Green may be the new black, small the new big, and pale the new tan, but I’m still trying to figure out who said 30 is the new 40. Because if given the choice, I’d take green, small and pale, but I’d also take 30. Wouldn’t you? I’d just want the knowledge of the years between 30 and 40 to apply. That’s not asking for too much, is it? Can you tell someone just had a birthday?
But here’s what I don’t like about this whole thing. Between the ages of zero and 40 you pretty much spend your entire life trying to look older. From makeup to skin-tight prom dresses, fake IDs to fake eyelashes, we primp and preen to look mature and sophisticated. We want to act older, to sound older, and to be older. And then we hit 40 and we do whatever we can to roll back the years.
So here’s my question: when do we actually get to act our age? Because I certainly don’t feel 40. Sometimes I feel like I’m ten. Like when I’m with my girlfriends looking through old high school yearbooks or repeating the lines to “When Harry Met Sally” ad nauseam. “I’ve been looking for a red suede pump!” Or when I laugh uncontrollably when someone slips on a banana peel cartoon style. Other times I feel like I’m 70. Like when I notice stuff I never thought I’d notice (on me, on others, on me compared to others…). Or when I go in for an eyebrow wax and the lady asks me if I also want my chin done. Now that’s low.
So seeing that none of us really wants to act our age at any point in our lives I’d like to be forever 26. I like even numbers. Twenty-six was just old enough to do stuff (like rent a car and go out for cocktails) but too young for major responsibilities like kids, mortgages and chin waxes. But wait, I like my kids so maybe I should be 36. Yeah, that sounds good. Just old enough to be taken seriously, but still young enough where people don’t say “Wow! You’re getting close to 40!”
Hmmm….then again, I really liked being 18. Eighteen is still in college, party like a rock star and think your life is sooooo stressful, even though it’s not. My daughters are five and eight. I like those ages, too. But then you have all those years of homework ahead of you and that’s no fun. Maybe I should just be 40 and like it.
George Bernard Shaw was right. Youth is wasted on the young. Because no matter how young we are we’re always thinking it’s either too young or not young enough. I should be ecstatic because in ten years I’ll be wishing for 40.
But then again, 50 is the new 40, right?