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