IVY WROTE: Formerly a martial artist. Formerly a belly dancer. Formerly designer. Formerly an actress. Formerly a legal secretary. Formerly married, and, I thought, loved. No longer any of those things, just broken and wondering what happened. Ironically, my face hasn’t changed much; I looked 35 at 17, I look 35 at 54 – that 1950s pale Dior brunette. I appealed to guys with white hair, still do, but I’m just a whited sepulchre these days. I’d get attention from guys in their 20s and tell them, “Look, I’m not interested in adopting.”
OK, cough it up!I want to know what your FORMERLY is, not least of all because perhaps it'll be as superficial and relatively unimportant in the scheme of things as is mine.
Obviously, the fact that you've always been the smartest kid in your family and yet couldn't bring yourself to finish your dissertation is nothing compared to the problems of veterans returning minus a limb, but it's still worth a few words. Or that your high school peers voted you most likely to get rich quick and you're working at Dunkin' Donuts. Or that you had the marriage and little blond children that seemed so perfect, and now you have an ex and bigger blond children that you see every other weekend.
Boo-effin'-hoo, some will say. You're not homeless. You're not trapped in some abandoned bomb shelter with nothing but a skeleton and some plant water to drink like that girl on All My Children. Get some real problems. And you will, at some point. But for now, I want to hear about your FORMERLY.
Go to the drop-down menu, and select a FORMERLY from among the ones I posted. If none apply, write your own in the box to the right. And then give me a few words (no more than 200) on your FORMERLY, what it meant to you and how you're dealing. You can also post a relevant picture (it needn't be you but something that says it all). Keep it relatively clean, kids, and feel free to post more than one. You can be serious, self-mocking, however you feel.
My mom was (and still is) petite. We wore the same size when I was in high school in the early 1980′s. She used to pass really cute clothes or shoes over to me by saying “It’s too young for me”. Now, here in 2012, I find myself passing on some of the cutest clothes by saying “It’s too young for me”. Dammit!
This blog is my story, all over.
I am a Formerly Hot blonde..always the ‘pretty one’ in the family, never lacking for attention or dates. Fast forward…I’m now 42, mother of four blonde blessings, and yes….going through a totally-typical divorce. The funny thing is…during a fifteen-yr abusive marriage, I was brought so low that I had completely ‘let myself go’ (and I despise that saying!) Now that I’m free, I’m finally strong enough to take the time and effort to take care of ME…haircuts, highlights, tanning, whitening my teeth…and eating healthfully and exercising, of course. I had become so accustomed to being virtually invisible during my thirties that the scant attention I now still receive from men just absolutely floors me! Ah, it’s good to find that girl again. Yes, the men paying attention are my age or older, but that’s as it should be, and fine with me!
Ladies, you’re still hot…just hot now to a different demographic. Embrace it: it’s not gone!
I just read your book and appreciated it, though I can’t really relate. Not only am I 15 years older than you, I was never hot. I have a mild case of cerebral palsy; while I can, thank God, walk and talk, I limp and my right arm swings like a broken tree branch. When I shop for clothes, style doesn’t count. Can I get into it by myself? Will these shoes support my right ankle? I have never been a sex object, though I’ve been lucky enough to be married to a great guy and have a 16 year old son. Count you blessings, ladies. At least you had your day. Sincerely, Cathy Wood
I’m strangely not embarrassed to admit that my FORMERLY moment involves a velour jogging suit, fleece-lined crocs, a bird store…and Cheerios.
I was just shy of 41 when I needed to wrap up some Christmas shopping in 2009. My mother-in-law wanted a specific birdhouse at a store somewhere out in the boonies and time was running out. I was sick and tired–both of shopping AND legitimately ill–and didn’t have the energy to doll up for a dreary December drive to the country. Hence, the velour/croc ensemble.
The guys at the bird store were very helpful, and even a bit flirty despite my haggard look, so I actually had a brief “I’ve still got it” moment as I strutted back out to the car with a pep in my croc…even spinning around with a smile as they called after me with a “Miss” (instead of the dreaded “Ma’am”). Well, my ego boost was short-lived. Turns out, they only wanted my attention to inform me that “…uh…you have a Cheerio stuck to your bottom.”
Let the Formerly Phase begin.
There comes a time in your life when u suddenly realize that you are not cute anymore. You are still pretty and more secure, hopefully more intelligent and secure, but you just don’t turn heads the way you used to. But its not because you became ugly, I believe there are beautiful and ugly in young and old.
Its because most men love young girls and men control the medias. The media brainwashes society and we fall right into the trap. We let men make us feel bad about aging and not being perfect. We neglect our career or happiness in favour of trying to look perfect and trying to be young forever! But men can be old and ugly and still be admired. What kind of fucked up world is this?
Finally! I don’t get hit on all the time. It’s kind of nice to be able to go to the store and be checked out (no pun intended) without the clerk asking me if I’ve got a boyfriend. Don’t get me wrong, I do miss being hit on by the hot guys. But I don’t miss the hopeful looks and bad come-ons from the guys I wasn’t attracted to. And they would get so angry when I turned them down (nicely!).
The AmeriCorps (2o-something) in my office were discussing doppelgangers. I remarked that I was never really told I look like anyone-oh, except for the sister on the Wonder Years (Olivia d’Abo character)…to which the reply (nonsnarky, just curious) was…”don’t you mean the mom?” What???
When I was about to turn 41, I was leaving the city I was living in and was able to buy a dress in the ‘red light’ district (which doesn’t have anything bigger than size 6) for my farewell party. Then I moved to the suburbs, got remarried. And last year my 13 year old step daughter wore the dress to a birthday party. I told my friends the story and one of the husbands replied, “that was a farewell dress. Farewell to size 4.”
My 9 year old daughter, who knows everything, informed me that I was too old to even think about wearing a bikini or even a two piece. She informed me that tankinis were OK because they covered my flabby parts and made it easy for me since I have to go to the bathroom so much (bladder sling surgery in 3 months.) She did say I still had “strong looking legs” so I don’t have to wear a wet suit in Houston, Texas heat. I’m just so grateful.