Getting old/Being Old. It is all relative. I am 46 and I remember being 18 thinking being 30 was old. And really the older you get, the younger you realized you were- in body and mind- when you had these asinine thoughts. I felt young until I was 35. That for me is when I realized that if I eat a pizza and drink a bottle of wine and only sleep 5 hours of sleep, I no longer just feel “a little tired” and that 1 week of “being good” isn’t going to drop those 5 pounds.
I think also 35 is when your body breaks into a little Twisted Sister “We’re not gonna take it” in a serious, serious way. Be it too much food, too little water, too much sun, not enough sunscreen, too little exercise, too much alcohol, too little sleep- you’re body just says “nope, you have reached your maximum in defacing the temple- get thee to Whole Foods, the gym and get some sleep”.
I have no data to back this up, except for my personal past 5 yrs of personal research, but I would bet that the majority of people who binge watch Netflix are over 40. Why? Because we old fuckers, like to get in bed and watch shit. Even if you don’t go to bed until 1 am….you were “in bed” at 8. And sadly I will admit many days, The Dictator (who remember is 3!) tucks me into bed. It is sad.
My two most unfavorite things about being mid-forties are:
- You start forgetting shit (and I want to acknowledge, much like the serious disease of addiction, the diseases of Dementia and Alzheimer’s are a completely different category than what I am referring to here as the general forgetfulness due to getting old). Like don’t you remember when you were in high school, being dumbfounded that your parents couldn’t remember every name of every person they went to high school with? And now that totally makes sense. It is just like as soon as you turn 40 your brain reaches a maximum fullness and in order to keep in anything new- like if it is your turn to “boo” your neighbor or when spring break is at your kids schools, etc.- it has to let shit go. For me I forget 4 things consistently everyday: What day of the week it is, what the date is, where my glasses are and who is picking the kids up from school. Doug jokes, but he may be right, that the fact that he has answers to these questions is the main reason I married him. He is 5 yrs younger;-) He also just massively increased his life insurance. Not sure that was a compliment.
- The sagging. Starting in your teens you are assaulted with the articles about this thing called “collagen”, sun damage, wrinkles,etc.- and then you look at your firm smooth skin in the mirror and think, WTF? I don’t need that and continue with your diet coke drinking, non-hat wearing, low level moisturizing ways.
So here’s the thing- it isn’t that they don’t tell you all these things about getting old- it is that you flat out don’t believe them or don’t care. And really when you think about parenting priorities of creating good/moral people, with nice manners, decent grades and non-whorish looking outfits- who has time for skin care lectures.
I think this is more a lead by example area of parenting. Like Molly knows NEVER to tell Doug how much that really important, special lotion is that I buy at Neiman Marcus. In all honesty, I don’t think it does shit for your skin, but it smells really good and at night when I close my eyes and rube it on, in my mind I look like Cindy Crawford.
My kids have also witnessed the unsavory fact that I now sleep in a bra. For you men and my small breasted female friends- the under-boob sweat that happens due to hormones post 35, hair blow-drying or morning coffee drinking can lead to rivers of under boob sweat….and it is annoying AF!
So here is going to be my advice/heads up to my daughter on aging. I just don’t think I want to burst her bubble for a few more years- but eventually I will tell her the following:
- Even if you don’t think you have nice skin now, believe me and your older self, you do and you will miss it.
- Wear Sunscreen- although it is totally true that tan fat looks better than pale fat.
- Hair. It is a bitch, all of it. You will spend so much money and time coloring, plucking, waxing. And you will get grey hairs…EVERYWHERE. I am serious.
- Embrace water and sleep early in life. I find hydrating and napping is not something easy to teach an old dog.
- Figure out what looks good on you sooner than later. You know that poem “When I am old I will wear purple”, well not if you look like shit in purple. The saddest thing is older people wearing clothes that are either not age appropriate, do not flatter their figure or look like they are trying to hard. Figure out your personal style early. I recall seeing Goldie Hawn in people magazine when I was like 15 and I just went with it. Jeans, white t-shirt and cowboy boots. You can’t go wrong!
- You will contemplate some sort of “procedure” to look younger. Get off your high horse. Whether it is just a peel to get rid of your adult acne (which yep, sorry, that is not just a teenage thing we just don’t tell you that when you are a teenager, as that would be more depressing than being a teenager), Botox or actual plastic surgery- not saying you will do it, but you will definitely think about it.
My advice will differ a bit for Henry, but seeing as his still can’t wipe his own ass, I feel like jumping right into aging advice may be a bit premature.