40 Effed Up Things About Being 40

After a few years of not being able to read the fine print (apologies to my kid for the guess-the-dose Infant Advil), I broke down and bought my first pair of reading glasses. 

At the drug store counter, it was like the reverse of a teen nervously buying condoms.  “First pair of reading glasses,” I informed the clerk, just to prove that I’m not at all embarrassed. “My mom wears those,” she smiled.  And now I’m mortified.

Amy in glasses crop

Here are 40 other effed up things about being 40:

  1. Other than Teen Mom, I have no clue what’s on MTV
  2. When people say “middle-aged,” they might mean me.
  3. I can’t wear sequins or I’ll look like a cougar.
  4. I’m more likely to forget to have sex than to forget to floss.
  5. If I eat chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, I’ve gained a size by dinnertime.
  6. Even if I finally get a full night’s sleep, I still look like I was up all night.  But not up all night doing something cool.
  7. At the doctor’s office, I bypass Cosmopolitan and reach for Redbook.  I’ll even read Family Circle.  There are some great recipes in there.
  8. I’m probably never going to be a Solid Gold Dancer.
  9. Going out without makeup is seeming more and more like an aggressive act.
  10. The “me” in my head is like the foxy little sister of the “me” in the mirror.    
  11. Any girl can look cute like Rachel on Friends in her 20s.  Only Jen Aniston looks cute like Rachel on Friends in her 40s.
  12. If I strolled across a college campus, people would assume teacher, not student.  (Upside: instant PhD!)
  13. I’m old enough to drink, vote, rent a car and be elected to the highest office in the land.  All that’s left on my age bucket list is admission to the AARP.  Thanks, I’ll wait.
  14. Most days, I choose comfort over style.  I’m a traitor to my stilettos. 
  15. All the tanning I did in college is showing up now as brown blotches.  Get a Sharpie and you could draw a cow on my chest.  
  16. The Psychedelic Furs, Duran Duran and The Cure are now considered oldies. 
  17. Everything I wore in high school has been appropriated ironically by hipsters.
  18. Only a fortysomething is old enough to remember the TV show Thirtysomething. More irony.
  19. Oooh, my back.
  20. Other than the Kardashians, I don’t recognize anyone in the tabloids.  Who are these people and why are they famous?    
  21. Ages 31-39 are a total blur.  I’m scared I’ll blink and be 200.
  22. All of sudden my tight mini-skirts make me look like I’m trying too hard.  Hey sluts, incoming at Goodwill! 
  23. Uhhh, my back.
  24. The Real Housewives and I are, like, the same age.  Where’s my butler?
  25. It’s occurring to me that I might not ever visit every single beach on the planet, and I’m actually okay with that, which feels weird.   
  26. When I flirt with the cable guy, I don’t get extra channels for free anymore.
  27. I still think 21-year-old guys are hot.  And they’re like, “Mom?” 
  28. Why didn’t I take naked pictures of myself when I was 30?
  29. I fantasize about taping up the sides of my face.  Try it with your fingers–it takes 10 years off instantly.
  30. Cripes, my back. 
  31. Touching my toes is not a guarantee.
  32. Forget 50 Shades of Grey – my nightstand is full of wrinkle cream and Bengay.  The apothecary is open! 
  33. I even have one of those days-of-the-week vitamin boxes.
  34. If I buy a turtle it might outlive me.   
  35. The bad habits I still have are probably here to stay.
  36. I say things like, “What’s the name of that actor, you know, he was in that thing?”  
  37. I get a hangover from looking at liquor. 
  38. The next milestone birthday is 50.
  39. Did I mention my reading glasses?
  40. One word: “Ma’am.”   

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  1. Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    I am snotting with laughter all over my keyboard. Because apparently that, too, happens when you’re old.

    • Posted June 4, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, when you’re young, you snot out chocolate milk.

  2. Epstein's Mother
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    36 only gets worse. You just point and go “whaaaa?”

    • Posted June 4, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      At least I can understand my parents better now.

  3. Posted June 4, 2013 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Wait til you start peeing in your pants for no reason.

    • Posted June 4, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Do laughing and sneezing count as reasons? :)

    • sweettea
      Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      I just keeled!!!

      • sweettea
        Posted June 4, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        ***keegel’d!! sorry

        • Posted June 5, 2013 at 6:12 am | Permalink

          Kegel’ing is better than keeling! Stay with us :)

  4. Donna Tine
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    OMG – I’m right there with you on most of these…..

