Turning 40 Sucks
“I Feel Bad About My Neck and other thoughts on being a woman” by Nora Ephron goes off on books that say it’s great to be old. Nora writes, “I can’t stand people who say things like this. What can they be thinking? Don’t they have necks?” (Apparently when I turn 43 gravity will grab hold of my neck skin and not let go.)
I stared down the big 4-0 a few Februarys ago. Since I already got through my midlife crisis the year prior, the “turning forty drama” was a bit of a let down. The only thing left to do is fly to Vegas and have a big party. And what happens in Vegas really will stay in Vegas because none of my friends know how to download the videos from their smart phones.
Technology is not kind to middle age people. I’m lucky that I had kids later in life. At least I can be sure that someone in the house will know how to operate the remote control for the next eighteen years.
See, being an overachiever I had my midlife crisis at age 38 when I discovered that I had already been over-the-hill for three years without my knowledge. It started when I asked a personal trainer about bodybuilding competition divisions and she told me the categories for women were sorted by height and age. The “Masters” division was for older women.
- “So that’s for like, what, 40-45 year olds?” I asked.
- “35? Really?”
That couldn’t possibly be right. I looked online and she was indeed correct. Age 35 = senior citizen. This must be a bodybuilding fluke. But then I switched over to Yahoo and there was an article about a cougar cruise and it said the women on board were between 35 and 72.
When did this happen? I thought 30 was the new 20. How then could 35 be the new 40? And how come men don’t have their midlife crisis until 50? Men don’t live to be 100. My husband’s midlife crisis should have been at 40, mine should be at 43 ½.
As usual, men have it easier. A man going through a midlife crisis has two options:
- Buy a new sports car
- Boink a 19-year-old barista from Starbucks
Women, on the other hand, have three options:
- Grow old gracefully
- Have an “oops” baby
- Get the Mommy Special: breast implants and a tummy tuck
Regarding “grow old gracefully” – ARE YOU KIDDING ME? So that left me the “oops” baby or plastic surgery options. My problems with the “oops” baby option were that a) the kids would outnumber us and, b) I would have a midlife crisis reminder living with me for the next two decades. That left plastic surgery, however, the only knife I could afford to go under at the time was the plastic one that came with my kids’ Play Doh set.
So I made a new option: bodybuilding. That worked for me. Sort of the middle class woman’s solution to liposuction. I have also discovered some similar techniques for defying aging on the cheap that you can try too:
- Get bangs and tell people it’s to look like Taylor Swift. Real reason? $5 haircut = way more affordable than Botox
- Hire a personal trainer younger than you. He/she will teach you important things like what TTYL means and the difference between the word “Shawty” and “Shortie”
- Ask your husband to run ahead and pay the bouncer to card you.
So while Nora Ephron was correct that getting older kinda sucks, I hope I have given you some useful techniques to handle this situation. And now that I’m a few years into my 40’s I actually like my age. (Don’t tell the ghost of Nora Ephron).
P.S. – When my husband turned 50 I didn’t want him to feel left out, so I helped him experience his own midlife crisis in a safe environment, which is to say I took him drag racing in San Antonio and purchased myself a Starbucks apron.
How do you deal with getting older?
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Lisa Traugott is a Mom’s Choice Award winning writer, fitness blogger, wife and mom of two….and Original Cast Member of AMERICAN GRIT, starring John Cena, on FOX!!!
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