He’s old AF. That’s along the lines of what I thought, back when my dad was 39. I was four years old; I don’t know why I remember that particular age, but I do. I used to watch him shave before work in the morning. Then I’d go to the kitchen for some cereal while he got dressed in his suit and tie. He was an adult with a job, he drove a car, he knew how to get there. He had sideburns. Old AF.
Okay, I didn’t really think “old AF,” first of all because in those days we just said “as fuck,” we didn’t abbreviate it because we weren’t texting yet. Also, I was four. But the point is, I am now six years older than my dad was then. And yet I don’t feel old at all, let alone old AF.
Maybe you’re wondering – what about me? Is it possible that I feel young while actually I, too, am old AF? It’s a tricky question. And because I try super-hard to know the answers to all the tricky questions, I’ve devised a list to help us decide.
15 Things That Probably Mean You Are Old AF
You realize that Pearl Jam and Nirvana are to your 10-year-old what Pat Boone and Doris Day are to you. Trust me, it’s true. I have done the math.
You look at your new podiatrist/ophthalmologist/urologist and think, she’s a sweet kid.
You’re filling out the paperwork at the doctor’s office and you have to stop and think, wait, do I have heart palpitations?
You say something is “cool,” and then immediately think, who am I, the Fonz? Do people even say cool anymore? Why didn’t I just say neato! Or swell! WTF???
You know who “The Fonz” is.
You realize you’ve not only worn the current trend before, but that you’ve worn it as an adult.
You continue to say you “hung up” on someone even though in reality, you only pushed the END button.
Your very drunk father once drove your childhood self home from the family reunion, while your mother sat in the passenger seat as usual. Stone sober.
You tell your kids anything about your childhood in a manner meant to illustrate how much better childhood is “nowadays.”
You tell your kids anything about your childhood in a manner meant to illustrate how much better things were “back then.”
You go to a bar and feel like it’s full of children even though they are actually 27.
You remember Deney Terrio. Fondly.
You make a joke about Steve Martin to the grocery store cashier and she says, “oh, right, wasn’t he in Groundhog Day?”
You make a joke about Steve Martin, period. Not saying that you’re old AF, Steve Martin – but I suspect the kids might think so.
You say things like “old AF,” just for the sheer joy of seeing your kids cringe at you using the language they think they invented.
So, I hope this has helped you. Perhaps you are thinking, how could this possibly help me? Why would I want to know I should no longer consider myself old, but actually, old as fuck? And here I would agree with you. There is nothing good about categorizing yourself in this manner. After all, you might be old AF but there is always someone older than you, and aging is a privilege that not everyone is lucky enough to get.
Another privilege not everyone is lucky enough to get: fitting Deney Terrio into their blog post. Which, if I’m telling the absolute truth, is the whole reason I wrote this in the first place. Quite frankly I think it was pretty clever. You know. For an old person.
Apparently, it has been nearly fifteen years since the last time it was appropriate for me to wear short dresses, hoop earrings, or leopard print, including (I presume) leopard print in the previously-thought-to-be-innocuous accessory format. I am 45 years old.
I really had no idea.
I have learned this, however – this and much, much more – thanks to a spate of helpful lists that have all but filled my Facebook feed. These lists offer women over 30 a variety of pointers regarding all of the things they are doing wrong, or might do wrong, or might consider doing wrong in the future. It is probably my own fault. You click on one thing, and . . . well, even at this advanced age I know that the mind-reading division of the worldwide web could never let me click something like that with no consequence. I should have exercised a little caution, instead of letting my curiosity get the best of me. I did not.
So, fine. The assault on myself was brought about by myself. This doesn’t change the fact that these articles are out there, everywhere, spreading their scornfully sinister messages.
One of the guiltier purveyors of this – oh, I don’t know, let’s call it bullshit – is the website RantChic. Under the dubious guise of helpful advice, the trendsetters at RantChic regularly supply us with condescending, contemptuous lists such as “30 Things Women Over 30 Need To Stop Posting Online,” and “30 Things Women Over 30 Shouldn’t Own.”
