25
Jun

54 Things You Have to Say Goodbye to When You’re 54…

reading glasses

MIP Book Clubbers: Please don’t take this as permission to club a book. Go here to see the July MIP Book Club Selection and my suggested reading plan!

Warning: War and Peace was shorter.

Last week a hilarious post by Kristen Lee splashed across my FB feed about the things one must say goodbye to once you’re 27. Since my eldest and his compadres are all 27, it just seemed so true of the single gals from his graduating class. Click here to see what I mean. But, after picking myself off the floor from laughing so hard, I realized that Kristen may be even more irritated once she knows what a woman gives up by the time she’s twice that age…which I am. So, Kristen? Here’s my list of what you can look forward to when you’re twice your current age:

1. The original color of your hair. By 54 you’re going to have at least 1 gray hair. Thus, that beautiful ebony, auburn, or bleach blonde hair of your youth is not the same set of hair. Even if you elect to return to the hair of your youth via your hairdresser or the hair color aisle at Wally World, it won’t be the same hair color…trust me.

2. The texture of your hair. What used  to be silky and strong is now replaced by stubborn, weak and dull hair. Yes, Virginia you can use products to slow down this process, if you’re Oprah.

3. Any disposable cash now freed up from your kids being out of the nest. The products in # 1 and # 2 cost big bucks. So, does your kids’ college education, even if their brain surgeons in training, gifted athletes or musical child prodigies. And don’t forget he extra storage building you need for storing all of your kids’ stuff which keeps returning home…often with them.

4. Perky chests. This is one of those things that happens when you give birth. No one tells you that and for good reason. It’s downright depressing. There’s a reason why I moved to the south…to be with my chest again.

5. Bras without underwire. See # 4. I swear a man developed these torture chambers and then put the extra padding in the ones that require a small home equity loan to purchase.

6. Your waistline. Gone forever are the days when you can consume an entire family-sized bag of chips and not have it add inches to your middle region. Which, brings me to # 7.

7. Comfortable underwear. Those cutesy bikini and thong numbers don’t look so hot next to cellulite and stretch marks. And I don’t care how many sit-ups, crunches, or weights you endure during the day, there’s still going to be some lurking around somewhere. Thus, you procure Spanx to stuff all of the above back where it used to be and pray for three things: That the event requiring such attire will move along quickly, that you don’t get hungry, and that the temperature at said event is sub-arctic. This leads me to # 8.

8. Chronically being chilly or comfortable. Thanks to homicidal hormone fluctuations, you get to experience hot flashes and night sweats. Hot flashes would be more accurately described as internal explosions requiring either a team of firefighters or a firing squad. Night sweats are more aptly described as wet jammy alarm clocks.

9. Sleeping soundly. This usually ends around the time the first child arrives, who is hungry and wet nearly non-stop for the first 4 months of his or her life. Once the little dickens finally learns how to sleep through the night, you then lay awake thinking something is drastically wrong because Junior isn’t waking you up every 15 minutes. Then, as you adjust to that little novelty, they introduce you to the nighttime onslaught of all childhood illnesses and infections that generally include projectile vomiting. After they finally get some immunity to some of these horrendous things, they start driving at night and dating. Since you can recall what you did while driving at night and dating yourself, you never sleep again until you get to the homicidal hormone fluctuations. See # 8 for why you don’t sleep after that.

10. Only worrying about yourself. I don’t care if you never marry or never have kids. By this stage in your life you start having to take care of your aging relatives and as a result, you worry about their health, their finances, their sanity, etc., etc., etc.

11. Having a brain. At the precise time in your life when you need to worry about the entire planet (because you’re in the “sandwich phase” of your life) and its well-being, your brain will decide to take a permanent vacation without you. Mine must have gone to Bonga-Bonga-land. All I know is that there’s no decent cell reception in Bonga-Bonga-land.

12. Not having to take any pills. Currently, my rather large plastic basket is overflowing with pill bottles. Why? Because your body starts falling apart after the babies arrive. And if you want to save money on pills, you buy them in the large economy-sized bottles that eventually require an even bigger organizer. I sense a vicious circle here.

13. Being able to fit all of your daily meds into a small pill organizer when you travel. See # 12. This also happens because of # 11. You have to either put all of the bottles in your luggage and pray that TSA doesn’t think you’re transporting drugs to Cartagena or you have to have a “Morning/Noon/PM/Bedtime” organizer that looks like Elfa shelving on steroids.

14. Reading anything without the use of glasses. Hillary Clinton was wrong. The vast right winged conspiracy is that when you hit 40, everything is suddenly written in microscopic, blurry print.

15. Having elastic skin. One day you see Sexy Sandy in the mirror and the next day, Saggy Sue ensues. And it’s hard to find Spanx for my toes, thumbs and face. At least ones I can afford.

16. Being carded. No one under the age of 50 is going to think you’re under 21. If you pull out your ID to buy liquor, they’ll just openly guffaw that you’re still breathing.

17. Going to Disney movies by yourself. If you do, people start checking their pedophile locator apps on their phones while periodically glancing back at you with a very concerned look.

18. Knowing how to operate your TV. About every 5 minutes someone invents an even more complex set of black and gray boxes that need to be tuned, set and programmed with about 5 different remotes with microscopic print on the keypads. See # 14.

19. Knowing how to operate anything involving a battery or charger cord. Again, see # 14 and # 11. Since my generation wasn’t born with a cell phone in our hands, even in the wealthiest of homes, our fast-dying, hormonal brain cells are not helpful here at all.

