Tuesday, March 06, 2018

We're All Way Older Than We Thought, I Think

Hi, I've just been on an emotional roller coaster and I'd like to take you all with me as I ride it one more time.

Okay. So.

I'm sitting here in my living room, working—and by working I mean I have an empty screen in front of me, curser flashing, and I'm staring around the room admiring certain things about it and intermittently stalking strangers on Instagram. I don't know how I got to this one celebrity's page, but I'm there, and I don't know who the heck she is. Someone from Parks & Rec, a show that I've tried to love many times but cannot (I'm sorry about that).

She looks like she's a few years older than me—but also, she has probably had help in the fountain of youth department because Hollywood. So maybe she's older than she looks. I don't know.

(I'm thirty. I suppose that's relevant here.)

It's a picture of her and a guy, and the caption is like, 'Middle-aged people enjoying a night out,' or something.

So, of course, I scroll up and look at the picture again, trying to figure out how old the woman is, because she really doesn't look that old, and I've generally thought 'middle-age' is a million years away for me. But if she's already considered middle-aged then so am I and that is a terrifying thought.

It's a fan account, not the personal account of the star herself. I have nothing to Google. I try, 'Girl Parks & Rec brown hair.' I find her. I click on her Wikipedia page. She is thirty-three. She was probably being facetious, calling herself middle-aged. But what if she wasn't? What if I stumbled and fell into middle-age without knowing it?

I frown. Is thirty middle-aged? Am I middle-aged?

Barclay's sitting on the couch eating a piece of toast. I say, "Barclay, what would you consider to be middle-aged?"

He frowns too, but his frown is because he's never thought of this before and has no idea what he considers to be middle-aged and also he probably doesn't care and just wants to eat his toast. "I don't know. Forty?"

I frown more, because at first I'm like, Okay, so thirty isn't middle-aged, but then I'm like, Forty isn't very far away.

I go back to Google.

What is considered middle-aged?

Google gives me a Huffington Post article titled "40 Signs You Are Middle-Aged." The Huffington Post probably knows about this sort of thing, I think. I click on it.

The article starts out by assuring me that I am not, in fact, middle-aged or even close to it. 53, says the article, is when you start middle-age. I think that's a strange and arbitrary number, but suddenly I feel like a fresh baby child.

But then I'm like, if the answer is 53, why do they come out and say that in the very first paragraph and what's all this article underneath?

It's a list. Of course. Because of the title of the article. These are the 40 Signs You Are Middle-Aged.

Having been duly assured that I have a solid 23 years until I will be considered middle-aged, I allow myself a little skim.

The first on the list is about losing touch with technology. I smile. I'm fine. I'm a spring chicken.

Number two: Finding you have no idea what 'young people' are talking about. I think of my friend Kate, who is a high school teacher, and who regularly has to explain to me what young people are talking about. They have a whole new language! I don't know it! Where did it come from? They're saying words I recognize, but I can tell they have all new meanings now. I'm frowning again.

Number four: Needing an afternoon nap. Do they mean needing only an afternoon nap? Because I would nap morning, afternoon, and evening if certain tiny members of my family would allow it.

Number five: Groaning when you bend down. Dude, I groan when I think about bending down. I groan when I walk across the kitchen. I groan all day and in my sleep. I'm groaning right now because I've been sitting for too long. SITTING. Not even sitting on a horse; I'm sitting on a very cushy chair. I'm a Groany McGroanerson.

Number Seven: Talking a lot about your joints/ailments. Uh, check. See number five.

Number ten, thinking policemen/teachers/doctors look really young, thirteen, choosing clothes and shoes for comfort rather than style, seventeen, forgetting people's names, number nineteen, misplacing your glasses/bag/car keys, etc, twenty, complaining about rubbish on tv, twenty, enjoying getting socks for Christmas, twenty-four, complaining more, twenty-six, moving from radio one to radio two...!!!


I hit the back button. The article below the Huffington Post's "40 Signs You Are Middle-Aged" is another Huffington Post article titled "25 Surefire Signs You've Finally Hit Middle Age."

Do I click on it? Of course I do.

(But I'll spare you.)

I feel like I'll get a bunch of comments from people older than me being like, "You little tiny baby, shut up and enjoy your little tiny baby life," and a bunch of other comments from people my age being like, "Oh no I also love naps and CBC Radio Two!" and the teenagers will just be like, "You're really flonking your flizzit right now, flibberty-jibbit fleek Netflix, Hundo-P Squad goals bae."

When did this happen?


  1. I didn't know forgetting people's names was a sign of being middle aged. I guess I've always been middle aged and not just bad at names.

    My personal opinion is that middle aged is from 35-55, but I might be getting a bit generous on the high end because I'm rapidly approaching 50 and don't want to be old yet.

    1. I read somewhere else that middle age is 45-65, and I feel like I can get behind that? 35 just feels too young to be middle age. And my friends in their forties definitely aren't "middle-aged" in my brain.

    2. Well, I'm still middle aged by that definition. Time to buy the sports car and find the young girlfriend I guess. That is what midlife is supposed to be, right?

  2. I'm turning 40 at the end of the month. I thought middle-aged started at 40, so you had me feeling like a fresh baby child... until you started the list.

    You should have been working instead of reading the Huffington Post and I should have been working instead of reading your blog.

    We both got it all wrong and now we're doomed.

    1. Hahahahaha I'm so sorry for ruining both of our nights. But! I read somewhere else that middle-age starts at 45. So you're safe!

  3. My friend from high school is in a punk band and they played here over the weekend. I went, and the first thing he said to me was "Has it really been eighteen years?" and then I died.

    1. That has been happening to me more and more lately. I went out with a high school friend last night and we were trying to remember the name of this one girl we went to school with and I was like, "why the heck is this so hard?" and then I was like, "oh because it happened to other people in another lifetime."

  4. Going by that list, I'm definitely middle aged, too (but, then, I'll be forty this year...).

    I remember everyone at my last job feeling rather offended when the boss told us we were ALL middle aged; I was late thirties and the youngest person in the room so he was probably right, but I guess none of us want to face up to it.

  5. OMG, girl. For the past two years (I'm 33, almost 34), I swear my body has slowed down. I can't bend down and pop up the way I used to. I groan when I get up off the floor. I swear that the only reason I feel younger than I am is because Dom is 41 (almost 42). So him being 8 years older helps me feel young, Ha!


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