PSA: You are getting old
Photo source: Thomas Leuthard
Disclaimer: The pictures in this post are unrelated, taken with my phone and generally of poor quality. What can I say, you get what you pay for and this blog is free.
Have you all heard that relatively new song that goes something like this…
You have a tattoo on your shoulder
You stole that mattress from your roommate in Boulder
We ain’t never getting older.
Of course you have heard it! It is, literally, being played everywhere you go (If you are all, “No, really. I have no clue what you are talking about” Listen here.).
Not gonna lie…it is not my favorite song. It is poppy, lacks lyrical depth and it is overplayed. But, friends…this is not why it irks me. Nope. Poppy, clichéd, and overplayed music, I am embarrassed to admit, does not bother me really at all. Heeeelllllooooo!! Justin Beiber? Taylor Swift? Miley Cyrus? I love them all. I rest my case.
So, no. That’s not it.
What irks me is when they sing, “We ain’t never getting older”. I literally cringe when I hear that part. I want to stop the song, grab those two young singers by the shoulder, sit them down, look them dead in the eye and, compassionately but sternly, scream in their face, “YES. YOU. ARE!”
You ARE getting older. So am I. Every second, in fact. And if you are lucky enough, you will get really old. Really, really old. Because, here is a fun little fact, everyone ages. We age until we die. Except Cindy Crawford. That bitch gorgeous woman is a freaky wizard or something.
So is it the factual inaccuracies of the song that upset me so? No, I don’t think so. It is more the naivety of it all; the blatant and casual denial of reality. You either have to be pretty ignorant or hyper-arrogant to think that you are not going to get older. To think that you, unlike every other human that has walked this earth since the dawn of time, will not get older is just plain d.u.m.b. It is the mental equivalent of believing that climate change is some made-up phenomenon created by scientists who just want to spoil all the fun of using fossil fuels in an irresponsible but highly profitable way. Dumb…and problematic.
But the real reason this song bothers me is because I used to be the person who thought this very thing. Somewhere in my little developing brain, the idea was planted that I was never going get old. I mean, I thought I would acquire years, but I could never really picture myself aging. I don’t think I ever really believed it would happen. I couldn’t picture myself wearing mom jeans, packing on a few extra pounds or having knee problems. I didn’t ever consider what my face would look like with wrinkles or how expensive it would be to keep the gray hair at bay. I definitely never thought about things like having a long-term career path or pension plans. Why would I? It wasn’t going to happen to me. Getting older was for…well, older people. I would be young forever. Right?
Spoiler Alert: I got old(er). You will too!
Over the next few months, I will be rounding the corner to the big 4-0. And before you go thinking that I am upset about it, please know this: I AM SO HAPPY TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GROW OLDER! I really am. How lucky am I? I know too many people who have not had such a privilege. I feel profoundly fortunate.
But that being said, getting older is no joke. It messes with you a bit. For example, I have a wonky knee that acts up when I “jog” (which is more like a fast walk..but whatevs). Oh…and in order to read the post I am writing right now, I have to enlarge the print to at least 150%. Also, my belly is soft and the prospect of doing 4 burpees in a row is looking grim. And most importantly, I’m starting to get excited about shopping at J. Jill. I mean…this is where I am at people. It has happened. I’m old. Ish.
Again, for the most part, I am weirdly fine with all this aging. With age, comes perspective. And less drama. And more stability. And more money to spend frivolously at Target. It really is not so bad. But, looking back, I do think it would have benefitted me to have…I dunno…imagined and maybe planned for the very well established fact that I would one day be older. Like…maybe I would have started a more regimented skin-care routine or worn my retainer regularly or possibly would have taken more than 5 minutes to think about my career options. You know, that kind of thing.
So, it is in this spirit that I am writing this blog post. I feel like I owe it to the youngsters out there to prepare them for what is coming. It is my civic duty. They, of course, won’t listen because they will think that they are not going to age, but…fuck it…I am gonna do it anyway.
So youngsters…pay attention! This IS happening and here is just some of what you can expect.
Say things like: “The music these days is terrible”, “When I was your age….”, and “No, I can’t go to your party because I need to stay home and read a book.”
Put ice in your wine and inserts in your shoes.
Seriously consider getting Botox and ponder the possibilities of a tummy tuck.
Look in the mirror and think to yourself, “Man, I look like I should know a hell of a lot more than I actually know”.
Still make a lot of mistakes but be better about asking for forgiveness.
Ache for the many memorable moments of your youth and simultaneously be so thankful you never have to relive them.
Become your mother. And you will be pretty happy about it.
Have fascinating conversations about bowel movements, gluten, and paint sheens.
Save all of your hard-earned money for a beautiful faucet.
Not know how to do very basic adult things, but be expected to do them anyways (i.e. taxes, get a loan, cook a roast, throw a child’s birthday party).
Seriously question the fashion sense of those 20 years old and younger.
Walk into Forever21 and immediately walk right back out. Mostly because the music is too loud.
Attempt to do a push-up and, much to your horror, realize that you look precisely like a middle-aged woman doing a push-up.
Look back at pictures of yourself when you were 25 and think, “Dang…I was so skinny. Why did I think I was fat?”.
Wish you took more: risks, photographs and time to write everything down.
Wish you spent less: time with douche-bags, money on clothes and energy caring about what other people think.
Reference a very (once) popular song in a room full of teenagers and be met by complete and total blank stares.
Think that those teenagers are idiots for not knowing that song. You will also think those teenagers are totally spoiled and generationally doomed.
Wonder what on earth you used to do with all your free time.
Not understand the newest technology and, more importantly, you won’t want it in your life.
Not have it all “figured out” by the age of 40…or maybe ever.
Give young people advice that you know, full well, they will not take. You will do it anyways.
So there you have it. Now you know. By the grace of God, you ARE going to get older. And, Halle-freaking-lujah for that! Wine is seriously so much better with ice.