Friday, April 1, 2011

20 vs. 40: Top Ten Reasons It's Awesome to Be Old

Kate recently realized that being almost 40 really isn't that bad because being 20 (aside from the hotness) really wasn't that great.  Technically, neither of us is 40 yet.  Not for a long time.  Not for months.   But we don't have to be 40 to know that, in the eyes of any 20 year old in the world, we're already old as dirt.  But we don't even care.  Here's ten reasons why...

10. Victoria's Secret
At 20, you think "Even though I don't have enough money in my checking account to pay my rent, purchasing this $50 padded monstrosity of a push-up bra to adorn my perfect jugs is an excellent use of limited resources. Ooooohhhh!!! Matching panties!" 

At 40, you recognize Victoria's Secret for what it is: another vestige of institutional sexism designed to make you and your boobs feel as if they are wrong.  MY BOOBS ARE NOT WRONG.  My boobs just shop at Macy's now.

9. Booze
At 20, you can get arrested for drinking. If someone asks you for your ID you get all clammy and scared and side-glancey.  And you drink total crap because you have no money and you probably think Pabst's Blue Ribbon is awesome.

At 40, you're not only legal but you're armed with both the knowledge and the checking account to be able to buy the good stuff.  Like T-boxes.  And if someone cards you, you get all happy and dance-y and side-glance-y and say really loudly (so that everyone can hear):  "YOU WANT TO SEE MY ID? TO BUY THIS BOX OF WINE? TEE HEEE! WHY OF COURSE!"

8.  Friends
At 20, you probably still have this stupid idea that you want to be cool. Therefore, you make an ass of yourself trying to seem like you're awesome instead of awkward and stupid and you usually do it around girls who are total jelly-fishing, self-esteem zappers only you're too awed by their coolness to see that. 

At 40, you're like: "I AM BOOBSTAIN! HERE ME RAWR!" and all your friends are like: "We love you Boobstain!" or "Suck it, Fancy!" and then you get a Starbucks.

7. Dudes
At 20, you probably still have this stupid idea that you want to go out with Jake Ryan or some other standard of male perfection (which is of course ridiculous because most dudes that age are so hormone-driven that they can barely read). Therefore, you make an ass of yourself trying to seem like you're perfect and worth their stupid attention and you usually do it around guys who are total douchebags only you're too busy trying impress them and not fall down in your stilettos to notice.

At 40, you've probably figured out that while every dude has his douche-y moments, most men are so much more awesome at 40 than they were at 20.  And that the perfect dude isn't some guy you have to hide your awkward in front of and pretend to be awesome for, but someone who tells you:  "I love you Boobstain!" or "Suck it, Fancy!" and then you get a snuggle. And we can rock a pair of stilettos.

6. Money
At 20, you're probaby completely dependent financially on other people (and your own inability to control your whims).  You constantly complain about what you don't have and can't understand why you're always have to go without the things you want (inspite of the fact that all of your needs are being taken care of by someone else).  Now petulantly stick your bottom lip out and stare longingly at your friend's new iPhone.

At 40, you & your spouse make all the money but your finances are controlled by other people and their demands for things like food, shelter, heat and jeans from H & M.  Though you are constantly working, you hear their complaints about what they don't have and how they always have to go without the things they want.  So every once in a while you feel completely justified in getting yourself a treat and watch with satisfaction as they petulantly stick their bottom lips out and stare longingly at your new iPhone.

5. Your home
At 20, you live with three or four other people that you met in college. The refrigerator is full of leftover pizza and beer, and every month or so you worry that the lights are going to get turned off. There's far too many electronics and far too few cleaning supplies.  And your house is full of furniture that probably used to be in a fraternity house.

At 40, you live with three or four other people that you married or made. The refrigerator is full of juice boxes and leftovers from last night's pot roast, and every month or so, you turn off all the lights, light a ton of candles and throw a little cocktail party for your friends with things like brie and petit-fours. The electronics are all covered with sticky fingerprints, but that's fine because there's plenty of cleaning supplies. And your house is full of furniture that probably will one day be in a fraternity house.

4. Your body
Ummmm...well...yeah, 20 wins. Stupid 20.

3. Clothing
At 20, you go for the shortest, tightest, skimpiest things you can find. After all, you've got a 20 year old body you want to show off, though you never stop complaining how ugly you are and are completely unaware that you're beautiful with no make-up on at 8 in the morning. Every store in the mall carries everything you'd ever want. You've never heard of Mom Jeans and, that's just fine, because you'd never wear them anyway.

At 40, you go for the comfiest, roomiest, yoga pants-iest things you can find. After all, you've got a post-partum body you want to hide. No store carries anything you'd wear; fortunately, Target does. And that's just fine, because while you're there buying the latest pair of Mom Jeans, you can pick up some diapers and a hose.  And you think longingly of how pretty you were at 20 and wish you could have enjoyed that more because now before 8 am you bear a slight resemblence to the Emperor from Star Wars.

2. Career
At 20, you don't have the education that will get you a job any fancier than being a barrista at Starbucks. So you spend your time taking care of children because you can charge WAY more than minimum wage and all you have to do is hang out with some kids.

At 40, you have at least one, but maybe two -- or even three -- calligraphy lettered certificates on your wall attesting to your fancy and high priced education. After years of clawing at the corporate ladder, you decide that maybe your time is best served taking care of small children. But this time, you're doing it for free. And because you no longer pull a paycheck you can't afford to have a barrista make you the Starbucks that you so desperately need.

1. Your brain
At 20, you're probably pretty stupid.  You may just now be coming out of the haze of adolescence and becoming more self-aware and thoughtful every day.  It's probably dawning on you that you're going to have step up and stop being such a tool. The thought may occur to you that your parents aren't asshats after all.  This set of realizations are not always a pleasant experience.

At 40, you're still pretty stupid.  You may just now be coming out of The Blur related to pregnancy, childbirth and having small, adorable, screeching people running around your house and not letting you sleep.  It's probably dawning on you that even though this motherhood thing has periodic moments of soul-sucking horror, it's also the best thing that ever happened to you. And that you may just turn out to be a pretty decent person after all, one who deserves the amazing kids she was lucky enough to end up with.  And this set of realizations is a pretty awesome experience.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

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