I’m getting old and this is how I know it…
1. When I was younger, I remember thinking it was very progressive when the FCC began to allow cursing on TV. I remember thinking, “What’s the big deal if someone uses a curse word on national television? It’s not like most people haven’t heard them before.” And then commercials began to evolve and I thought the adult humor and content infused into the marketing of different products was more humorous than dirty. I remember one event specifically at my grandmother’s house when she tried to shield my great-grandmother from seeing a racy scene on TV, and my great-grandmother responded by saying, “It’s not like I’ve never seen boobs before, Francis.” Fast forward twenty years, and now I’m a parent. Thanks to all the sex and adult references on every station and every network, I’ve mastered the sport of living room gymnastics. All parents know what this is. It’s the sport that’s all the rage in any family living room with small children. It’s the act of diving, jumping, tumbling, rolling, running, or hurdling furniture, small people or pets in order to get to the remote on time to either hit the mute button or change the channel when you realize that what’s happening on the television is not appropriate for your child to hear, see or imitate. (And I’d like to thank every network that showed the new SI Swimsuit cover and all the 50 Shades of Grey trailers for the extra gymnastics practice this week. I really enjoyed trying to field my ten year old daughter’s questions about why that girl was being blindfolded, and why that other girl was practically bearing her private girly parts on the cover of a magazine. Thanks for that). I’ve become that crotchety old person who complains that commercials are filled with unnecessary sexual references and that there isn’t enough quality family television suitable for my kids to watch during prime time, and that just blows.
2. When I see a pack of teenagers walking down my street and they stop to loiter in front of my house, I want to tell them to get off my lawn. I have a nice lawn with nice bushes and flowers, and I don’t want them to litter in my yard or fuck up my grass. Get off my lawn you lazy hooligans! (I can’t believe I care about this).
3. It’s difficult for me to stay up past 10pm, even on a weekend. I force myself to stay up on weekends because it’s ridiculous and I refuse to go to bed at nine o’clock on a Saturday. If my husband and I are out with friends or having a few drinks, I seem to be more energized and can rally to the occasion, but as soon as the action’s over my body goes into complete shut down mode. I need my sleep like my grandmother needs to watch the Wheel of Fortune every night, or as she likes to call it, “The Wheel.”
4. If I have more than three alcoholic drinks in one evening it takes me a week to recover. Seriously. A week. Who’s got time for that shit? I can’t feel like death for a week. So when I do drink wine or other alcoholic beverages, I try and keep it under three drinks and I have to drink a liter of water in between. Otherwise my skin is dehydrated and wrinkly and I get headaches that feel like they last a thousand years. I long for the days in college when I had the energy and stamina to go out five nights a week, stayed out until 2am and was still able to make it to an 8am class. I don’t necessarily want to engage in those activities, I just wish I still had that kind of energy.
5. I now choose function over fashion, every day. Is it comfortable? Stretchy? Will those shoes make my feet hurt if I walk more than ten feet in them? I live in yoga pants and t-shirts. I’m with kids all day and no one gives a shit what I look like. And the last time I made an effort to wear super cute high-heeled boots to a party, I ended up losing a toenail and needing first aid by the end of the night. My poor husband had to practically carry me to the car, and it took me six months to regrow that toenail. When I was 30, I would have toughed it out and claimed, “beauty is pain!” But now, I’m too old for that shit. Give me blue jeans and tennis shoes, any day. (I do get dressed up and fancy for dates with my man, but that’s different than my 6am to 10pm work-as-a-stay-at-home-mom dress code, and I always wear comfortable shoes).
6. The music I love and came of age on is now only played on the oldies stations. I remember being a kid and being mortified when my parents listened to ‘their music.’ I can recall my dad rocking out to the 50’s and 60’s and thinking he was the oldest man in the world. My mom listened to Neil Diamond, Helen Reddy, James Taylor and Barry Manilow. Now, I love all four of these artists, and I am a Fanilow. The first concert I ever went to was Barry Manilow and I was eight years old. I will never forget those palm trees coming out of the stage when he sang Copacabana. I loved him, and still do. However, when I was a teenager, I remember thinking my parents were so uncool because they didn’t understand MY music. They couldn’t understand how important Aerosmith was to me, or Foreigner. Journey, AC/DC, Steve Miller Band, ZZ Top, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the soundtracks to both Grease 1 and 2, and eventually Madonna and Guns N Roses. And then I went through my New Kids On The Block stage (don’t judge me), and eventually it was all about Grunge. Nirvana, Bush, Alanis Morissette, the Stone Temple Pilots and Smashing Pumpkins. My mother would shake her head at me and tell me to turn that crap down. And now, I find myself listening to the popular music of today and thinking, “How does anyone listen to this shit?!”
7. According to my husband, my hearing is going. When I ask Dan a question, if he answers by saying, “No” all I hear is, “Yeah.” I rarely ask him to repeat himself.
8. New appliances excite me. You know you’re old when you get excited over buying a new dishwasher, power washer, or coffee maker. I got a new Dyson vacuum cleaner for Christmas and I felt like I won the lottery.
9. I get turned on watching my husband do chores. Man flesh does nothing for me. Pictures of hot guys bearing their chests and showcasing a six-pack leaves me feeling…meh. But watching my husband do dishes, laundry, rescue wayward animals, and play at the park with our kids is the equivalent of old people porn. Confident, successful, and happily domesticated men are sexy. Period.
10. When my daughter asks me, “Mom, how old were you when you got your first cell phone?” LOL! She’s mad at me because I won’t let her have a cell phone until she’s 13. She has classmates who have them now and she feels left out. In my opinion, fifth graders don’t need cell phones. So when I told her I was 25 when I had my first cell phone, it was a regular phone, there was no app for that, it was the size of a regular cordless house phone, and I kept it in my glove box and used it only for emergencies because it cost like, fifty dollars per minute, she looked at me like I smoked crack. And she learned about crack in school, so it was a nasty look. Also, I seem to repel technology, and watching my kids run circles around me with new devices, games and programs makes me feel like my grandmother must have felt when I showed her how to use a cassette tape deck on my new boom box when I was in high school.
So, now that we’ve established the undeniable fact that I am turning into a crabby, appliance loving, no sexy shoe wearing, chase the hooligans off my lawn kind of spinster, what makes you feel old?