What About Me?

Written By: Dawn - Feb• 09•15

Last year my church started a group for moms with teenagers. This is something I’d been lobbying for but sadly, like the preschoolers group and the school-age moms groups before it, it came on the sunset of my days in that phase of life.

This has been a pattern over the last twenty-five years- me missing inclusion in an iconic state of being.

It all began here-

Aired fro 1987-1991

Aired from 1987-1991

Since I was in my late teens and early twenties during thirtysomething’s rein I couldn’t have cared less about the show. Those people were old! Who cares? Babies? Career drama? Adult life? All these seemed far off in my future.

Then Big Boy was born in 1993 and The Better Half and I discovered thirtysomething reruns on Lifetime at 2 a.m. and suddenly all those privileged yuppie whiners became endearing. And relatable. In the most frightening ways.

One of my favorite episodes had Hope and Ellen hiding under the dining room table with the baby while some hot guy did work inside Hope’s house. She felt all frumpy and struggled with the new image of herself as a mom instead of a sexy woman. I understood that. The guy who came to clean baby vomit and cat pee off the couch (always purchase the extra upholstery cleaning plan) was kinda cute. I think. Since I was up three times a night nursing a baby, I don’t have 100% recall but anyone who cleans cat pee for you is a god.

In the end thritysomething did speak to me, but after the fact.

Next came-

Aired 1998-2004

Sex and the City- Aired 1998-2004

I like to call this my Late Bloomer period. We didn’t have HBO back then because Barney Videos and all the Star Wars movies (not the prequels thank goodness) played in a constant loop. (True story- Little Bug was humming the Star Wars theme at 18 months.)

I wasn’t so deep in Suburban Siberia that I hadn’t heard of SATC, but I’d never watched an episode. Hence, I didn’t have a grasp of what the buzz really meant. In July 2000 I found myself alone in a hotel room in Seattle with the TV remote in my hand.

I remember that first episode fondly- Miranda discovered what it really meant to wash Steve’s underwear. Enough said right?

By the time the second half of the last season aired in 2004, we had HBO, but boy I’d missed so much! It was years before I could pronounce Manolo Blahnik with confidence.

And I still don’t own a Fendi bag.

Smoke and Mirrors arrives!

Aired 2004-2012

Aired 2004-2012

 

By title alone, this show looked promising, like it had a message for stay-at-home moms like I was during its first few seasons. It did. The message was loud and clear-

If you’re over thirty-five- DON’T LET IT SHOW!

While I support Hollywood employing “older” actresses, these women were so beautiful, so thin and so visually perfect that a new exception for middle age beauty formed. So did the word Cougar.

I began to notice new trends with the younger moms. Rather than sporting kid or park friendly ensembles like I had at that stage, they looked more spa day ready than Mommy and Me. Some of them pushed strollers in heels. Rather than munching on goldfish crackers at the park, they went to lunch at real restaurants and sipped cocktails (okay, I admit that part is genius) and acted more like adult women than mothers (to my eyes at least).

The current label for these gals is Helicopter Parent.

Don’t ever piss one off.

The new era-

Airing 2012-present

Airing 2012-present

I followed the buzz surrounding the premiere of Girls with great anticipation. Billed as a SATC for a new generation, I felt ready for a women-focused show to speak to me. Boy did it, just not in the way I expected.

The series opens with Hannah (Lena Dunham) and her parents out to dinner. Mom and Dad are giving college-graduated and non-selfsuficient Hannah the dire news that they are cutting her off financially.

Immediately I bonded with Mom and Dad, so I turned off the TV. I’ve never taken a second look because Girls isn’t for me. I hope the girls who watch it feel like I do when I watch reruns of SATC (boy does it hold up well for me) because we all want something on TV we can relate to.

Which brings me to today.

I’m ready for MY stage of life to be all the buzz. I’ve even got a title for my new show.

fortyandoversomething Women (former Housewives) Who Kick Ass In the City and Everywhere Else.

I even have a great idea for the pilot episode- it could an entire episode dedicated to the mid-life quest for the Holy Grail- elastic waist pants that are on trend. (Though Not-Your-Daughter’s Jeans is making great progress in this area.)

I know this seems like a lot to ask, but I’d love someone to address pet hair on TV. Let’s face it, feeling sexy in a LBD is challenging if you have a dog, a cat or, if you’re a glutton for punishment, both. And while we’re on the subject of pets, they can throw in a cute guy to clean up cat pee or pick up dog poop. It really doesn’t matter what he’s doing so much…

What I’m saying is that if TV is getting better at showing real life, including its gritty side, then why not show more women as they reinvent themselves, as they shift away from daily child-rearing and begin their next chapter? I look at around at my girlfriends and we’re all doing amazing things- new jobs, running races, going back to school, being on charity boards and not giving up on anything. Case in point- I will find a soft chew toy Lily can’t destuff in less than five minutes.

So until the networks clue in on the awesomeness that is middle-aged moms, you’ll all just have to listen to me roar here.

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3 Comments

  1. BFF says:

    I’ve been watching “Girls” – but I also identify with the parents. I certainly don’t see myself in any of the girls!

  2. Pam Zukowski says:

    Wow! I can so relate to all except for the “Girls” show. I’m one of those middle agged women who decided to go back to school and start a new career as a manager all at the same time! Not much TV for me except for what my better half chooses to pick out since he has control of the remote!

  3. Traci Moore says:

    What a fun post! Dawn, I appreciate your humor, and the way you share the antics of your parenting through the lens of these quirky TV shows. Well-done. 🙂 Best to you.

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