Now that I’ve had a little more than a year to settle into my current role, I think I can look back upon it with some degree of knowledge and intelligence. That I am officially part of that horrid demographic known as “50 Plus!” (it’s the stupid exclamation point that irks me to no end), I want you to know that there are nuggets of wisdom you glean only by having gone beyond the mid-century mark. In no particular order, some lessons I learned after 50:
The mail doesn’t arrive any earlier. There’s no need to race out to the mailbox for letters that aren’t coming. The bills won’t be any less (or fewer) if you keep looking out the window and then run to greet your carrier. This lesson gets totally lost after 70. For some, it’s the only thing people look forward to other than a doctor’s appointment.
You are never going to be a better dancer than you were before. Worse, you are never going to be an attractive drunk dancer. Stick to drinking only.
The world is as much of a mess now as it was 20 years ago. For some reason, you get a bigger urge to clean it up. Talking more loudly in an attempt to do so is no replacement for an Oreck vacuum cleaner.
The mirror is no longer your best friend. It becomes more like an older relative you hadn’t seen in years. That he or she now shows up every day is kind of freaky.
It's easier to find sex than it is love. But it's also easier to determine that it was bad much more quickly and save you lots of time and money.
You require about a third of the calories you did in your 30’s to sustain all the weight you have piled on since. Loose hips sink ships. I’m an anchor.
If your eyesight hasn’t gone, your hearing probably will. Since I’m nearly blind already without my glasses, I’ve basically just stopped listening. Nobody wants to hear what I have to say anyway unless it’s, “Check, please.”
Your bodily functions are of no interest to anyone but your doctor or you. While letting a fart slip when you were a teenager was funny, it’s horrifying when you discover that places like the movies serve as a warm-up room for the rectal orchestra. That you are considering auditioning because of what you just ate for lunch indicates a tune up for your diet is in order.
That story you just told was not particularly interesting the first time around. Repeating it over and over again won’t make it more so. It’s not so much that we are becoming obsolete, as we are boring. Why do you think we yawn at 10 in the morning in the presence of our own company?
Nobody cares what you used to do unless it meant that money came with it and that you gave it away to others. Conversely, nobody cares how much money you saved or have now unless you are planning on sharing it. It’s easier to get money from a Nigerian than it is from someone over 50. We become hoarders of it.
AARP will barrage you with ads of happy, healthy, beautiful, fun loving, fit people enjoying the hell out of their golden years. You will never see any of these people in public. Cut out the pictures and put them in frames. Tell visitors they’re your relatives. If anyone asks, tell them your good looks come from years of being a stay-at-home highly unpaid writer.
Stop looking for love. It’s like trying to remember where you put your keys. When you find either, you usually are just as relieved as you are disappointed for being so stupid.
Let love find you. Get yourself a pet and call it a day. Since a single dog year equals seven human ones, eight years from now, you’ll both be the same age and can enjoy your advanced age together.
And you can blame the gas on him.