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On Baddie Winkle and Turning 36

September 4, 2015

Have you guys heard of Baddie Winkle? She’s an 87-year old badass grandma that is taking over Instagram (to the tune of 1.5 million followers …). And she’s freaking amazing.

Baddie showed up in my Facebook feed this week and I had to laugh at the timing of it all. I was a few days shy of my 36th birthday and I was feeling kind of … old.

Let’s be honest here: 36 is not old. Not even close. But it’s undeniably closer to 40 than it is to 30 and for that reason it feels kind of important.

I celebrated another lap around the sun with a trip to Sephora. If you know me at all, you probably know that Sephora is the kind of place that gives me hives. All that music. All those products. ALL THAT MAKEUP. I think the dude behind the counter had on more eyeliner than I’ve worn in my entire life and I’m pretty sure that the staff can smell my fear a mile away. Like a shark or a rabid dog or something. I stop by every once in a while to pick up some sea salt spray (because I love sea salt spray!) but, in general, I avoid the place like the plague.

But the past thirty-six years have not been kind to my skin. A childhood lived mostly at the beach and pool? Tweenage and teenage years spent at swim practice for 15-20 hours a week in the steamy Florida sun? Eight years of riding and hiking and running in hot, dry, and perpetually sunny Colorado? All of it is great for your soul but none of it is good for your skin.

And the three and a half decades of abuse are starting to show.

So I went to Sephora and I bought some stuff because I am a grown ass woman (in theory?) and I can. And when I was checking out (and trying to get out of there as fast as possible because, again, that place is terrifying!), the girl at the counter realized it was my birthday and promptly handed me a little box as a gift. When I got back to the car I opened it and saw that it contained two tubes of lipstick. One was a neutralish color that I can easily and comfortably pull off. The other was bright red.

I pulled out the tube of red, thought of Baddie, and put it on. And then I went and rode my mountain bike because it’s my birthday and I can ride with red lipstick on if I want to.

Baddie and I probably don’t have very much in common. I doubt that she mountain bikes or hikes or camps or runs with donkeys and I definitely don’t have cigarettes for breakfast. She probably handles her alcohol way better than I do and she’s almost certainly more fun to have at a party (I mean, I’m pretty fun and all but have you seen her?!). She is an old woman with a young soul and I think that I may be the opposite. But today, on my thirty-sixth birthday, I’m channeling my inner Baddie Winkle.

This weekend we are headed to a still undecided destination to soak up the last bits of summer. We’ll camp and hike and ride bikes and drink beer under the stars. And who knows? Maybe my red lipstick will come along.

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