In case I haven’t shared, my new mantra in life is “Eff-it, I’m 40.” A woman once shared that this single phrase can justify any and all things, and any and all people (especially those who have a tendency to make you feel like crap about yourself). I turned 40 this year, and have applied this mantra to many situations, decisions and people. As a mother, I believe having this attitude is a good thing because their mom finally has some semblance of self-confidence with an ounce or two of self-deprecation mixed in. Many of you were born with a level of self-confidence that could make Gwyneth Paltrow appear insecure. Unfortunately, I’m not among your kind. I’m a confident mom and wife today, but a confident child and teen I was not. I am going to back up a minute about my lack of self-confidence. (This means I’ll be demonstrating what I like to refer to as a Jackie Tangent. Take a seat and hold on because you, my friend, are along for a choppy ride.) I don’t know if it was because I grew up in Texas where women are born looking like Barbie’s life-size twin sister or because I looked like a gawky boy with hair that had no possible way of growing into a Marsha Brady-like ‘do no matter how hard I tried. I also had a big brother who was good-looking, athletic and popular. I was so-and-so’s little sister for years. Now, I love my parents, and they always loved me and supported me in everything. (Think Ben Stiller in Meet the Fockers. I think I may have some 13th place ribbons lying around somewhere.) In Texas in the 1980’s, designer jeans were a big thing. And the fact that we only shopped the sale rack at the discount stores didn’t help me. I wore no-name-brand jeans for longer than I care to admit. And when I finally scored a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt’s, I think they were two seasons behind from the sale rack at Marshall’s. (By the way, one of my friends from college has a 20-something sister who has never stepped foot in a Marshall’s. When she told me this, it rendered me speechless. Yes, me, speechless. Have you met me? She has no idea what she’s missing. I went shopping at a huge Marshall’s in Austin, Texas with a group of girlfriends this summer. It was like shopping in New York during the holidays minus the crowds.) I went to that store so often as a child, I didn’t know you could buy clothes anywhere else. As I got a little older and got a semblance of a grip about what other teens were wearing, my mother would let me shop at The Limited, Contempo or Express if and only if there was a blow-out sale. It wasn’t until I was around 27 that I bought clothes even if, dare I say it, they were not on sale. When I finally started buying brand name stuff, I would wear a new garment so many times in a row, you would want to hit me over the head with your designer hand bag (that you probably didn’t buy at Marshall’s). Eff it, I’m 40! I can buy what I want where I want (and bask in the glory if I found it on sale).

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