Thursday, June 19, 2008

Back on the Market in Stepford

Well, I just found out that a recently refurbished Stepford Wife is about to hit the market. A few months ago, I heard about her second breast augmentation, tummy tuck, full body lipo, and new Mercedes. I had assumed these improvements were her scheduled forty-five-year maintenance and done for the enjoyment of her Stepford Husband. It seems now, however, that this work was done because she was about to be put back on the market and everyone in Stepford knows you can’t get anything for a forty-five-year-old Stepford Wife unless she’s been properly maintained.

The other Stepford Wives are now busily discussing her options amongst themselves. Because this particular Stepford marriage lasted longer than ten years and she hasn’t worked outside the home in quite awhile, she will surely get some sort of spousal support on top on the $2100 per month in child support she’ll receive for her three children. Because Texas is a community property state, the couple’s assets will be divided down the middle and distributed once all the debts are satisfied. Sadly, the one million dollar home will probably have to be sold. However, there are places in Stepford, less desirable neighborhoods such as my own, where a Stepford Ex-wife can survive on her half of the marital assets and spousal/child support until she’s put back into to service again.

This morning, while instant messaging regarding the soon-to-be Stepford Ex-wife’s options, it occurred to me that while I feel really good about how I look, the fact remains that I’m not exactly in marketable condition. I’m much more like a well taken care of used car. I don’t have any obvious body damage from past collisions, my paint job still looks pretty good, and the interior is nice and clean. However, once you get under the hood, well, let’s just say I could use some engine work. Under the facade of my size eight clothing lie Spanx and a Miracle Bra that camouflage the hail damage on my rear-end and my flat A-cup boobs. So as to not be too hard on myself, I feel I need to mention that my tummy does not need to be tucked. I have been graced with a flat stomach and a small waist, so I try to emphasize that as much as possible without highlighting what is above and beneath. I’m concerned that at forty-one, this feature of my figure may soon begin to change. It is my understanding that as my estrogen levels drop with age, my mid-section will begin to thicken.

This displeases me greatly and I pray I’ll be able to fight off this assault with core training and yoga. So far, so good. I’ve made peace with my rear end. I could make it smaller and less lumpy, but I have decided I’m not willing to invest the time needed in knee-crunching aerobics to make that happen. I’m working on making peace with my breasts. There is no exercise available to alter their current state and augmentation is financially out of the question, so I’m left with the Miracle Bra, which is really not a miracle at all. It’s much more like a slight of hand than any real magic.

As I’m pondering these uniquely Stepford issues, it occurs to me that one of the reasons I’m okay with how I look is that I never plan to be on the market again. It’s not that I think my marriage could never end in divorce or that my husband could never die. It’s just that I can say with all certainty that if my husband spontaneously combusted at lunch today, I would never go back on the market. The thought of a man other than my husband seeing me completely naked is not one that I’m willing to entertain. Further, I do not want to see what is under the hood of any other forty-plus year old man ... ever. I’m not afraid of this as much as I am just uninterested. There are so many things in my life that I still want to do. So many areas of myself that I feel are unexplored. In the script I’ve written for myself, it’s just a given that if I ever find myself without my husband, I won’t go looking for another. Instead, I will go looking for other parts of me. I tell my husband all the time that I think I’m about one-third done with this life. And he responds the same every time: “You think so, Kristi? You think you’re going to live to be one hundred and twenty? Really? Really?” And I say, “Yep. Really. Yes, I do. I still have a lot to say.” And I’m sure as he looks at me and smiles, he is thinking, “Yes. God, help us all. Yes you do.”

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