Forty’s the new thirty, they say. I think it’s supposed to make us feel better, but really it’s just pressure. If you don’t have the money or the desire to color your hair and get plastic surgery, you’re not going to keep up with the “new thirty” crowd. And beyond looking young and fresh as a rosebud, are we really supposed to work and/or take care of the kids all week and still have the energy to go out for drinks on Friday night like we did when we were thirty?
Here’s a secret. I don’t want to pass for thirty. I just want to unhook my bra and watch Downton Abbey.
What ever happened to “act your age,” anyway? Suddenly we have to act ten years younger? If I’m going to act younger I’m going all the way back to 13, eating salt and vinegar chips and watching Anne of Green Gables all day. Unhook my bra and watch Anne of Green Gables and pretend Gilbert Blythe is my boyfriend.
And am I just supposed to erase an entire decade’s worth of cynicism? Forget one quarter of the fraud and greed I’ve seen in my lifetime? Steroids in baseball, drivers cutting me off, politicians caught with mistresses? Am I just supposed to train for a triathlon and pretend that my knees don’t hurt and that humans stand a chance of attaining some la-di-da world-wide brotherly love? Here’s what I have to say to that: You kids get off my lawn.
I’m forty. I have gray hair, an achy back, and I’ll probably need dentures before I’m fifty. Thirty was fine when I was thirty, but after millennia of forty being forty, I think it’s probably going to stay that way. I know it is for me. Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for (ahhhhhh) Downton Abbey.