The Pleasure of Not Giving a Damn

The best thing about getting old is caring less and less about what other people think

Zero hour

My husband looks like a rock star. He's thin and wiry and British. Even now at 60, people think he's that famous drummer.

One time, at LAX, a group of soldiers took bets that he was Alex Van Halen. I watched as they shoved paper and pen at him demanding autographs and totally ignoring his denials. Nothing would convince them—not even the obviously non-rock-star woman with a 4-year-old seated next to him.

I'm not going to trash myself here—I was cute—but I was not the blistering femme fatale in four-inch heels and tight black skirt skimming my vajayjay that most of those dudes have on their arm.

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I wanted to say, "Hey, guys, he's not famous. He can't play the drums or even carry a tune. And look at his wife—me—do I look like someone a rock star would marry?"

They probably thought I was the nanny.

As we've aged, my husband has become craggier and more interesting. I've become more "voluptuous." Our daughter marvels at how ripped he is. "Just like Iggy Pop," she says.

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She's always trying to dress me, like I lost that ability when she came into the world. But her dad? He's too cool for school.

Am I jealous? Of course not. OK, yeah, a little maybe. I'm four years older than him and have worried for years that I'd end up looking like his mom. I'm not convinced that hasn't happened. I ask people if I look older and everyone says no but I don't believe it. They're usually relatives and close friends, polite, or just plain smart. They know the right answer.

But something's happened recently—I'm giving less and less fucks about what other people think. I know, according to the countless memes on Facebook, many older women give zero fucks these days: Hillary Clinton gives zero fucks; those 90-year-old fashionistas in New York City give zero fucks; Oprah gives zero fucks; the ladies in the Red Hat club have given zero fucks longer than anyone else.

You'll find zero fucks on T-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, even pillows. And it's mostly women who buy them probably because men haven't given a fuck since the beginning of time.

I'm now a member of the zero fucks club. I know this because, the other day, I walked out of the house with two different flip-flops on. When I discovered it, did I go back to change? Nope. I took a picture of my feet and posted it on Facebook.

Zero fucks—maybe even sub-zero fucks. One can only hope.

I've spent a lifetime caring what people thought of me, from my loud laugh to my dress size—even when I was a size 4. Thin in the '80s, fat in the '90s. I was never good enough: too wild, too conservative; too needy, too aloof; too unconfident, too pushy; too inward, too brash; too sensitive, too insensitive.

It's enough to make your head explode.

I've been on this planet 64 years now and for the first time in my life, I feel free. Getting old may be a bitch but it also brings with it a sense of freedom young people rarely experience. Who cares about how much you weigh, or if you're late to that meeting, or you've polished off a whole box of Girl Scout cookies all by yourself, or if your husband looks a nanosecond younger than you do when you're sliding into eternity?

Repeat after me: Fuck it.


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