In no particular order.
- I talk like Ned Flanders. I’m not sure if this is a symptom of parenthood or of growing older. What I do know is that if my 20 year old self could hear my now 39 year old self, there would be mocking. Most of the time, my speech now is G-rated, predictable, and probably a little annoying- like a movie with talking animals. I say things like (and I’m totally not kidding here): “Skoodle-dee-doo!” (translation: hurry up) and “Hey there, mister, is that a sad face?” and “Now it’s time for lunch-erino!” What has happened to me?
- I am excited by birds.
I don’t know when this happened, but birds fucking thrill me. I will stop what I’m doing to watch them. I will gasp when I see a bird I haven’t seen before. When I was little and visiting my grandparents in Massachusetts, I remember my grandfather was super into birds. At the time, it seemed so pointless. What could be more boring than a book full of pictures of birds? Who cares about birds? They are everywhere! It’s like getting excited about squirrels or something. Then suddenly last year, something changed when I started living in a condo with bird feeders on our back patio. I started watching them. I started to feel a little stoned when I saw them up close (did you know birds can fly?) And let’s face it, they’re kind of shimmery and pretty. I found myself saying things like, “Let’s go for a walk and see if we can find some ducks.” And the sad thing is, if some young folks were to question my interest in birds or say that birds are boring, I wouldn’t even care. That’s how much I love them.
- I say things like “some young folks” without a second thought.
- My body is starting to resemble my grandparents’ bodies.
OK, this one actually disturbs me. It started with those little ridges that some old people have on their fingernails. I remember looking at those ridges on my grandfather’s fingernails when he used to read me Yertle the Turtle. Now, guess what? Yep, I have them too. I also have my grandmother’s furry eyebrows that get crazier every year, and my other grandmother’s crinkly smile lines around the eyes. Let’s not even talk about boobs, shin fat, and dry skin. I’m not disturbed about getting older-that I don’t mind, but I definitely don’t need to see my grandparents every time I look in the mirror. Aging gracefully is hard enough, thank you very much.
- I don’t leave the house if it’s past 7pm.
This, for sure, has to do with having kids. But it is so sadly true. I am tethered to the house. I have eaten dinner as early as 4:30pm on a regular basis. I used to be a night owl. (Owls are so cool.) I don’t see live music, comedy shows, theater, or anything else that has a starting time of 7pm or later.
- All of my undergarments and shoes are comfortable.
This has been a slow transition over the years. Pregnancy and breastfeeding have definitely added new undergarments. Living in Wisconsin and Colorado added new shoes. But when did I actually start throwing away the sexy, uncomfortable shit? After being pregnant, comfort just seemed more important in an undergarment. When you’re dealing with a human curled up in your massive belly, you don’t really want to think about thongs. My body turned out to be ultimately functional, why shouldn’t my bra and undies be? I pretty much laughed out loud when throwing my thongs into the garbage, swearing them off for life. And shoes? I do remember holding a pair of my very own 3 inch heels in my hand at one point a few years ago, and trying to visualize myself wearing them. I remember thinking; “the only occasions I really dress up for are weddings and if I’m at a wedding I want to dance and I’d need to kick off my shoes to dance anyways.” Practical took precedence over sexy. As I said: old-ish.
- I forget what things are called.
“Put this thingy over on the table.” or “Have you seen that green thingy?” The word “thingy” is my noun of choice these days. It is virtually interchangeable with any object. I also have no problem calling thingys by their incorrect names. I call our mini-van a “car,” a dvd a “cd,” an ipad a “computer” and so on. It gets worse every year. I’m hoping that if I start doing crossword puzzles now, I can reverse at least some of the atrophy in my brain that is a combined result of past pot use, breastfeeding, and years of lack of sleep.
- I am disappointed by popular music.
This has actually been a symptom for a while and I’m not sure if it’s a condition of my old-ish age or the deterioration of the popular music industry. Most days I turn on the radio, I end up flipping through every station and then turning it off with disgust. “Ugh.” I say, angrily. “Pitiful. What has happened to the state of our radio nation?” Old-ish.
- I feel drawn to Florida.
It’s warm. I don’t have to think about dragging a sweater with me everywhere. It’s beautiful. And there are lots and lots of birds.
- Celebrities and normal people in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s do not look old to me.
As a teenager, anyone over 20 looked ancient. In my early 20’s, men that were over 30 seemed gross- almost of a different species. (Eww, he has like a full beard and you can see his pores.) And women over 30 seemed too mature to relate to- they were somebody’s mom, and I was still somebody’s daughter. Basically anyone more than 5 years older than me seemed old-ish or full blown old. But nowadays, men and women decades older than me look fantastic! “They’re not old at all!” I think. “Look at Helen Mirren! Ellen DeGeneres! Tom Cruise is 50!” When old-ish people started looking just like, well, people….that’s when I knew for sure I was old-ish too.