Now that I’m 40, I’ve decided there is something important I should do as I enter what is likely the second half of my life. In a word, I think it might be helpful if I warn people in advance about some things other people over 40 seem inclined to do, things I would not be at all surprised to see myself doing. Heck, I already started doing some of them before I turned 40.
Knowing in advance may or may not make any of them more pleasant or tolerable for others, but at the very least I can issue an apology in advance, and you can prepare yourself in any way you feel you’d like to for the likely inevitable. So, with no further adieu, I present…
10 Things That May Make You Wish I Hadn’t Lived Past 40
1) I will discuss the failings and delicacy of my digestive system in increasingly greater detail. People around me, including people who may not even know me, will be told more and more about what I can and cannot eat, explicitly how eating this thing or that one impacts my digestive system and my whole body, and may even be informed of the exact moment when something has gone terribly amiss with little concern for their own desire to finish a meal while not thinking their food to have some sort of diabolical agenda.
2) I will take up some sort of hobby or collection which I decide has more value and import than anything else I have done with my life or you have done or are doing with yours. I will refuse to call it a hobby, and instead will present it as my lifestyle, my calling, or that one thing which has the capacity to create world peace when all else has failed, and will be astounded that, for example, no one else has figured out that the secret to universal happiness lives in Precious Moments figurines or in weekly fern foraging.
3) In the case I ever knew your last name, I’ll forget it or mix it up with someone else’s. I may also do this with your first name. And my own.
4) If not a track suit by design, I will slowly (and have already begun this process) come up with my own version of the track suit because a) nothing else will be deemed comfortable enough, b) I simply will not want to have to devote more than two seconds of thought to dressing myself and c) I will feel the track suit is inevitably less painful to the eyes of others than what I will come up with otherwise. However, I cannot promise not to pair said-tracksuit with some very bizarre hats. Because if you can’t be female getting older and not at least have hats, life just isn’t worth living. And yes, a “When I’m an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple” poster will be displayed somewhere of prominence in my home, and you can’t fucking stop me, you sexist, ageist fascist.
5) I will try and convince you to do things or eat things I am certain are our shared secret to longevity, even if the actual process of eating or doing those things makes either of us wish life would end sooner, rather than later.
6) If you thought I talked too much already, I must warn you, it’s only going to get worse. And whether or not my hearing actually goes, I’m going to pretend that it has. I’m sorry, what? I couldn’t hear you (say that thing I have absolutely no interest in listening to). My hearing isn’t what it used to be, you know.
7) I will begin sending everyone cutesy-pie mail forwards I decide in my delusion contain the secrets of the universe, completely forgetting how much it has annoyed the living hell out of me. I will also ignore any requests you make of me to stop sending them to you.
8) Appearing to revert back to the mindset of my childhood and adolescence, I will relegate all pop culture from my youth and adolescence to the level of religious iconography. If yours is different, it will never be able to be as good or as valuable as mine. Because you just don’t get it, you know.
9) I will, at least once, be one of those feminists who says something so completely out of touch, out of line or otherwise patently offensive and ignorant that you will feel embarrassed both for me, and for yourself for ever having thought I had anything of value to say or do. When I do this, I will also be blissfully unaware that with one mere mouthful, I may have potentially undone or jeopardized everything constructive I have said or done in the past.
10) Thought you knew too much about my digestive system? Just wait until I tell you all about my hormones.