Sankt Hans

So it is São João and my official 50th birthday! June 24th is the year’s best day. Last night we leaped over fires and sang the midsummer song. In the southern hemisphere it is midwinter but we leaped over fires just the same, and drank hot cane liquor with cinnamon.


This is not necessarily a Feminist Post, and it may be a vain one. Before I was 50 I had already had facials, manicures, and pedicures. I had dyed my eyelashes, my eyebrows, and my hair. I had waxed my legs. Now that I am 50, I am already whitening my teeth. I need them to be white and sharp, as they are one of Professor Zero’s most important features. While I am in my 50s and 60s I am also going to get flattering glasses, pluck my eyebrows with a laser beam, dispel spider veins, remove fine lines from my face, and build bone and muscle mass.

I must do all these things because I have requested an extension. I intend now to live until age 200 rather than age 100, as was originally planned. This is so that I can have three additional careers and observe more fully the results of global warming. I can live this long because I have good teeth, and because I am a sculpted skull on a stela at Copán.


I also wish to announce that I am not really 50, but 30. I can tell this by the way some of my 50 year old associates act – namely, like cantankerous middle aged persons. I do not like to see this behavior, especially following straight on after the uneasy forties. I think I will be 30-39 again while I am really 50-59, and then jump straight to 60.

The most irritating 50 year olds in my experience are married women. Marriage is the primary tool of patriarchy and  this, I am sure, is the cause of their strange state.


20 thoughts on “Sankt Hans

  1. Happy 50th! I’m going to attack everything and everybody during my 40th and subsequent decade!

    Jennifer Cascadia
    Still Undergoing Her Nietzschean Turn.

  2. Gracias, everyone!!! Of course this is the narrator’s birthday, not the author’s. Still, the Peruvians inform me that the best way to create youthful looks is with a NOSE JOB!!! These cost $700. I am slightly shocked by this idea but they have shown me why it would be the case. I am not saying I will do it … I am just listing it while we are listing things and because it is so shocking.

  3. “But I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

    I think you are right on target in making a decision to age in reverse; we are, after all who we choose to be.

    Ditto on marriage being one of the principal instruments of the patriarchy. As a married 50+ woman (and an attorney who is all too familiar with the legal and other implications of marriage, in which the state regulates the relationship between two people) I have to say that pointing the finger at my particular demographic seems to be a classic case of blaming the victim. Sure, 50+ married woman are perhaps insufferably smug, but so are 50+ academics, journalists, entrepreneurs etc. etc. etc. As woman, we all do what we have to do to insure our physical and emotional survival, and the experience of having to negotiate our relationships with all kinds of patriarchal institutions — like marriage or the corporate university/law firm/newspaper that employs us– is, I think, one we all share. In any case, your candid discussion of both issues is refreshing, as always. Actually think the Peruvians could be right about the nose job.

  4. Thanks for your visit, adelante! I think the Peruvians *are* right about the nose job. I am trying to get used to the idea.

    Blaming victim – I do not mean to, I mean to blame the patriarchy and their husbands. But I guess I am also irritated because I am victimized by them. Well heeled married or retired 50 year olds depend upon me to do all the things their husbands do, like read maps, drive, and think logically about business, while also nagging their teenaged children and me about not wearing enough sweaters or eating enough cookies. It is not just unpleasant, it is downright creepy.

    Smug, I don’t know – I don’t know that many smug people, fortunately. What I notice about the 50 year old married women about whom I complain – and this is not all of them, just a large enough group to be noticeable – is their stress levels and low self esteem. That is what has me worried.

  5. Nice to see you here Ridwan!

    General note on birthdays: This is the site of at least three birthdays – the author’s is December 24, the narrator’s is June 24, and the text’s is February 18.

    The distinction between author and narrator in this text is somewhat blurry and I have not yet decided whether that is a strength or a weakness.

  6. (&! I’m already getting annoyed by the aged behavior of some folks who are in their mid 40s. This whole getting-older business may not be for me.)

  7. Thanks again, people … and yes, this whole getting older business, I am against it. !!! There are these people who at mid 40s start talking about “maturity” and retirement, and I now get lectured by “friends” about how I am soon to “slow down…”

  8. Happy unbirthday, PZ (since I’m both early and late, depending on which personna I’m addressing)!

    If I’m any indication, I think aging is not necessarily what the norm suggests. I say, “Dance, dance! And think about all that when the music stops.”

  9. CS – correct! And the local little old ladies are quite youthful and tranquil.

    Heart – nice to see you and OMG this is amazing – I the author am Capricorn, but it’s true, I’ve created a Cancer narrator … !!! How illuminating … !!!

  10. P.S. Heavily encouraged to go, I actually consulted a surgeon about that NOSE JOB! She said it wouldn’t help and I don’t need one, and that the only thing that would really help is a *face lift* (!!!!!) when gravity pulls my skin floorward. That was shocking – she convinced me I should at some time consider a *face lift* – but for now I feel liberated and happy, I do not have to have or even consider a NOSE JOB, tra la la !!!

    Peruvians are almost as bad as Argentines in pushing each other to have plastic surgery. They think it fixes everything, says one of the teenagers in the house…

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