The Geriatric Slide

So, I’m thirty-four, hovering dangerously closely to thirty-five. And I’ve discussed my mortality before. But today, I’d like to take a step back. Today, I’d like to talk about another issues, a few ideas that often find themselves fleeting through my mind.

I have to wonder at what point I will be considered old, because, in my mind, I’m probably nearing twenty-eight (or eighty). At which point (beyond the realization you can’t stay up past ten, have more than two drinks, or go to the late movie), should one actually consider herself old? I know, I know. It’s a state of mind. You’re only as young as you feel. Euphemism. Euphemism. Tagline. Trademarked phrase used to entice you to buy eye cream. I get it.

English: Chico's store, Green Oak Village Plac...

Am I old? Am I getting there? Am I JC Penney old or Chico’s old? And what exactly is Chico’s old?

I know enough not to shop in the Juniors’ department. I know enough not to buy anything with PINK stamped across the ass. I know enough not to buy lip gloss with sparkles in it. I also know not to tie a sweater around my neck or wear a visor in a convertible.

But I feel like I’ve entered an abyss of sorts, that point where you know you can’t hang with the party animals, but you also know you’ve got a little more fight in you than bridge club requires.

And what’s that hill again? The one I’ll soon be over? Forty? Is it fifty? And what happens then? Will I be issued a knot in my back, permanently pleated pink polyester pants, and a pair of bifocals? I’m worried about this.

When I was in Florida in October, I had a sobering moment. I got nauseous on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. I got nauseous on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. The wind also whipped a little too swiftly through my hair on Big Thunder Mountain. And, truth be told, I got a little nauseous on that, too. I kept it to myself, but that’s got to be a turning point, no?

From screaming obscenities atop the twistiest, turniest, upside-downiest rollercoasters in the country, and, trying, quite literally, to drunkenly wade through a fountain at Downtown Disney (Sorry, Disney. I never did get the chance to apologize), getting nauseous in a bumper car attached to a conveyor belt, is humbling, to say the very least.

Should I start practicing my bunion rants now? Get fitted for orthotics? Fail my driver’s license test? I don’t want to be a salmon fighting upstream. I don’t want to resist maturity, but I don’t want it to overtake me, either.

If you’re as young as you feel, and you don’t necessarily feel the call of the wild anymore (and would probably puke immediately if you drank anything with Wild in its name), are you old? What are you? What are you?

And what will this new demographic unearth? I mean, besides hormone replacement therapy and line filler? I’m a little bit frightened. Will Paris Hilton be hosting infomercials? Will I be sipping Jonah Hill vodka, mindlessly mashing buttons on an Armageddon slot machine? Who really knows?

Perhaps I am feeling a little bit old, but I can tell you right now, I refuse to prepare for the day I find myself lounging around in a Snuggie, eating poop yogurt, watching a Party of Five marathon on The Hub.

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Comments

  1. I remember reading somewhere that as you near coothood (you are borderlining it), that something in your inner ear makes what used to be thrilling during Clinton’s first term now more like morning sickness in your third term. I just left my 30s and decided to officially toss all Marie Claires, Glamours, and Cosmos and just get on board with More. So I bought a half dozen More and mercy, I feel younger now. You are right; there are Chico’s ads in there, and Humira arthritis ones. And if you’re lucky, the benevolent sisters of Coldwater Creek. It is also ironic that as I read your blog, sitting Indian style, I sneezed and evidently dislocated my hip. I feel you, though. You need to come up with a term like “tween” that applies to those who never get carded anymore and are still too young to be grandmas.

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  3. I’m with you on the downhill slide to forty…I’m not sure where I fit either, I just know that I’m starting to get too old for shorty-shorts above the knee….and I wonder how people that are in their early 20s see me, do I now look like people in their late-30s did to me when I was early-20s….cause I sure as hell don’t FEEL like one of those late-30s….

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  4. I’m hovering on 35 also… and hating every second of it! lol

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  5. Oh, I’m almost 39. I still think I’m 29. I act like I’m 22, except for the drinking. Age really does get you there. I don’t shop at Chico’s yet and that’s a darn good question. Who does shop there? Embrace your 30s, girl. Love them.

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  6. I cannot help you. I cannot say something uplifting and optimistic since I just turned 37 last year and I had to keep counting to make sure that was right. What I do think of now is in When Harry Met Sally and she says to Harry ‘…And I’m going to be 40!!..’ whilst sobbing and he says ‘Yeah.. in like 8 years!’ and I think to myself god that’s depressing. And then it gets worse because I realize how old that movie is too. Blarg.

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  7. I’m 36, but still think I’m 24 on the inside. Mostly, I can fool myself. If I just avoid mirrors — or look at them in dimly lit rooms — I can fool myself. Until I go out and see all these KIDS dressed in strings of fabric that barely cover their naughty bits, singing songs about… well, entirely inappropriate things for them to be singing about, and the songs are on the radio like it’s perfectly normal for well-respected radio broadcasters to have music about getting laid and drinking until you vomit, and the KIDS are the ones selling me stuff in the shops, and suggesting that maybe I’d like to buy a phone with larger buttons so it’s easier to see the numbers, and would I like a free bottle of multi-vitamins with that? And then I realise I’d feel much better if I just went home and had a nap.

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  8. I was watching the today show the other day and they were saying that 40 is the new 30 how people have changed and 40 year olds are having babies and starting families, and building buisnesses, and that it is supposed to be the best age, I know sometimes I feel like I’m 35, and I barely turned 21, the exhaustion takes over you and ages you, so does not exercising lol, any ways point is that 40 is the new era so you are just beggining not getting over the hill

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  9. I love my 40′s so much more than my 30′s! Perhaps because it really marked the line in the sand where I stepped over to the “I don’t care what anyone thinks” side (well, of course I still do on many things, but it’s just so much easier to let the little things go and focus on the things that really matter)! You have the best years ahead of you ~ Kat

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  10. I One Thousand Percent agree with your sentiments here. I am 35. I hate that, but it is just a number. I don’t feel different now than I did at 25.

    Until I meet a 25 year-old. Then, I realize that it was actually 25 that sucked. I was young and stupid. When I am 45, I will realize that at 35, I was… young and stupid.

    I, too, have started to tolerate amusement park rides less lately and that is the absolute worst part about this aging process so far. Sure, my back aches and I fall asleep at 9, and I refer to 28-year olds as “kids,” and I am tipsy and sleepy after two glasses of wine. But, if I have to give up Cedar Point, I will fucking kill somebody. I have been waiting to get on some questionable roller coasters with my kids. If I have to have my inner ears surgically removed, I will get on those coasters and love it, so help me God.

    As long as I am not buying eyeglasses from the rack at the pharmacy or wearing my “good” bedazzled windbreaker outfit to the grocery store, I think I am doing fairly well. Dramamine will help with the rest.

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  11. I just turned 35 for the second time last month, and plan not to age until the big 4-0. Otherwise, I’d have had my children in my teens if I delay/deny aging longer. If you think of a catchphrase for this age, I’d love to hear it. I’m sad that I no longer live in OH where my family is, but at least I don’t have to vonluntarily give up Cedar Point like Off Duty Mom, that sucks.

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  12. I feel what you’re saying. I am 33, very close to 34. Last week in a class I teach to preteen girls at my church I mentioned college, and one of the girls said, “You went to college? I didn’t know they had college then.” Needless to say, I had to have a quick, silent prayer.

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  13. Oh man. I always forget how old I am. I would like to think it’s because I don’t care about the number but it’s most likely because I am getting senile.

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