I have made minor complaints about aging in the past. Not many. I’m not someone who whinges about growing older. In fact, I quite like it. God knows I wouldn’t want to go back. No thanks, I’m good right where I am. The only things I find annoying about getting older are the things I thought would get better with age, but haven’t. For example, I thought I wouldn’t get zits anymore. That’s been a bitter disappointment. Ok, they are a fairly minor blip on the map of life, but, you know, I do wish they weren’t a factor anymore. I also thought I would have a Mercedes SLR by now. No such luck.
Despite the occasional spots, and the distinct lack of a super car, at the ripe age of thirty*cough*-something, there are certain pleasures to be found. Pleasures that come with age and maturity that simply didn’t exist when I was a yoot.
Let’s explore my top ten signs of aging.
10) Hair: It’s like a marriage.
I am much more aware of my hair’s needs than I was in my 20s. I have come to understand that my hair is like a person who lives on my head. Like a grouchy upstairs neighbour with whom I must get along or else she will make my life a living hell. She needs to be treated nicely and with respect. No matter what. I have slowly learned which shampoos and conditioners to use; how to cope with seasonal changes in temperature, what to expect with certain humidity, which moisture treatments work for curly or straight, how to tell if a storm’s-a-brewing based on the internationally recognised ‘Frizz Factor’. In recent years, a few greys have appeared, but I have started using a chestnut-coloured Henna which leaves my hair looking natural, and actually feeling great. My hair and I have settled into a good routine and I’m looking forward to growing old together.
9) Men: Not being expected to put out.
Marriage + age + experience have allowed for more relaxed interactions with men. When sex (or potential sex) is not on the table, men are more apt to reveal their true selves. And the older I get, the sillier I think men are. Not Adam of course. He’s not silly. He’s bonkers.
8 ) Food: I know what I want.
I still have girlfriends who, when at a restaurant, have the irritating habit of taking three years to choose from the menu. They ask me what they should get, they ask the waiter what they should get, they finally get around to ordering something, but then asking for fifteen changes, and then when their food comes, they look wistfully at my plate and say “Oh, I should have gotten that”. And to them I say: GOOD LORD, WOMAN, YOU’RE DECADES OLD! DON’T YOU KNOW WHAT YOU LIKE TO EAT YET? And then I stab them with a fork. For. God’s. Sake. I admit I used to be guilty of this. I am not anymore. It’s very annoying.
7) Money: I can afford stuff.
Alright, not the BEST stuff, but I don’t need to get the bargain brand anymore. If I want, say, chocolate, I can splurge on the fancy stuff without having to factor in my ability to pay rent this month. This applies to all foods, soaps, toilet paper, stationery, and many electronic items. I am, however, still saving my pennies for that Mercedes.
6) Friends: Just get over it.
Something I’ve known for a long time but has been put into regular practice in recent years is a behaviour that I have observed mostly in men: they can carry on normally with friends – or, in fact become even BETTER friends – after an argument. When I used to get into a disagreement with a friend, I would always struggle with that awkward period afterward when the fight still hung in the air. Now I know that it’s ok to be mad, and it’s ok to express it, but misunderstandings don’t have to infect every subsequent interaction. At the same time, I have also learned that I can’t be friends with everyone: nor do I have to. It’s good to know when to toss a friend if they really piss me off… Unless of course we’re talking about Facebook. In which case I’m friends with everyone. Lordy, I think Ted Bundy might even be in my Friends list. Ridiculous.
5) Food 2: I know what I DON’T want.
I like butter. Margarine sucks. And that stuff, “I can’t believe it’s not butter” should be called “I can’t believe it’s not salted ear wax”. Honestly.
4) Moisturizer: Who knew?
Applying moisturizer to my face every morning feels almost as good as an orgasm. Seriously. In my 20s I thought moisturizer was a sebum-producing waste of time and money. Now it’s one of the best parts of my day. Look forward to it 20-somethings. It’s SOOOOO good.
3) Alcohol: Never been a pisshead, never will be.
I’ve never been a big drinker. It just doesn’t agree with me. And one of the new nasty side effects is that now when I drink, I get a migraine. In a good way, it saves money, but on the other hand, sometimes I like a drink. I just know that now I need to be careful. However, I also know that I don’t need to drink to have a good time. And if I’m out and not having a good time, or if I would simply rather be sleeping, I just go home. If I offend anyone with my early departure, it’s their problem, not mine. My new founds maturity means that they can bite me.
2) Pets: Cleo.
I love my cat almost as if I gave birth to her. And I have no shame about it. In my 20s I used to fear that I would become a crazy cat lady and live in the woods. Now it’s my ambition.
1) Life in general: Take it easy.
I’m not as uptight as I used to be. I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff in my life and because if it, I’m more understanding, and more forgiving. As a result, I get along better with my family and my friends. And myself.