Do You Act Your Age?

hourglassI had a birthday the other day.  (Years ago, I lied to Mark Zuckerberg, so nobody’s really sure when it was.)  Anyway, I kinda got to thinkin’ about getting older (notice, I didn’t say “old”) and discovered nobody really knows anything about it.  Basically, we travel along the road of life and all the signposts are either torn down or written in Babylonian.  So, at the end of the day, none of us really knows where we’re going, ’cause it’s all unfamiliar territory.  So, I decided to draw a quick-and-dirty map.

Shakespeare got it wrong: there are really only five stages of life.  They are Kid, Teenager, Young Adult, Adult, and Adult Plus.  So, in each of the categories, select the attitude that most closely resembles yours, and you’ll get a pretty good idea of where you are on this journey we call life.

AGE

Kid – I’m this many!
Teenager – Boy, when I get older …
Young Adult – Age is just a number.  I know a lot of totally old people who like to PARTY.
Adult – We never had/did stupid crap like that when I was young.
Adult Plus – How the hell did this happen?

WEEKEND LEISURE

K – I played some games, had my special lunch and a nap, watched TV, had a story and went night-night.
T – Nothing!  Just hanging out with my friends.  God! Why do you always have to give me the 3rd degree?  This place is like a prison.
YA – PARTY !!!!!!
A – I worked my ass off for this Christmas/ birthday/ vacation/ dinner party/  (fill in the blank) and now we’re going to damn well enjoy it!
A+ – I played some computer games, made a sandwich, took a nap, binge-watched The Killing and fell asleep reading my book.

FOOD

K – Grandma, I like pizza, too.
T – Chicken and stuffed peppers, again?  How come we never get pizza?
YA – Let’s go get a pizza before the PARTY.
A – I’m way too tired to cook.  I’ll just pick up a pizza on the way home.
A+ – Let’s get a pizza and see what’s on Netflix.

FRIENDS

K – Tommy and Shafir and Gemma and Mrs. Windouffer and Barnsy and Bunny and Megan and ….
T – Everybody hates me.
YA – My BFF is Stacey. We PARTY all the time, but I’m — like — totally friends with everybody — except Emma; she’s such a bitch.
A – If you don’t count family, we don’t have that many close friends.  Maybe Jake and Trina or Paul and Sasha from work. But have you ever noticed when you know a couple, there’s always one that you like way more than the other one?
A+ – Yeah, we have friends, but it’s so much nicer just to come home and relax.  Besides, once Edna takes her bra off, you need a team of horses to get her out of the house.

FAMILY

K – There’s Mommy and Daddy and Daddy’s new friend Ryan and my stupid sister and Barnsy the dog and me
T – This family sucks.
YA – I should call the parents more often, but mom’s always going on about grandchildren like I’m some kind of a brood mare.  I’ll call next Friday before the PARTY.
A – I spend so much time taking the kids to school and ballet and soccer and band practice.  And then there’s grandma’s grocery shopping and dad to his doctor’s appointments and every other “come-get-me” emergency.  I should just get my chauffeurs’ license and go into business for myself!
A+ – I love her dearly, but it was only supposed to be temporary after she broke up with Rashir.  If Audrey doesn’t get her head on straight pretty soon and move out of the basement, I’m probably going to kill her.

50 is a Biggie!

cindyCindy Crawford is 50.  I remember when Cindy was — OMG! — she still is.  To say the gods have been good to Cindy Crawford is like sayin’ John Dillinger robbed banks.  Yeah, she’s had some work done — big deal!  In an age when image is everything, this woman is the poster child for Wow!  And, to seal the deal, she’s worth north of 100 million dollars.  Anyway, Cindy Crawford is 50, and she’s decided to retire — or at least not model for money anymore.

Despite all the age-is-only-a-number bullshit that old people try to pull to feel good about themselves, 50 is still The Biggie.  It marks a distinct change in life and attitude.  I would not presume to give aging advice to Cindy Crawford, but for mere mortals, here are a few things you can expect when you hit the big Five-O.  (For those of us who are looking at 50 in the rear-view mirror, think of this as a stroll down memory lane.)

1 — You rediscover all the stuff you thought you couldn’t live without in your 20s and 30s and get rid of it.  Things like the soup tureen, that brass thing from Mexico, 24/7 house cleaning, punitive underwear, the whiny kid who thinks parent is spelt s-l-a-v-e and sometimes even that old thing on the sofa that’s been making your life miserable for years.

2 — Your clothes start to shrink.

3 — You start to make noises like your parents.  These aren’t words or opinions — just noises — like when you get up in the morning or bend down.

