1. While other people made New Year’s resolutions to spend less time on social media, you are resolved to learn how social media works.
You finally understand FaceBook only to find out that it is no longer hip. You try to ignore the correlation between your mastery of the network and its sudden nosedive. You finally start using Instagram only to find it overloaded with pictures of a skinny chic who’s always eating ice-cream. And you don’t like her.
2. Your kids don’t like you anymore.
Your five-year-old may still still smitten with you, but your fifteen-year-old has to keep explaining to you why you’re the lamest parent on the block. His friends get more allowance. His friends stay up later. His friends have cooler video games. You just nod at him and tell him to take out the trash.
3. You go to your 10 year high school class reunion only to realize that you are at your 20 year high school class reunion.
You cannot believe it. It’s been twenty years since you thought you were all that–slamming locker doors, strutting down the hall, flirting with the teacher’s aide so you could get another day to turn in your late assignment. But now here you are–eating cold chicken at an elks lodge, trying to remember people’s names, insulted that so many people seem to have forgotten yours. You look with horror at your classmates that look so old and ask the younger looking ones if they’re using Botox. You meet your old boyfriend’s wife. She graduated in 2011.
4. You have an expensive exercise bike in your bedroom which you never use.
You have an expensive exercise bike in your bedroom which you never use. You also have a weight set, a dozen Pilates and yoga tapes, a calorie counter on your phone, and you wonder why you lose your phone so much. Every few years you sell all of your equipment at a yard sale. Then you buy better and more expensive equipment, but you don’t use that either.
5. Sandra Bullock is your champion.
You love everything Sandra Bullock does and every movie that she’s in. You love that she’s so real and funny and that she jokes that she’s getting old at the Golden Globe awards. You think she’s your best friend even though you two have never actually met. You start a fan blog for her and connect with a lot of other middle-aged women. The lot of you take a bus to her ranch in Texas and hope she’ll invite you in for dinner. Unfortunately, she’s off in Fiji with her new twenty-something boyfriend. And then you cry.
6. You can’t understand why Bilbo Baggins left the shire.
You wonder why in the world Bilbo left his perfect little hole in the ground. You love his round door, the fine rich woodwork, his pantry stuffed with hams, breads, and fine cheeses. You love his pipe even if you’ve never smoked one before, and you hum along when the dwarves sing their middle earth songs.
But you can’t understand what Bilbo was thinking when he left on such a ridiculous adventure. He’s probably already got the home paid off for crying out loud. You don’t bother to go to the second hobbit movie because you’re not going to get to sit by his cozy fire and dragons give you headaches.
7. Your friends start calling you middle-aged.
Your friend calls you middle-aged, and when you tell her you don’t appreciate it, she reminds you that she is the same age as you are. Given that she looks ten years younger and weighs ten pounds less than you do, this does not make you feel better.
8. You opt for the Alaskan cruise instead of the Caribbean cruise
You know one thing, and that is that your husband does not need to see a bunch of women in bikinis. You like that your tour agents tells you to bring lots of layers–sweaters, jackets, boots and grateful that these very layers will hide that fact that you plan on eating lobster, filet mignon, and baked Alaska every night of your trip.
You’d much rather be stuffed on a tour bus and see glaciers than swim with sting rays. You also like that almost everybody on the ship, including your husband, has gone to bed by 10:30 which for the first time in years makes you a party animal. You don’t know what to do with yourself so you push buttons in the elevator for a half an hour, going up and down, up and down, until the lobster still sitting in your stomach tells you it’s time to call it a night.
9. You buy expensive skin care products but you forget to put them on.
Sorry dear, but Mac and NuSkin do you no good if they are put away in your drawer. The problem is you don’t remember which drawer you put them in. Your wrinkles are duking it out with your creeping dementia and unfortunately, your dementia is winning.
10. You read teen fiction because it makes you feel young again.
You like that these young heroines have so much physical energy and can climb trees, jump over walls, and run like the wind. You opt to read about these feats of strength instead of actually doing them yourself. You envy the girl because everyone appreciates that she just saved the world when no one appreciates that you just cleaned your kitchen. You don’t understand how so many boys are in love with her when she’s so mouthy and opinionated. It’s certainly not working for you.
11. You are offended by a lot of teen fiction because parents get no respect.
While you love your teen heroes, you can’t believe how much they talk back to their parents. You wonder why the heroine is so utterly awesome and the parents are such total losers. You wish she wouldn’t use bad language, get tattoos, sneak into boys’ bedrooms, and storm off on her parents when they’re giving her a first class lecture. You also wish she’d clean up around the house a little more. You’re upset that the parents have to be killed off or at least gotten out of the way so that the heroine/hero can actually grow up into a fine human being. What?!!
12. If you do venture out into something athletic you need to bring a lot of extra equipment.
Did you remember to bring your knee pads? Your back strap? Your neck brace? If you didn’t, you better bow out of this basketball game. Even if you did remember to bring it all, you might still consider your medical deductible and the deductibles of those around you. After all you’re barely on board with this game as it is, and the last thing you want to do at the end of the night is fork over a thousand dollars for a broken leg. With that kind of money, you could buy you two snow blowers, which would not only save you lots of shoveling time, but also reduce your lower back pain.
13. PBS is your favorite channel. Hands down.
Enough said. Oh, and you’re just dying to go on that Viking River Cruise.
How did you score?
0-3 You’re still a baby!
4-6 You’re o-kay now, but you might want to hit the gym.
7-9 Give the Caribbean a go. Try scuba diving with sharks, go parasailing, and swim from St. Thomas to Antigua. This is your last chance before arthritis sets in.
10-14 Congratulations! You now can get the senior citizen discount?
What signs have got you worried that you’re getting older?