Nobody wants a middle-aged woman 

There’s a harsh reality I’m dealing with now. I have been for a while. It became clear to me yesterday during a phone interview for a job that I’m highly qualified for, but I’ve suspected all along. 

My previous positions have been working mostly with men: young men right out of college, middle-aged men, older men. All of those men had job offers after they were laid off or found a position similar in pay and title to the one they left. Not me. 

I knew leaving a career I’d been building for years would be difficult, but at 45, I knew I still had many years of good work and ambition to give. I made a choice. I was always somewhat naive about sexism despite my mother telling me over and over “it’s a man’s world.”  I saw it and fought it and did well for myself (and my company) for as long as I could. 

I’d worked extremely hard, giving up vacations, family time, and romance to prove myself and earn my keep in this “man’s world.”  I decided that it wasn’t worth it at that company. I wanted to find another one where women were appreciated and respected.  It wasn’t just about money or a job. I wanted to prove they were out there! 

Smart, (I thought), me to save enough money to take my time finding somewhere new, I relaxed and thought about where I’d like to go and what I wanted to be when I grew up. 

When I started looking for something new, I’d applied at 35 places and got two interviews. Of those two, I was offered one position in customer service at a 75% pay cut at what I previously made. I took it. I didn’t want to be on unemployment and I had savings to pick up the slack. I had a job and money coming in. I’d just keep looking for something that fits. 

And now, savings is about gone and I had an interview yesterday with a 27 year old manager. He asked if I had any questions. I asked what the culture was like there. He said, “we’re a pretty young crew. We work hard and play hard. We get done at 4:30 and go have a drink and something to eat.” 

I said, “that sounds great!” 

And then he viewed my LinkedIn profile where he saw what year I graduated college and sent me the rejection email.  And while, I’m sure there could have been other reasons, it’s that I’m too old. 

And here I am, a middle aged woman with a college education and 25 years of professional experience, that can’t catch a break. 

I guess this is why so many women my age end up going into business for themselves or running for office, because fuck that shit. 

My Best Friends, I Met Online 

When I was first separated, almost divorced, I joined a dating site. It wasn’t well known, but it had the best chat room.  After being married for 11 years and being an introvert, I didn’t know how to meet people.  I’ll call that site DAC. 

Nobody on DAC was local.  But I did meet some of my best friends there. They were the other women. The guys would show up in chat and message us one by one and we’d talk about it publically (in the live video chat room).  “Oh, sweetness just messaged you? He told me I was the only one.” And we’d laugh my first foray into socializing was in that chat room. Eventually, I spent more time talking to many of the women there than I did trying to meet a guy.  Those women are still my friends today: 

My very best friends are Jessica (Screen name Jessa) & Kathryn (screen name Dutchie).  We’re going to be the Golden Girls someday. There are others, Debra (Blue), and Gloria (Nap), Barbara (Babs), and Helen. We’re all still friends. It became clear that DAC was dying and we all got together on Facebook. 

I love these women.  It’s been 7 years since DAC and we’re all still hanging in there together.  We’ve never met, but we’ll always be friends.  I love you ladies! 

And Toots, Sis, and Kat are going to Miami one of these days!  

Make Up 

I don’t wear much make up. Sometimes, I wish I could get excited about make up because it looks like kind of a fun thing. 

I’m all for make up, of course. I think anything people can have that makes them feel more confident (and, let’s face it. Make up helps with that), is pretty awesome. 

I wear make up. I wear the exact same make up I’ve worn since I was 13.  Thank goodness they still make cover girl liquid concealer and soft sable blush. I also like my black mascara and my lipstick I apply one time in the morning.  

I’ve tried other shades, lipsticks. I’ve tried to have fun with it. In high school I did some experimenting, but I’ll never forget my older brother saying, “you look stupid with all that shit on your eyes.” 

Now, had my brother not said that? I might be more of a make up gal, but I don’t think so. It’s more of a pain in the ass. The older I get, the less make up I wear.  It’s not because I don’t like it, it’s just that meh…..

Nobody forces you to do the make up thing. If it’s not your thing? Don’t do it. If it is, don’t listen to your asshole older brother. 
That’s all. 😬

Regression 

Do you know what regression is?  In psychology, it’s when you revert back mentally to a happier time in your life. Regressing does not mean you’re going backward. It’s not a failure. It’s just one of those magical ways your brain has of dealing with bad stuff. 

I learned about regression the first time in high school psychology and it sounded weird. I had no frame of reference, so all I could imagine was a full-grown man living at his parents and wearing diapers. And, well, there are those. 

When I first realized I was regressing was after I was raped that first year in college. I did my best to keep going, but I just wanted to be who I was before that happened again. At school, I still played it off like everything was fine, but I would go to the toy store and buy dollls. Sometimes, they were baby dolls and sometimes they were fashion dolls. I didn’t make them talk to each other. I just dressed them, put them to bed, and took care of them.  Nobody knew. It was weird. 

I spent both time and money I didn’t have driving to the toy store and buying dolls. Sometimes, I still do. 

I don’t display like a collector or play with them, but I do keep them in storage. Over the years, I’ve bought and sold thousands of dolls. I finally understood this is just something I do to cope with things.  

I was, at one time, living with my mom, watching old tv shows on nick at night and playing with dolls. I was doing what I could to “make America great again.”  I was seeking comfort in things that used to comfort me when I was a child. Sometimes? I still do. 

But that’s not making anything great.  It’s making me weirder, harder to relate to, more difficult to understand, and yet, more accepting. 

Regression is a real thing. I’ve lived it. I enjoy it on occasion. It’s helped me survive some difficult things.  It’s not how I would prefer to live. 
That’s all. 

I still think about you 

When I think about how much love I have and send the recipient to his dad? I think of you. 

When I think about how I have this amazing ability to let go of everyone I love? I think of you. 

When I think I should move on and fall in love with someone else? I think of you. 

I think maybe you’ll come back one day after I gave up on you again. I think about how I moved on to let you go and you come back to me. And I know I would run back to you. 

This is what keeps me from loving anyone else.  You were my one and only and you know it and I know it. We both got stuck thinking we’d lost each other forever. 

You’re the one. I can’t move on without knowing if you come back again, I’ll hurt someone else. It’s you, JJD.  Always has been. Always will be.