What the Elderly Should Never Wear, and Other Stupid Advice

girl-1459284_1280Apparently, 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

  1. 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.

    Just one of my many 9-to-5 looks.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
    This is the lady you should look for.

  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
    I honestly do not know what this is supposed to be.

  8. An eighty-year-old woman in a Hello Kitty T-shirt is beautiful.  Period.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.

    Maybe I am too old to go with the cheaper makeup?
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

Consider, friend, as you pass by,

As you are now, so once was I,

As I am now, so you will be,

Prepare, therefore, to follow me.

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17 comments

  1. Haha this is so awesome! As a woman who’s “50ish” I too choke over all the “helpful” articles of what I shouldn’t be wearing. ( let it be noted, almost all of it was items I currently DO wear 😉
    And I wonder, what twit sits around deciding what should be on my body? I haven’t gotten to this age that I’m not decisive in what I like, what I want, and what I do.

    I wear Converse. I wear distressed jeans and fun t’s and truth be known, rock them better than women half my age. I love short dresses, high heels, little shorts and unique clothes.

    I love when young women compliment me and ask where I’ve gotten something from.

    My adult kids appreciate that I’m not “frumpy”.

    All that to say… go you for posting such a fun article… and for encouraging other women to stay true to themselves 🙂

    1. Cathie- they also warn against cheap bras, because “your breasts deserve proper support by this age.” AT AGE 30. They have no idea what’s coming.

    1. Leopard print Uggs! That’s perfect. As for me, I’m going to continue my search for the perfect sparkly leggings. Which I may wear with a SHIRT THAT IS NOT LONG ENOUGH.

  2. This is great! You just don’t know what you don’t know in your 20’s. I haven’t seen these lists but it is pretty ridiculous, I seem to break all of the rules and I’ve never even been much of a rebel! As for the teenage CDs, never stop….. It isn’t until you are well into your thirties that you can afford to follow those bands! ( Just returned from AZ seeing my fav! Totes awesome, even drug my kids this time and my my soon to be 18 yr old dtr thinks it is pretty cool ….
    Keep writing, I love reading it!

    1. You are so right, in your 20’s you just don’t know what you don’t know. I only wish I could friend some of these writers and then keep tabs on them as they reach their 30’s. I’d like to see how many of their own rules they’re breaking.

  3. The sunglasses thing proves that chick is just plain dopey. True Style is individual and ageless. I always ask myself. WWJD? And Jackie wouldn’t give a crap about a ranting 20 year’s style advice.

    1. Thank you! I almost can’t wait to be 80, just so I can wear that Hello Kitty shirt. With sequins.

  4. One of the best things about my age (43) is being able to make good character judgements on a faster basis. This one article is all I need to know that I shall now follow you on any social media you are on! Brilliant!

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