I am one hot mama! Well, at least that’s what I thought this afternoon as I cruised through the Dunkin’ Donuts drive thru in my sleek, sexy, soccer-mom SUV.
The boy at the window didn’t take his eyes off me. It was flattering to the point of embarrassment. “Wow,” I mused to myself. “I’ve still got it.” Even with my faintly etched crow’s feet, sun-worn skin and all too noticeable forehead crinkles, this handsome young man was totally into me.
He stalled a bit before handing over my fat-free latte and vege flatbread sandwich. I was amused by his all too obvious attempt to delay my departure and giggled girlishly to his delight. Then he leaned out the window in a fetching pose, vaguely resembling a J.Crew catalogue model. I was breathless.
He languishingly passed me my receipt and held his hand over mine for several seductive moments as he gently released a few tarnished coins into my slightly dampened palm. “Oh, and by the way,” he nearly crooned, “There’s a website listed on the bottom of your receipt. If you wouldn’t mind, you can check it out and take a survey about your service today. We’re having a little employee contest.” His smile widened as he stared wantonly into my eyes.
I was stunned silent as the realization obliterated my cheshire-like grin. Wait a minute. You mean…this was…how dare he! My heart sunk to the bottom of my feet. His attraction, his attention, it was all…a ruse, a scam, a con to get me to fill out a survey on his behalf. What kind of competitive, sociopathic child would play on a middle-aged mother’s insecurities this way. I suddenly felt like Mrs. Robinson as she stood naked before her graduate or Amanda Wingfield in the presence of that charming gentleman caller. Dammit. I was old and foolish, and now I had to deal with the painful reality of both of those realizations.
I thought about doing him his requested favor and filling out that on-line survey. Oh boy, would I ever let him have it. I could expose his underhanded trickery, the way he cunningly preyed upon the weaknesses of women’s aging psyches. But then I flashed back to all of the speeding tickets I’d flirted my way out of as a young woman, and the dozens of extra bagels I’d been gifted by smitten elderly deli-men who’d been weakened by my come-hither head tilt and coquettish smile. What goes around comes around, I guess.
Still, it’s hard to come to terms with the whole aging identity thing. Deep down, no matter how old we get, we still want to feel young, vibrant and attractive. It’s easy to forget that when we’re running to and from school, work, and three grocery stores a day.
I’m not talking about being vain or superficial. But a lot of us women tend to disown or discredit that part of ourselves that longs for physical admiration.
The point here is this: It’s okay to enjoy feeling sexy. It’s even okay to remind your husband, lover or partner that you need a dose of positive reinforcement every now and then. It’s even okay to flirt with a kid who’s half your age at the drive thru, provided you realize that his provocative stare and alluring smile are probably more linked to his desire for a good tip or a rave survey review.
Lots to ponder as I blow out way too many candles on this, my 40th something birthdate.