lifestyle

You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty.

Endora had me Bewitched

My first girl crush was a big one I’ve never got over. It was Endora from TV’s Bewitched, Samantha’s naughty mother. I wanted her to adopt me. I still do.

I LOVED everything about Endora. It was about her knuckle-size jewels and that statement helmet hair. Her eyebrows were an art form and I even loved the way she spoke, every word a purred pearl.

I love the way she swished when she strutted, a wafting silk rainbow in her wake. I imagined her wildly exotic perfume.

But most of all I loved what Endora made me feel. Her cool, centred confidence. She oozed wisdom. Every line on her face told a wicked story I wanted to hear.  She showed me a fantasy and mystery of a lived life. I didn’t want Darren and the suburbs. I wanted wherever she was going.

In fact, I have always loved a great dame. Women, not girls. Not so much blank canvases but abstract masterpieces painted by experience. Feisty femmes who sizzle with inner strength, who’ve been there, done that, fallen down, got up again. Women with insight, who haven’t grown older, just wiser.

Growing up in awe of old Hollywood, it was all about attitude in my mind. Those actresses were not so much ageless as timeless. I never thought of how old Rosalind Russell, Mae West, Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn and Bette David were, only that were women not girls, that they had an inner power just as Helen Mirren, Patti Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Bette Midler, Aretha Frankin, Chrissie Hynde and countless others posses today.

When I turned 40 ‘I kept feeling a pressure on the number, a sense of scrutiny and guilt.’

These women are lit from their cores. They are alive because they have lived, and they remain my inspiration, always. Never more so than when I turned 40.

I kept feeling a pressure on the number, a sense of scrutiny and guilt that was irritating.

But after a chat with my four decades old self, I gleefully discovered finally and forever that I actually don’t give a shit. Care factor zero. Relevance, less.

All that ridiculous, excruciating waste of time and energy and esteem caring what others think no longer existed.

The beast has left the building in my 30s but at 40 I knew it was never coming back. In its place is a sense calm, empathy and understanding to be cherished.

I believe my 40s are a peak. I have never been happier in my self and it just keeps getting better. It is an era in a woman’s life rarely celebrated but it is significant. I believe it is where the bull can’t even be bluffed; when you can no longer be bothered. It’s peace at last. A time to breathe.

Women of age should be celebrated more by society. The young ones may be pretty but age adds real beauty to the soul. We need to be kinder to each other as women and not so competitive about age, in terms of achievement and appearance.

Men should appreciate that lions roar louder than kittens and purr just as powerfully. That the wisdom, intelligence and humour of a life lived is a potent aphrodisiac and lively company.

The Wit & Wisdom of Women over Forty – By Andy Rooney

I got on this rant after reading a short essay by former US 60 Minutes commentator and all round sage, Andy Rooney, this week.

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In fact, I’ve printed it out and have it beside my desk as a pledge of sorts I love it so much, along side of a photo of Endora.

I urge you and everyone you know to read it. And if you’re over 40 like me, smile. We deserve to.

The Wit & Wisdom of Women over Forty – By Andy Rooney

As I grow in age, I value women who are over forty most of all. Here are just a few reasons why: A woman over forty will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.

If a woman over forty doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.

A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing.

Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.

‘Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing.’

A woman over forty has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over forty couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty. They always know. 

A woman over forty looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over forty is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over forty for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of forty-plus, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some twenty-two-year-old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” here’s an update for you. Now 80 percent of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig, just to get a little sausage.”

Wendy Squires has been a journalist for more than 20 years, starting work at News Ltd as a cadet journalist before moving to New York where she worked, lived and wrote for several years. Upon her return she edited Cleo and Australian Style magazines as well as holding senior positions on Elle, Mode, Who Weekly, Madison, Woman’s Day and the Australian Women’s Weekly.

She released her first novel, The Boys’ Club, based on her brief experience working as a network television publicist in 2010, and is working on another. In 2011 she moved to Melbourne where she now writes a regular opinion column for The Age and freelances for numerous publications.

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