The presents are wrapped, the stocking stuffers have been evaluated and the inevitable item-per-child discrepancy has been rectified, the pine-scented candle has been purchased to supplement the artificial tree (TEAM FAKE 4EVA, by the way; I swear it’s the best gift I ever gave myself and I permanently fixed my vision with Lasik in 1999), the cookies have been baked, the cards have been sent, that one super weird confused-theme religious card (this year: cartoon Native American-costumed children complete with feather headdresses and warpaint huddled around baby Jesus) has been received, the novelty oversized bag is at the ready because do not even come at me with the paper and bag-tossing on Christmas morning it puts the garbage in the bag or it gets the eggnog colonic, the tacky-ass folding table is on hand to provide enough seating for visiting family to have the perfect view of our sunroom at breakfast where I am 99.8% sure the cats will have killed yet another rat and strewn its entrails into a festive design for all to enjoy.

Let’s do this thing. I hope you have a really wonderful holiday, my longtime Internet friends.

Have you seen the new Star Wars? No spoilers, I just want to talk about Rey’s skin in that movie. There are so many closeups of her lovely face, and I swear to god she does not have a single pore. Her skin is like a smooth dewy expanse of fresh-from-the-fridge butter. One of those expensive extra delicious butters with a weird IKEA-sounding name. Meanwhile every time we zoom in on Kylo Ren the very best you could say is that his face has a lot going on.

This is what I keep thinking when I peer in my light-up makeup mirror lately: wow, there’s definitely . . . a lot going on. Wrinkles, sure, but also all sorts of spots and moles and broken blood vessels and an ever-deepening Angry Canyon between my eyebrows. I don’t even bother with foundation any more, it feels like trying to spackle over a particularly enthusiastic wallpaper design.

It’s a bit of a bitch, this mid-forties business. I keep being startled by random things, like the fact that Disintegration, which I have always snootily thought of as The Cure’s crappy “new” album, came out in 1989. Or the way the young bagging clerk asks if I need help out to the car and, like, I can tell that he means it? And get this: I am older than Selena Gomez’s actual mother, which, look, I have no idea how I know that but it is DISTURBING. The kids recently asked me which president was in office when I was born and I had to think about it for a while and finally realized it was Nixon. Nixon! Or how about how if I sit cross-legged on the couch for a movie I need like four days to recover from the knee trauma? When did that start happening?

Also: perimenopause, which the text editing program I’m using to type this does not recognize as a real word. OH, IT’S REAL ALL RIGHT, MOTHERFUCKER.

Anyway. What can a person do but deal with all the aging that comes their way, right? Better than the alternative. It’s just — dude, there’s a lot going on.

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