20. Hearing anything the first time it’s said. Why? We got our music the old-fashioned way by blaring it on our car stereos and by hearing it at rock concerts. Of course, it could have been the fact that I could only afford tickets in the nosebleed section and thus, got a little extra bang for my ticket buck. I got all the peripheral “haze” in the upper atmosphere at my favorite arenas. Those who have been to concerts in the 70s know exactly what I mean. Maybe that is why I no longer have any brain cells? But I didn’t inhale!

21. Joints that work properly. Either because of a sports injury from our youth or just because we picked up those toddlers one too many times, suddenly every joint in your body complains loudly at being still for more than 15 minutes at a time. And if you do move those joints more often than that, they complain about that, too.

22. Snickering about the Depends ads on TV. You are the Depends ad.

23. Being fashionable. What I think is cute my daughter thinks is “grandma-looking.” Don’t know when I lost my fashion sense, but maybe it went with the brain cells to Bonga-Bonga-land.

24. Being cool. Once Aerosmith shows up on the “Classics” station, that “ship” has done sailed.

25. Having a day where all of your body cooperates. The days of going 9 hours between car trip pit stops are gone. So is going without the pain reliever du jour.

26. Having money to spend on yourself. All my money goes for wedding presents and baby presents, too. Why? Because the children of my friends are all getting married and having babies. So, just like Sting, my money isn’t going to my kids, either. It’s going to their friends.

27.  People thinking you’re useful. Around the time you finally learn to do a pile of stuff well, no one cares. Well, maybe the dog. But no one is listening to her, either.

28.  Having only 1 doctor. When the body decays, the health problems multiply. When they multiply, they require specialists. When they require specialists, your insurance won’t cover it entirely.  Which leads me to # 29.

29. Fun telephone conversations. You’re usually on the phone with a doctor, his or her receptionist, an insurance company, a funeral home or a telemarketer.

30. Fun cars. I tried putting a car seat in a Pontiac Trans Am. Once. I tried chauffeuring the entire team to the away soccer game in my sedan. Once. I tried putting my eldest’s entire room in my minivan. Once. Now I just settle for fun SUVs with a trailer hitch and a luggage rack.

31. Evaluating new car purchases on engine size, acceleration speed, and nifty hubcaps. Now I evaluate them on air conditioned and heated seats, wider wheels and better suspensions.

32. Saturdays being fun. Instead you are usually repairing some part of your house that’s broken, remodeling some part of your house that’s broken, getting your oil changed or arguing with one more person on the phone about your lack of insurance.

33. All of your important papers fitting into 1 box. You can thank the U.S. government for that.

34. Being irresponsible. The day they put a baby in your arms at the hospital and tell you to take it home is the day you start thinking about life insurance and wills. You also stop speeding in your new practical car and start eating better. Eventually, you even start exercising. That is probably when I stopped being cool, hunh?

35. Not sounding like your mother. See # 34.

36. Criticizing other people’s lack of parenting skills. About the time your little darling puts your Jimmy Choos in the toilet, you realize maybe you didn’t know what you were talking about anyway when you saw brats in the next booth over at your favorite restaurant.

37. Believing in self-help books. Unfortunately, self-help books are usually written by people who think that all of us are carbon copies of each other. This applies to all parenting books, too. The day I threw out the parenting books is the day I finally became a little better parent.

38. Not screaming at people. Because of your bad hearing and because Junior put the Jimmy Choos in the toilet, eventually you lose whatever composure used to be your style.

39. Not wearing slippers at night. One midnight step on a Lego or Barbie shoe and that’ll end that. Now I wear army boots when I walk into the “combat zone.”

40. Sexy swim suits. Unless made by Spanx, I’m not going anywhere beachy in anything less than a tankini…covered by a really large pair of shorts.

41. Cut-offs. They just look stupid with cellulite. And now you can afford an actual pair of shorts.

42. Spicy food. Sweetie, you don’t want to know. Trust me on this one.  I never knew my 2 mortal enemies were going to be onions and jalapenos in my 50s.

43. Short trips to the bathroom after a dinner of spicy food. I now take a new novel with me every time. It’s amazing how short those things are these days.

44. Living for months on end without having to unclog your toilet. See # 42.

45. Being amoral. See # 34. I actually rejoiced the day the youngest left for college because I could, again, use the s word if I stubbed my toe. Unfortunately, when I did eventually stub my toe, I couldn’t remember the s word. See # 11.

46. Eating dinner at a fashionable hour. See # 42.

47. Pulling all nighters to learn new material. There’s two reasons for this: a) You’ve already learned it. b) You’ve already forgotten it by 8 am the next morning.

48. Having empty closets, drawers, and cabinets. The entire world stores their stuff at my house…rent-free. Actually, it’s worse. I inherited it and foolishly thought my kids would appreciate “collectibles and antiques.”  Note to Self: Call Hoarders Anonymous next Saturday.

49. Laughing at the Life Alert commercials. Now, I’m taking notes and paying attention to when those suckers are on sale.

50. Listening to the TV at a normal volume. See # 20.

51. Thinking that you have to have the perfect spouse. I’ll just settle for being dependable, being brilliant in a crisis and having great health insurance.

52. Thinking you will retire before you die. Have you met our U.S. government?

53. Not caring about who is running our country. See # 52.

54. A good day being getting a raise. A good day now is any day I’m not in the hospital or not spending a Saturday talking to an insurance company.

Friday’s Post: More Points to Ponder

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 at 10:50 am and is filed under Fun Stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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