. Unfortunately, during my prayer, two little elf-like people, one on each shoulder, poke me in the head with a devil-like burning hot arrow and snipe, “Joke’s on you if you think this will help you to relax and become one with yourself. We’re here to keep you stressed out and make sure you sent out the party invitations for your son’s birthday, the thank you notes for your daughter’s party last week, paid the bills, met the deadline for early camp registration, picked up the only toy your kid wants for Christmas before it is sold out, baked the brownies for the religious school holiday party and shaved your legs.” Maybe the fairy didn’t come to me because I can’t meditate.

Is maturity a prerequisite? I don’t think so. Half of the women I know are as mature as a 16-year-old. This is especially true when your kids are in school. Did you know you are actually in whatever grade your children are? You thought you were done with the second grade? Not so fast, bucko. Many moms out there get so involved in their children’s day-to-day relationships that they act like second graders themselves. They bitch and complain about who hurt their child’s feelings and blah, blah, blah. If you’re the mom of one of the “feeling hurters,” you feel like you have to defend your kid. And you get pissed at the other mom’s accusations. And you think she is clueless. And you go home and say to your husband, “Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, at least I’m skinnier than that bitchy mom!” Maybe the fairy didn’t come to me because I acted like I was 8, not 40.

Does the Hallelujah Fairy require you agree with the proposition that, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?” Must you feel you have triumphed over tragedy and are now stronger and more powerful for having survived? I think that’s a load of crap too. Listen, if you didn’t die over something, you just didn’t die. You must keep going; you have no choice; you’re alive! That doesn’t mean you’re any stronger. You may know how to cope better. Drink a little wine. Eat a little ice cream. Pop a little Xanax (apparently wine, ice cream and Xanax are becoming a continuing theme in my writing). But coping doesn’t make you comfortable in your own skin. It’s like sticking a chewed piece of gum on a major pipe leak. It may stop the leaking for a moment, but eventually the whole damn pipe may burst. Don’t you get any points for coping?

Is plastic surgery required before the fairy will visit you? If you look great, you feel great? Have all of these fabulous at 40 celebrities had plastic surgery of one sort or another that makes them feel hot and in turn more comfortable with themselves? Maybe. I’m not sure. I’ve never had plastic surgery. But maybe I should. I don’t think my poochy tummy with my boobies resting upon it helps to make me feel fabulous at 40. I’m just too scared to go under the knife if I don’t have to. I don’t know if that makes me more mature, less mature or simply wimpy. Hey, special fairy, isn’t real better than plastic?

Okay, I am tired of looking for the reason the Hallelujah Fairy somehow skipped over me. So I will pray to her and hopefully she will answer my prayer and show up tonight.

Blessed Fairy. I am sorry I do not meditate. I am obviously too much of a stress ball to go there. Please give me strength to do 100 sit-ups tonight while I am watching Survivor on Tivo so that tomorrow I do not look pregnant from all of the potato chips I ate during the show. Bless me, oh Fairy, with your divine intervention so that I may feel fabulous at 40 and ignore everything else. For I know that from whence you come, I shall have the patience of a saint and not yell at my children when they blow milk out of their noses at a restaurant. I shall have so much confidence that I will try on a bathing suit next to Barbie. I shall have such thick skin that I will no longer do voodoo on mommies I don’t like. I shall gain understanding and realize that when my husband comes home from a long day at work, it probably would be better if I didn’t immediately ask him to take in the trash cans, watch the kids and massage my feet. And finally, all of this will be possible because you will have blessed me with the penthouse suite on that gorgeous ship sailing away into the deep blue sea and I will be on vacation for the next several weeks with all of the other fabulous at 40 women praying that my husband receives a visit from the Yes-I-Can-Keep-The-Kids-Alive-Until-My-Wife’s-Ship-Comes-Back-To-Port Fairy. Amen.

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