While we all may feel like we’re mentally 22, the truth is that I and many of my peers are pushing 40. With this age comes some great realizations. You suddenly become unashamed of farting in public or asking to speak to the manager. You get angry when your waiter doesn’t bring the bread to the table right away because naturally, bread is necessary to help make your entrée decision. You do things like purchase medical insurance for your pets and buy the best, thickest toilet paper on the market regardless of price instead of the recycled one-ply shit with the bark chips in it.
It sounds liberating but there are some real downfalls to getting older too. There are just certain things that fail when it comes to your body when you reach this age. Much like in Cruel Intentions, it happens to everybody, “it’s just that nobody talks about it.”
And so I’ve compiled a list of six ways your body tells you that you’re getting old:
1. You throw your back out. You could be doing something as innocent as picking up laundry or washing your ass in the shower when you feel an alarming “pop.” First you think: What the fuck was that noise? Then you move into: “Awww shit. Can I move? Will I need help? Why didn’t I get one of those Life Alert necklaces? Shit! I have things to do! The dog needs food!” You hobble over to your bed, lie down and wonder where you went wrong. This has happened two or three times to me and each time just required some heavy duty Tylenol. Like, the 650 milligram shit and rest. But even after the rest, and Tylenol cures you, your ego is still bruised when you realize that you can’t even throw some fucking whites into the washer without doing something terrible to the area where your ass connects to your back.
2. Your earholes end up stretched like the teenagers who do it intentionally. Look, I’ve had my ears pierced since I was a baby. This means that for several decades I have worn ugly, trendy, heavy ass earrings that left my earholes saggy. No, I swear I haven’t gauged my ears. I just wore bad earrings in the 2000s. And it’s not just me. I see plenty of women with earrings in that are dragging their shit down bad. Like – I could throw a pen through that hole! If I’m going to make any kind of body mods, I’d like them to be intentional. There’s no getting my earholes back to a standard piercing gun 20 gauge.
3. You can’t do anything when you might be distracted. I can no longer even listen to my kid speak while the television is on. I have to mute that shit or the competing noise and lack of understanding of what the fuck she needs is a problem. Kids like to have several things running at once. They have three kids in the living room, the TV on, and the iPod playing some bullshit. I can’t listen to it! I’m a grumpy, old bitch who desperately needs quiet. I even grind my teeth when I hear the friggin’ dog bark or the shower drip. I can only even write in silence. I have grumbled at more than a few teenagers at the local Starbucks when they treat it like a fucking pizza joint and use it as a social hour while I’m trying to be a fucking creative. Silence is golden, assholes!
4. You become Frankenstein. When you sit up in bed in the morning, you know you’re in for a rough five minutes. Instead of just trying to wake up, which was bad enough when you were younger, shit seriously hurts the minute your feet hit the floor. You spend the first 300 seconds you’re awake walking like Frankenstein, while all of your joints creak and crack. You seriously wonder if Dorothy is going to appear with an oil can to lube up your knees while you sing “If I only had a heart.” God forbid you ever have to wake up quickly and spring into action because those five minutes as “the monster” to get my shit in order are absolutely necessary. And if you “sleep wrong” on something – your whole day is shot. Ever have one of those days where you can’t turn your neck to the right? Yeah, that never happened to me when I was twenty.
5. You’re constantly googling all of your symptoms. If WebMD accurately diagnosed all of maladies, I’d be dead by now. I like to play a little game called It’s 3 a.m.: Heart attack or anxiety? I’ve diagnosed myself with so much shit that I’d be over my United Healthcare lifetime cap. Just last week I diagnosed myself with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and a possible heart murmur. Forced to face our mortality, those mammograms every six months to watch a “spot” is a pretty fucking sure sign of imminent death to me. And that’s if the skin cancer doesn’t get me from when I was young and sat in the sun for hours without a drop of sunscreen.
And you’re self-medicating! Let’s face it, at our age, you have a medicine cabinet full of non-prescription medication to combat all of the above disorders you’ve diagnosed yourself with. You will literally eat at a fucking taco truck in the middle of nowhere but you’re sure to take ten vitamins and supplements a day. “I need the goddamned fish oil!” And God forbid you have to go a day without your probiotic. I have some Magnesium-infused calming shit to take at night, a few different chewables for the heartburn I’ll inevitably get when I make the poor life decision to eat after 8 p.m. and seven different forms of Vitamin D. We’re convinced that the more pills we take, the better off we’ll be.
6. You need more sleep than ever. I used to be able to survive off of three hours of sleep, then go teach a full day and attend grad school in the evening without issue. It started when I hit my thirties but it only gets worse every year. If I get less than about ten hours now, my body functions about as well as the United States Postal Service. I even fall asleep in my car at dance and drool all over myself while my daughter is leaping across the floor. And like a toddler, I use a combination of sleeping at night and my siestas during the day, usually with the first one hitting right after I send my daughter off to school. I used to pre-game with tequila shots before I went out. If I want to go out on a Saturday night now my pre-game is a four hour nap and even then I’m crossing my fingers for canceled plans or a early night.
So you see, even though your late thirties comes with zero fucks, which allow you to walk into the middle of the street and scream at speeders like a crazy lady in your pink robe, it definitely is packaged with a downside. If you’re my age, you can probably relate. If you’re currently in your twenties – hot damn! Look what you have to look forward to!
And oh, there’s so many more.
How do YOU know you’re getting old?