4 — Your body hair begins to resemble the fur on a badger.  The hair in your nose, ears, eyebrows and other places starts to regenerate overnight and have a wiry will of its own, sproinging off in all directions.

5 — The people on TV all start to look the same.

6 — Sex is way simpler.  First of all, you don’t have to wear uncomfortable clothes to get laid — sweats will do.  There are no Consent Forms (in triplicate) no medical history, no Vaccination Certificates, no birth control paraphernalia.  It’s all very straightforward.
“I’m horny.”
“Me too.”
“Ya wanna?”
“Yeah!”
“Meet ya behind the salad bar.”

7 — The six second delay between your mind and your mouth disappears.

8 — Everything under three feet tall appears to be unbelievably cute — kittens, pandas, Disney Princesses, ugly babies, — even those stupid little dogs with the kicked-in faces.

9 — Your body begins to betray you at the most inappropriate times, threatening to exude gases and fluids when it’s not supposed to or developing that unholy itch in a personal area just when you’re about to meet the new boss — or Kevin, from Accounting, behind the salad bar.

And finally:

10 — Even though you’ve been telling yourself this since you were 21, at 50, you finally realize that, in fact, you DON’T actually give a shit what people think.

Happy Birthday, Cindy!  Come on over; we’re having cake — and Pepsi!

Fashion: Listening to Your Inner Child

slope3There’s a slippery slope that happens in this life, and it doesn’t end unless you find yourself chasing the garbage man down the alley in nothing but your Buzz Lightyear boxers and a beltless bathrobe.  You might do this ‘cause it’s important; that trash is going to smell like dead hobbits the day after tomorrow.  And you may even rationalize it by saying, “That trash is going to smell like dead hobbits the day after tomorrow.”  But, you still know you’ve just stepped through the looking glass.  What was once an intimate detail, known only to your mother and a few significant others, is now available to the general viewing public.  More importantly, you hope none of your neighbours caught your Batman imitation on their cell phones.

We don’t all end up on Pinterest as “Meanwhile at WalMart” memes — but we could.  There’s a charming little voice in everybody’s inner adult that whispers “What the hell?  It’s only the Drive-thru.  This shirt’s good enough.”  So we grab the keys instead of listening to our inner child, who would scold us into, at the very least, changing our underwear.  (I was nearly 10 before I realized clean underwear didn’t actually prevent traffic accidents.)  It’s that same voice that urges us to wear pink with plaid and refuses to part with the UCLA T-shirt that was printed when Zorro was a boy.  We all have it.  Our parents warned us about it, but all of us still listen.  Bad mistake!

Back in the day, mostly mom (and sometimes dad) taught us that going out in public was a sacred trust.  People were looking at us, and we needed to show some respect.  Neat was important, but clean was essential.  As we got older, that sage bit of advice translated into sex, straight up and down.  You need to look your best because nobody is going to sleep with a slob.  Unfortunately, adulthood and cohabitation dulls the echoes of our parents, and more and more we end up relying on our own resources.

At first, it’s okay.  We dress for work, go out with our friends, flirt with the cashiers at the grocery store and leave our private face at home where it belongs.  However, eventually, those sweatpants are just too damn comfy not to get trotted out to mow the lawn.  But that’s okay too: we’re in our own yard, they’re clean, and they still kinda fit in the crotch.  Besides, they cover up that extra 10 lbs that’s been hanging around all summer.  Oops!  This is where it gets problematical.

As we get older, we tend to spread in all directions.  Clothes just aren’t as friendly as they were back when we were slopetwenty.  And this is when our inner adult comes calling.  “Hey, buddy!  You’re a grown man.  You pay taxes.  You have a mortgage and a Mercedes.  You haven’t eaten liver or lima beans in 12 years!  If you want to wear socks with sandals, screw the hippie who says you can’t!”  And we listen.  But the socks with sandals (or your personal equivalent) are just the thin edge of the wedge.  Pretty soon, it’s only work, weddings and funerals that get a tie.  Family functions are all informal, and those sweatpants that kinda fit – question mark — have migrated from the back yard to the shopping mall.  It’s unavoidable.

The thing to remember, if you don’t want to end up dressing like Robin Williams in The Fisher King, is that your inner adult is a spoiled brat.  He thinks that whatever he says goes, and he pouts if he doesn’t get his own way.  You’re far better off to listen to your common-sense child, who’s very aware of what not to wear.  The parents explained it to him.

My point is that, as we get older, we all dress for comfort, not for speed, but you don’t get any points for running amok.  Therefore, it’s best to cool your jets or you’ll end up as the Flying Dutchman of the Internet, repinned and reposted as The Old Man in the Leopard-skin Leotard.