In her poignant poem, Virginia Duan decries the idea that middle aged women should fade into the background, unloved. Where are my middle-aged love songs?I have no use for epic loves.I no longer yearn for them.I tire of the flash and bang of the beginning.What I want is the ode to the middle –The steadfast 2nd bookBeforeThe well-earned end.I want the quietBoringSteady loveThe kind of love that doesn’t move mountains but remembers to move the laundry into the dryer.The love that unstickifies floorsWashes wet sheets in the middle of the nightTakes the morning, bedtime, and park shifts with the kids.The kind of love that sustains, supports, and upholds day after day after day, for year after year until the years become decades and your children have dispersed and grownAnd you are allOlder.Old.Where are my middle-aged love songs?I have no use for torrid affairs.I ache for softnessFor bodies stretched by time and gravityWith room enough to cushion the worst a quotidian life can throw.I want the infuriatingSlowDesperate loveThe kind of love that defies evolutionary fitness, pushing all your reptilian buttonsThe love that colors your wallsBreaks all the things you used to treasureTransforms the greatest pleasures of food, travel, and sleep into the greatest of painsThe kind of love that flows as soon as they fall asleep and ebbs the instant they wake, day after day after day, for year after year until the years become decades and your children eventually calve from youAloneThe kind of love that renders you helplessSputteringArrests you in a fear you never knew existedWhere all your brokenness ricochets, mirrored in a face so like your own.Where are my middle-aged love songs?I have no use for defiant pairingsI weary of running off into the sunsetGearing up for another fight to prove we belong togetherI want the awkwardAngryInitial fumblingsThe kind of love that reaches across generations and extends graceThe love that acknowledges the accumulated years of loss and painThat debates forgiveness and restorationOr resigns to continued separation, day after day after day, for year after year until the years become decades and grudgingly, you admit that perhaps your parents were human, too.The kind of love that forces you to examineDissectTear apartYour foundations and rebuild anewWhere are my middle-aged love songs?The anthems to my failing parts?Am I invisible now that the first blush of youth has passed?It is a mystery.I wish,I wishYou would sing to meOf me.
Virginia Duan is a blogger at https://mandarinmama.com, where she details her experiences teaching her children and navigating life as a Taiwanese-American woman
Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.
Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.
We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.
You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!
We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.