This has been a week of revelations.
My daughter turned 26. That doesn’t really count as a revelation, since I kinda saw it coming. But it was nice all the same.
I realized… belatedly… that I am 45. After thinking for half a year that I was 46. Very nice.
The Spice Girls are reuniting for a Broadway Musical.
And… I am in love with a man with an incredibly hairy chest.
These are all epic discoveries, and all made between Monday and Friday last week: the end of school, and the beginning of summer vacation. Let me floss the chest hair from between my teeth and begin to tell you the tale…
The Spice Girls.
Times five thousand.
We love them. Myself and my girls, who ranged in age between five and twelve when they reigned supreme. I don’t know if my son loved them as much as we did, but I’d bet money he knows all the words to “Wannabe”, although he probably only does the dance moves in private.
We loved the songs, the videos, the movie, the clothes… the year that the Spice Girl dolls were released was a Christmas of decadent zigazig-ah-ed-ness not to be matched until the advent of cell phones. (We also bought all of those. Because my spawn somehow manage to drop, lose, run-over-with-truck, pee on and otherwise destroy cell phones. The Spice Girl dolls lasted much better than a whole series of ill-fated cellular devices.)
I somehow managed to get all five dolls, in the shopping frenzy that comes with all childhood fads. Remember losing Great Aunt Tilly in the Cabbage Patch Kids crush of 1992? We got the old girl back, but she was never the same. Remember the bloody nose and broken nails of the Beanie Baby riots of 1996? Many have entered the fray, in quest of the coveted prize of a happy childhood for their wee ones, and many of the brave have fallen on the altar of clever marketing. Little did I know that obtaining all five Spice Girl dolls was not a guarantee that those very beloved cherubs I sacrificed life and limb for, in the trenches of every toy store and Walmart from here to Quebec, wouldn’t invite all of their friends over to drink beer and swing off my chandelier a mere eight years later. I believe they were chanting “slam your body down and wind it all around” at the time. How quickly they forget.
I braved ever Toys R Us in the province until I had all five, in their shiny boxes, pristine and glowing with highly marketable Girl Power. I still remember how rough Sporty looked when my youngest clipped off all her hair with the determined belief that it would grow back. I also remember the hours spent with hair ties and gel, trying to emulate those horn things that were the Spicy trademark with the fine, delicate, baby blonde hair on my darlings’ heads.
There were Hallowe’en costumes, homemade lipsinc-ed videos, and of course… dramatic re-enactments of the breakup. I believe I actually cried when Ginger went her own way, not because of any outpouring of sympathy for the red-headed strumpet desecrating the British flag, but because my girls were bereft. Whatever happened to “friendship lasts forever”?
The Spice Girls opened the door to the brutal realities of growing up, and my girls learned that ‘Girl Power’ comes from within. At least, I think that’s what they learned. They may have actually only learned the funky knee move that corresponded with “zig-a-zig-ah”… or perhaps they only learned how to shake their “chicas to the front”. Either way, it was an education.
So, on the heels of the Spice Girl reunion, my oldest turned 26. She is lovely, and funny, and has a great tan because she runs and mows and walks her dog and is pretty much Girl Power personified. The interesting thing about Hannah turning 26, is that I actually got younger. Because I can’t count. Or add. Or remember anything beyond last Thursday.
Ok, yeah, beyond last Friday. Thursday is already a hazy blur.
I thought I was 46. For the past several months. Because, as I pondered my daughter’s upcoming birthday, I decided that 46 rhymes with 26, so that’s what I was.
My youngest, rolling her eyes like bowling balls thrown by the three Fates when they took a break from weaving the tapestry of my life, said: “Mum. You are an idiot. You’re 45.”
In an excess of enthusiasm over my new-found youth, I have decided that all of my friends should also shave a year off their ages, because I have probably been thinking they are way older than they really are too, and we all need to be on the same page. We can’t do anything about the creeping senility, the deteriorating vision, the extra roll we are all growing around our middles, but numbers? We can fuck with those as much as we like.
You’re welcome, friends.
Did I really feel 46, when I thought that I actually was 46?
I actually kind of felt closer to fifty on some days. It’s my hips. And my coccyx. And the second chin that is trying to build a condo on my jawline. Those things all still think I’m a year older than I actually am. I need to facebook my various aging body parts and update them on the reality. Or unfriend them. One or the other.
When I learned of the upcoming Spice Girl reunion, the picture of them inspired me. To eat more. Because Posh and Baby look pretty much emaciated, and I want to counter that image for my children, and the children of tomorrow, by looking like a real woman. A real 45 year old woman. I will be much more content on my next birthday when I actually turn 46, because I really don’t like odd numbers, which is probably why I erased 45 from my memory. I think the average age of Scary, Baby, Sporty and Ginger is about 36, which is nice. Their collective average body weight is probably about 100 lbs. I liked them more when they looked like real people. Madonna is 53. Odd numbered. And emaciated. I will eat for her too.
So those were my revelations. Oh, and the loving of the man with a very hairy chest, which is lovely. When he comes home tonight I’m going to ask him to “swing it, shake it, move it, make it…trust it, use it, prove it, groove it”, and even though he will have no idea what I’m talking about, he will.
Because that’s Girl Power.
Zig a zig ahh.