Reasons That I, a Middle-Aged Woman, Am Late to This Meeting

Every outfit I put on made me feel like I’d somehow gained twenty pounds and/or aged ten years overnight, and I had to change so many times that I ate up all my subway-schedule wiggle room.

The sudden realization that my IUD was three years past its expiration date necessitated an urgent call to my ob-gyn, who no longer takes my insurance, works at the practice, or practices gynecology.

I suffered an existential crisis concerning my recent interest in Father John Misty, a musician who has been popular for more than a decade, and whom I learned about only because of an article in the New York goddam Times, like some ancient chump.

Had to Google “Father John Misty age” and “Father John Misty married.”

Took the wrong hormone supplement and briefly tried to eat my own hands.

Attempted and failed to open a bottle of probiotics for a half hour and had to take a little lie-down.

Somehow completely forgot that this meeting was happening, despite having set no fewer than three iCal reminders about it.

Missed the train while digging frantically through my enormous, trash-filled bag, looking for the MetroCard that was in my back pocket.

Could not leave the house without defeating Wordle.

Had to buy Sharpies at the bodega for emergency gray-roots-covering.

High-school friend posted a “How Many of These Hunks from the Eighties Do You Remember?” quiz on Facebook and I had to look up how many of them were dead.

Lost track of time ruminating on the myriad ways I’ve failed my children.

Hot-flashed so hard that I soaked through my clothes and had to buy a three-pack of off-brand undershirts from a dollar store.

Couldn’t remember the neighbor’s name, so called her “honey,” which apparently is a “microaggression” and I’m “problematic” and “everybody says so.”

Poor sleep due to night sweats and 4 A.M. anxiety about my net worth being $256.03 plus a Sephora gift card from before the pandemic.

It’s not like we’re landing the space shuttle—calm down and watch a TikTok or something while you wait for me.

I did not want to be here. ♦

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