One of my favorite games I play when I go out on the town with my girlfriends (ok, going “out on the town” usually happens once a year and involves going to one “bar,” getting tired, and heading home) is seeing whether we can “pass.” What this entails is faking that we are super young and hip and seeing if we can still “pass” for twentysomethings. My cover usually gets blown when I’m observed yanking diaper rash cream out of my purse to get to my lipstick, giggling when the bouncer asks for my ID, or grimacing when I see a legitimate twentysomething dressed in one of those “in” bandage-style dresses and her breast is coming out of the top. (Or substituting the word “breast” for boob, for another matter.)
Does her mother know she looks like that?
I remember high school like it was yesterday. I also vividly remember graduating from college, moving into my first apartment, and starting law school. All of those things happened between the ages of 18 and 23 and they don’t seem like long ago.
I get it. I’m 33 and realize there are people older than me who are reading this post and rolling their eyes.
Stay with me here.
Aren’t we all going through stages of our lives where our bodies want to slap us and say “Snap out of it, you’re no spring chicken anymore”?
Here, in no particular order, are the 9 worst things about getting older:
Being Called Ma’am. There are two types of people guaranteed to call me Ma’am. The first is the fourteen-year-old supermarket bag boy who mutters this word (two syllables if you live in the South) while placing groceries in my trunk. The second is usually a receptionist at the clerk of court’s office.
And it usually involves her copping a ‘tude about not wanting to give me records in a reasonable timeframe. She also pronounces Ma’am with two syllables and it comes with a side of sourpuss and sass.
I hate it.
I’d much rather be called Miss than Ma’am.
Call me Ma’am when I’m in a nursing home, have false teeth, and need to use Depends. Not when I’m in my thirties.
Matured Taste in Reading Material. Growing up, my parents subscribed to Reader’s Digest and I thought they were so lame.
“How come they don’t exclusively read Entertainment Weekly and The National Enquirer?” I thought.
Because they don’t want their brains to shrivel up like raisins.
Don’t get me wrong, I still read US Weekly and was shocked, appalled, and disgusted when I opened my mailbox on Monday and saw the headline: Khloe Kardashian is giving Lamar Odom a SECOND CHANCE.
What an idiot?!?!
I just don’t want to read trashy magazines all the time.
Crow’s Feet and Other Fine Lines. I’m bearing the consequences of my undergraduate days when I would tan on the sorority sun deck using either 1. pure baby oil, or, when I was feeling particularly health conscious, 2. tanning lotion with an SPF of 4.
Whoop dee do.
Now, I bathe in wrinkle creams. I practice smiling and squinting in front of mirrors to determine which pose shows the least amount of wrinkles.
In the early 2000s, it was no secret that excessive sunbathing carried a risk of skin cancer or, at the very least, premature aging. I didn’t care because the time when sunbathing actually impacted me seemed so far away.
And here we are.
Dancing Like a Mom. Oh Wait… I am the world’s worst dancer. I have no rhythm and it’s pathetic. Elaine Benes has nothing on me.
I mean nothing.
In high school, I quit the freshman cheerleading squad (which was completely unselective, as every person who attended “try-outs” made the team) because I was sick of seeing the audience’s mortified reaction every time I took the field and attempted to cartwheel.
A for effort?
My dance moves have gotten even worse as I’ve gotten older because my body has a hard time keeping up with the beat of the music.
As if that really makes a difference.
Not Knowing the Words to Songs Because My Hearing Has Failed. I’m a former marathon runner (as in, my last marathon was ten years ago and I don’t think my bunions could currently sustain another 26.2 mile haul). To keep my mind busy during the tedious training runs, I would use headphones and jam out on my iPod.
You know, those huge iPods that are today’s musical equivalent of the Zack Morris cell phone? Just strapping it to my arm was a workout because it weighed around 3 pounds. I had to rotate arms in order to avoid looking like Popeye on my dominant arm.
I would listen to the music on the loudest setting possible. I think dead people could hear it because it was so loud.
Ten years later, I can’t hear a dang thing. Which also means that when I like a song, I usually misunderstand the lyrics.
For instance, I spent six months thinking Taylor Swift was singing about “Starbucks Lovers” in her song Blank Space.
You know, the ones who tell her she’s insane?
This was until my girlfriend broke it to me that ole’ Tay Tay was really singing about her long list of ex lovers.
Having to Watch what I Eat. Getting older and having kids has negatively impacted my metabolism.
It moves at a snail’s pace.
Gone are the days of eating donuts, french fries, pizza, ice cream, and sugary cocktails without repercussions. Now I have to choke down salmon and gag on spinach. Muffins now equate to a muffin top.
While one small bag of Cheez-Its formerly carried no ramifications, it now means a hundred sit ups and three miles on the treadmill.
Shut up, Jen, you’re thin.
On any given day, I’m wearing Spanx that are so tight, I’m afraid my eyeballs will pop out.
Bills, bills, bills. Getting older means making adult decisions, like putting food on the table and paying the mortgage or prancing up to Hermes and buying the Kelly bag I’ve always wanted.
Choice of Weekend Activities. The weekends of my twenties were planned months in advance.
Flying to [a faraway city] with girlfriends. Trying a new restaurant with my husband. Adult birthday party ragers. Dancing the night away and going home at 3 a.m.
Now, I’d rather drink wine and watch Netflix in bed.
You can guarantee the only time I’m up at 3 a.m. is when my toddler is screaming because her pacifier fell out of her mouth or if I’m lying awake with insomnia.
Oh, insomnia… another “treat” about getting older!
Lengthened Drinking Recovery Time. [Mom, Dad, and Grandma: if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. I only know it’s true from that one time I drank that one glass of wine.]
In my twenties, I went out 6 nights a week (keeping the Sabbath Holy, of course!). After a late night, I could wake up at 8 am, go to class, run a 5k, volunteer with Ritalin-infused kindergarteners, pump out a ten thousand word essay, and do it all over again.
Nowadays, I think if I had three glasses of wine, someone would need to call 911.
Something else I’ve learned (the hard way): Nothing, and I mean nothing, is ever worth having to take care of kids after a night of consuming too many libations.
I don’t care what you did the night before. You could have partied at Studio 54 with Johnny Depp, taken a jet to Mars, and performed the electric slide with The President and it still wouldn’t be worth it.
Y’all know what I’m talking about.