    • Posted June 4, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      It’s only going to get better…I mean worse. Ha.

  5. Posted June 4, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I giggled out loud at #27. My husband needs to remind me that it’s totes inapprops for me to think that Taylor Lautner is cute.

    • Posted June 4, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      You can think it, but you can’t hang his poster in your bedroom.

  6. Posted June 4, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to my world. I hit 50 a couple of years ago. All of the above for me, too! I’d share more, but I have got to lie down. My freakin’ back is killing me.
    Kelly Stilwell recently posted..Disney Parks Vacation Planning DVD, Free!My Profile

    • Posted June 5, 2013 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      I was hoping by 50 I wouldn’t be able to remember my back hurt–no? Ha.

  7. Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I am reading this on the morning of my 38th birthday, and later today I am taking my daughters on a college campus tour. Because they are researching colleges. For themselves. This is hysterical. Thank you for the reminder not to get my free birthday IHOP. The turtle and hipsters got me the most!

    • Posted June 5, 2013 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Happy Birthday! College – whoah. I feel like you deserve some IHOP and it will only take running 20 miles to burn it off.

  8. Posted June 5, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Well for me it’s my HIP, which NO ONE complains about at age 25. :-/

    But hey – you really should not buy your own reading glasses. Go get an eye exam or you could do more harm than good. I did last year and ended up with 2 pairs – one for computer, one for distance (like nighttime driving). Very typical 40’s vision issues, the doctor said. But if they recommend 2 prescriptions for you, don’t get bifocals. Aside from REALLY feeling like a grandma, they’ll also tweak your neck when you sit at the computer.
    Kimberly Rotter recently posted..Happy International Women’s Day!My Profile

  9. Z
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Don’t worry about “Ma’am.” I get it sometimes. I’m 24.

    • Posted June 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      That’s only okay with me if I’m in the south.

  10. Posted June 7, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I’m clinging to 39 like it’s a caffeine IV. Although my eyes went years ago – my back too is a constant source of pain. Until I laughingly put on a pair of my Kate Spades and then it radiates from my back down to my toes. Great list!!!
    Tracy @ Momaical recently posted..Fancy Spa: A ReviewMy Profile

    • Posted June 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Thanks. I’m technically more than 40, just getting around to writing about it now. You still have at least 2 good years. Love your Fancy Spa review, PS.

  11. Posted June 10, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Very funny and right on. I’m rockin’ 45 like nobody’s business.

    • Posted June 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Thanks. Get down with your bad self!

  12. bill conte
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I’m 29 and I would bang the daylights out of you then make you choco chip pancakes for breakfast.

  13. Posted June 13, 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    At 40 and a half (yep) I can relate to every single one of these. A sexy night is asking my husband to slather the salve over my aching muscles. While I don’t get a hangover from looking at liquor, a late night and one too many glasses of wine means torture the next day.

    It’s funny how people say 40 is like 20/30…no it isn’t. Not at all. Love this post!
    Blackgirlinmaine recently posted..BGIM goes running…sortaMy Profile

    • Posted June 15, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      My Dad’s email signature is “70 is the new 40.” Maybe that will work out better than 40 is the new 20/30!

  14. Posted June 13, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the great article. When I turned ’40’, I felt the same way as you about the prospect of wearing reading glasses. Fortunately, Lookie Lous reading glasses hairbands were invented about that same time. I love them and I sport them proudly on every occasion needed.
    They have started many a conversation as well ’cause they look so modern and cool (here is where I don’t also mention that they are designed to be always handy when you need them). (Oops I just did! )
    I think traditional readers just make me look and feel 100 years old. So glad I don’t have to go there anymore.

  15. Sue E
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    HA HA, I looked up Lookie Lous and they don’t even have them at a strong enough pair for me, I need 2.5! I’m laughing so hard the tears are running down my leg.

    • Posted June 18, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      LOL. We gotta start doing kegels.

  16. Cheyenne
    Posted January 2, 2015 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Oh my gosh you had me at #8! That was my life ambition until I became ” middle aged” lol

    • Posted January 4, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      ME TOO Lol

  17. Posted January 21, 2015 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Ha! Found this on FB, feel like I shouldn’t be here, though! Very relatable; just finished a 40-guy’s version of the same here, linking back to yours — hope you enjoy! http://wp.me/p4hfT7-3q

    • Posted January 21, 2015 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Happy Birthday! Thanks for the link – I look forward to reading yours.

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