I don’t know. I guess I was swept away by the spirit of goodwill that infused me after reading through these ideas, because it wasn’t very long at all before I came up with my own helpful list. I feel it is the least I can do. And so here is –
15 Things Someone Clearly Needs To Tell The People At RantChic
When you turn 30, you become smarter, and when you turn 40, you become smarter than that, and when you turn 50 . . . well, you get the idea. You also continue to have fun. And if your definition of fun is “wearing your daytime sequins to the office,” and you are reasonably sure said sequins will not cause you to lose your job, then I say, you wear the fucking sequins.
On a related note – as a group, I am pretty sure we over-thirties don’t want to wear our Uggs to the office any more than you want us to. Unfortunately, sometimes our bunions hurt.
Regarding your thoughts on women over 30 needing to ditch their “teenage CD’s,” number one, there were no CD’s when I was a teenager. There were cassette tapes. Number two, many of us still like the music we listened to back in the 20th century, and one day, you too might find yourself as a very old woman, feeling nostalgic for the days of first love and flippy hairdos, or whatever. At which point I hope you will admit your mistake and abandon this silly rule; otherwise, you may well grow into the bitter old crone you are already shaping up to be.
You say women over 30 should stop wearing oversized sunglasses. And if you could travel back in time and tell this to Jackie O., there may very well be no oversized sunglasses at all. Google it.
You contend that no one over 30 should use the term “guac,” that instead, I guess due to our uber-uncoolness, we should always be sure to pronounce the whole word. Which would be “guacamole.” RantChic, I think we finally agree on something. “Guac” just sounds idiotic. While we are at it, I would also like to outlaw “veggie,” “comfy,” and “din-din.” Please see if you can get this advice out to your readership.
In “15 Things Women Over 30 Need To Stop Doing When Inebriated,” you list driving. Driving. Leaving me to wonder – are you suggesting that women in their twenties are okay to drive drunk? Isn’t that sort of bad advice? I don’t know. I’m totes confused.
In fact, I am totes confused by many of the items on your “Inebriated” list. I just feel pretty sure that throwing up, falling, and blacking out are drunken hazards we’d all do well to avoid. Same with “making life decisions.” That you put “making life decisions” on this list at all makes me worry about the types of people you’re hanging out with. Do I sound like your mother? Good.
An eighty-year-old woman in a Hello Kitty T-shirt is beautiful. Period.
Women over thirty do sometimes try too hard to be trendy. So do women under thirty. It is rarely in one’s best interest, but, you know, what can you do? That being said, wearing American Eagle jeans at the age of 35 does not qualify as trying too hard. Get over it and please, let’s move on.
And back, for a moment, to “30 Things Women Over 30 Need To Stop Wearing To The Office,” in which you took us to task for our Uggs. This compilation also reminds us that sweats, message tees, and “whatever you wore yesterday” are inappropriate for wear in the cubicles and corner offices of America. Here again, I have to question your wisdom, because contrary to what you seem to believe, no one of any age should wear sweats and message tees to their office job. Unless he or she is lucky enough to work in that kind of office. Otherwise, it’s just common sense, and being 22 does not grant you a cuteness pass from exercising it. Also, no one who is not fucking insane should ever wear what they wore yesterday to the office. Make a note.
As you suggest in “30 Things Women Over 30 Shouldn’t Own,” expensive makeup is indeed nice to have. It is also a luxury that many mature ladies either choose or are forced to forego in an economy where Tarte and Too Faced must take a backseat to homes and health insurance. Or maybe we are also too old for Tarte and Too Faced. I don’t know. Either way, your helpful hint seems geared only toward women of a certain income, so I feel duty-bound to tell you that Gwyneth Paltrow already has that market covered.
I have approximately thirty-five pounds of baby weight to lose, and yes, I am still calling it “baby weight” even though my youngest baby is seven years old. That is neither here nor there, and not the point at all. The point is that if and when I do lose this weight, I may very well proceed to dig out my old sparkly pants and wear them. Well, I don’t actually have sparkly pants. I never have. I don’t know why anyone would. Maybe that is really the point.
In all of your “Women Over 30” rants, I sense an element of disdain that I fear is unhealthy. You should try to think more positive thoughts. Smile lines are unpleasant, but frown lines are way worse.
And regarding those smile and frown lines – you too, God willing, will one day know about them. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you. Because, believe it or not, being 30 actually does beat the alternative.
FINALLY, thing number 15. I am too elderly and tired to continue thinking up my own tips, so I present you instead with this chilling and yet strangely comforting verse, taken from a widely known tombstone epigraph.