Thursday, February 13, 2014

Signs We're Getting Older - By Hilary

A couple of weekends ago, my high school best friend, Laurel, came to visit for a girls' weekend. The last time I saw her was when my oldest son was 1.5 years old, so it's been 6 years since we hung out in person, although we talk at least once a week. 

Of course, we had a wonderful time. I mean, the best. We went to the zoo, we went to the horse races, and we went for a hike. I'll spare you the details of how excited we were to see each other, sans kids, after 6 years, and skip straight to the epiphany we shared: we're getting older. We even compiled a list. No, really: 
 (Ignore the grease stains, we added to it at a restaurant.)

You've probably experienced this, too: signs that you've aged. You're not the young gun you once were. Here's our list - plus a few more that have struck me since our weekend of fun. 

1. You marvel at the way young women are dressed, and you don't think they look classy. In fact, you're pretty sure they look slutty. And you see them everywhere. Exhibit 1: Laurel and I headed to a trendy college town straight away, hoping to get in some fun boutique shopping and a yummy lunch. Almost immediately, we saw a young woman (probably a college girl) in tiny bike shorts with half her bottom hanging out. We looked at one another, aghast. Not a moment later (exhibit 2), we saw another young woman in a VERY similar outfit. Again, aghast. We went to a restaurant for lunch, and our server (another young girl - exhibit 3) was wearing - you guessed it - a similar outfit. I'm afraid I was giving her a prissy once-over when she came to take our order and she didn't make eye contact with me for the rest of the meal. Yes, I am that older lady. Lady! Fine. Call me a lady. But please don't call me a skank. I don't wear biker shorts that let half my bottom hang out. 
2. You aren't sure how to embrace young fashion - although you want to. During our shopping excursion, we saw an adorable sweater dress, in soft, see-through fabric hanging on a rack. "This is so cute," Laurel said to me. "It is," I agreed, nodding emphatically. "But how do you wear it?" Laurel asked. I shrugged. "I'm not sure. Over leggings? Or tights?" "With boots? It's kinda see-through," Laurel said. "I think that would be cute." And then: "What is this? Is is a bra? Is it a tank top thingy? What do you wear it under? I mean, obviously you wear it under something, right?" "No idea. I mean. obviously you can't wear it by itself. Right?" And then: "What is this? Where on your body do you even put this?"
You bet your ass we left that shop empty-handed. I did buy a coaster set for my work project manager - my fave says, "Look! It's fuck this shit o'clock!" That's my style.  
3. You're completely prepared to be in bed by 9 or 10 p.m. - and, even more importantly, you're okay with that. During our girls' weekend, Laurel and I both thought we'd stay up late, chatting away - after all, we haven't seen one another in years. But no. By 9, we were exhausted. But not to worry! We were up at 7 - sitting in bed with our coffee, bright eyed and ready to talk. I know. Laaaaaaame.
4. You experience modern-day sticker shock. At the zoo, a bottle of water cost $3. I know! But I was so thirsty! We considered going to a botanical garden with what is supposed to be a lovely glass-blown art exhibit. $22. Seriously. $22 to see some plants? I can see that shit at a nicely landscaped mall for free. "I remember when water was free," I whined. "I remember when gas was 25 cents." Oh, yeah. We said it. We did. We went to the zoo - $20 and at least you get to see live animals.

5. You hear your parents in your own voice. "Someday, you'll appreciate me." "Just wait 'til you have your own kids." "Because I said so." "Just bring me a beer and stop whining." (Okay, I'm pretty sure none of our parents said that, but you get the picture.) 
6. You often launch full speed into a story, only to forget the punch line. Ever draw a blank? It happens more and more often as you get older, doesn't it? 
7. It feels weird to drive at night, or in a new place, or in big-city traffic. "I never drive in the dark any more," I said to Laurel at one point. "This feels weird." My foot hovers over the brake, my eyes squint, my armpits sweat.
8. You don't want to wear a thong. Function comes over fashion. As often as possible. To quote Laurel: "How is that comfort, I ask? How?" Enough said. 
9. You notice (more) body hair in unusual places. About a year ago, my husband and I were on our Valentine's Day date. I had flipped down my sun visor in the car, and was applying mascara when I saw it: an OVERabundance of mustache hair. AAGGGHHH! "Has this been here for LONG?" I shrieked. "I don't want to say," he said. As an afterthought he added, "You mean, you didn't notice it before this?" 
"NO! I DIDN'T!" I shrieked. Oh, yeah, I was shrieking. Before we went to dinner, I had him take me to Walgreens so I could buy Nair. That evening when we kissed goodnight, he said, "Ooh, smooth." 
Are you f-ing kidding me?! You never thought to mention this to me?! Humiliating. Humiliating. 
10. You don't recognize the names of the food on menus at nice restaurants. I can't even remember some of the names. Many of them are in different languages. One was bone marrow. Really. I can barely choke down red meat - the last thing I want to order is bone marrow. Shiiiit. We had dinner at a DELICIOUS Mexican restaurant, but Laurel was disappointed she didn't get rice and beans with her tacos. Look at these tacos. Beautiful, right? But as you can see, no rice and beans.

11. You're super disappointed when you go to Wal-Mart because of the difference between the size of the book section and the size of the move/electronics section. This is what's wrong with America today - the book section is like one HALF of an aisle and there are like TEN FULL AISLES of moves and electronics. 
You're so disappointed you take photos to show the difference in size (okay, so it's kinda hard to see the difference but trust me - the books picture is on top and the movies on bottom):

All right - that's all for now - what have YOU experienced lately that made you realize you're getting older? Can't wait to hear from you! 

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