Lately, I’ve been reconsidering the whole concept of being a Late Bloomer. Is there really any such thing, or is it just something we tell kids who are going through an “awkward stage”? Mine has lasted about twenty years now, and I’m getting kind of sick of it. I’ve come to terms with the fact that the boobs aren’t going to happen (at least not without the eventual help of a handsomely-compensated plastic surgeon). But I still actively harbor plenty of aspirations that, according to things like “logic” and “probability,” may very well never pan out.
If there was a school for magical thinking, I would be its Dumbledore. On the boob front, for instance, I held out hope until long after it had ceased to be a rational. Well into my 20s, I kept expecting to have an unexplained, highly localized growth spurt. A second, more effective puberty, if you will. In the way that some people buy jeans a size too small for when they loose a few pounds, I would buy bras that were a bit too big. You know, just in case.
Part of the fun of being very young is imagining the things that could be a part of one’s future. Over the years, those possibilities are slowly infringed upon by the unflattering neon spotlight that is reality. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that, at my age, the chances are fairly slim that that I will become the first white hip-hop superstar to go up in space as part of a reality show involving monkeys that takes place on the International Space Station (Title: Best Show Ever). And I’m probably not going to marry Prince William, or even the old and fugly Crown Prince of Monaco. Which is for the best, since my actual husband is undoubtedly much more fun to watch TV with, and unlike the royals, he is in no way related to himself.
Regardless of whatever may be missing, my life is actually pretty darn good. I know that this is at least in part due to my impressive capacity for self-deception (“those tasseled gold lamé hot-pants are super flattering on me, and entirely age-appropriate!”). But I can live with that.
Besides. I wouldn’t want to be all rich and famous anyway. Really, it sounds like a giant pain in the butt. I know what you’re thinking, but this is NOT sour grapes. Well, not exactly. My philosophy is: when life gives you sour grapes, make cheap wine! Throw in some grape-flavored cough syrup and weapons-grade caffeine, call it EL Torro Loco “Wine Product” and sell it at 7-11 in states with relaxed product liability laws (hello, venture capitalists?!).
In no particular order, here are several reasons why I’m glad that success, fame, and massive wealth have thus far eluded me.
1. No need to make small talk with overly-friendly doormen who are doctors or scientists or what-not in their impoverished home countries. There’s the inevitable awkwardness when the doorman has to sign for the delivery of, say, your new solid gold foot stool.
Then, you have to feel awful about the fact that, for the price of said stool, you could eradicate malaria/end hunger/build a school in the doorman’s native village. But, the coloring of the piece perfectly offsets that gilded ceramic giraffe that Carson Kressley (remember him?!) gave you for inviting him to your place in St. Bart’s, so …
2. You’ll never see a headless, candid photo of me in a bikini on the cover of Us Weekly, a circle around my thighs and a caption, “Guess Who Has Cellulite?!” For those of us who are so white and pasty we could check the box for “Clear” as our ethnicity, wearing a bathing suit in public is already traumatic enough. What if professional photographers with zoom-lens cameras could make serious bank for taking photos of my thighs? Egads. We are ALL better off that this is not the case.
3. I don’t have to feel a wave of relief, followed by pangs of guilt, when the Bush Era tax cuts to the richest 1% are extended, against all fiscal logic. After all, those solid gold footstools aren’t going to pay for themselves…
4. When I make major life decisions, I don’t have to run them past my agent, manager, or anyone from the Church of Scientology. Not that I don’t like Tom Cruise. Have you seen Cocktail? It was hilarious. But still. I’m glad its star has nothing to say about my career choices, or my taste in solid gold home furnishings.
5. I don’t know the difference between an annuity and a mutual fund, but I bet it is extremely boring. Both of these terms are familiar to me from parental lectures on the ever-popular subject, “Things You Should Have, Already, At Your Age.” This is a category that includes children, home ownership, and knowing how to operate a weed whacker. “But at least I have low blood pressure!” I argue, to no effect.
Most of the things on the TYSH,A,AYA list are known to cause hypertension, ulcers, and/or a desire to wear pastel plaid golf pants. As long as I can remember, my parents have both had impressively high blood pressure. In my dad’s case, this lead to a quadruple by-pass operation some years back. Go to their house, and you’ll find lots of publications about “investment products” and "financial instruments" (which are neither instruments nor products, since you can neither play them nor put them in a landfill, but nevermind). While it would be irresponsible to suggest that the Wall Street Journal, Forbes and sundry mutual fund newsletters are the direct cause of my dad's myriad health problems, I’ll go ahead and say it – Financial Publications Are Hazardous to Your Health.When/if I ever have tons of extra cash lying around, I’m sure my opinions on the subject will change. But as it stands now, I’d rather re-watch Mannequin 2: On the Move than have to read newsletters about mutual funds. And I’d rather get a colonoscopy than re-watch Mannequin 2.
The list could go on and on. But I have to go not-read back issues of Forbes, so I'm pretty busy with that.