Phoenix, AZ

Don’t Tell Me I’m Too Old to Do Something

Vanessa Torre

I have no time for your age-related mandates

For the life of me, I can’t understand why other people feel entitled to tell us how we should live. It’s a little sanctimonious. Okay, a lot.

My social media feed frequently includes clickbait links to ridiculous listicles. My beef with my Facebook reminding me that I’m old is a whole other topic. The fact that I use Facebook is proof, however, that I am old.

I love the sense of urgency some of these listicles have.

The revolution against doing what we want needs to start now! Get moving!

Once you get past 40 there is, apparently, an immediate need to get rid of things or at last stop doing certain things. Like right now. Stop reading this article because you need to go rid yourself of some things! Like debt.

Okay, no. First, newsflash: many of us over the age of 40 are divorced. Divorce is a spendy endeavor. The life cycle of debt for a lot of people looks like this: amass student loans, get married, pay off student loans, turn 40, get divorced, pay for a lawyer and give your spouse half of what you have. This culminates in…debt.

This is not where the ridiculousness ends.

Flip flops, my friends, are a huge issue.

Something you may not know: flip flops are the MOST offensive piece of footwear that exists. Who knew? Flip flops appear on a good number of the lists I saw. Yes, I went looking for these listicles in order to fuel my hate fire.

The people writing these articles clearly do not live in Phoenix, AZ where it reaches 120 degrees in the summer. I could not imagine how angry this entire city would be if no one over 40 could wear flip flops. An army of middle-aged, angry people with sweaty feet, wearing New Balance sneakers, do not a pleasant population make.

Turn up the frump, ladiees.

You just turned 40? Awesome! Congratulations. Here’s your LL Bean catalog. Khaki Bermuda shorts for you. All day, every day!

Clearly, after 40, our sexuality is a thing of days gone by.

Long hair is for the sexy, young people. Having long hair ages us? Nope. I cut my hair off once. It was a bad idea. I am a long hair kind of girl. If I cut my hair, I go from zero to soccer mom faster than a minivan in the carpool lane. It is not a good look for me.

A commonality of these listicles is the general assumption that all women over 40 have clearly let themselves go, succumbed to “mom bods,” are carrying at least an extra 30 pounds and have matronly arms. Even if a woman has, who the heck cares?

I love my weightlifting and I do what I can to eat well. It’s resulted in the fact that I have actual biceps. They were hard-earned through blood, sweat and tears. I am in better shape at 45 than I was at 25. But, I am not to wear a halter top. Ever.

You want to say that to my face? I. Will. Punch. You.

We can’t even be comfortable.

One article noted that printed leggings are strictly forbidden. Get back, demon. Get right the heck out of my house. Let me get this straight:

I’ve started to get arthritis. I’m tired a lot of the time. And now you want to take my sugar skull leggings? I’m not having it.

I don’t do well in a box. If you tell me what to do based on a generally accepted construct, I’m going to look at your sideways. I’ll buck against it.

There is an inherent problem with these listicles and it goes beyond the fact that they’re just stupid. What it has everything to do with is that they are barking up the wrong tree. Telling women in their 40s how to look and behave is an exercise in futility because we don’t care. Now excuse me, I need to buy some flip flops. It’s hot out.

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Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, she won’t stop taking pictures of her drinks. IG: vanessaltorre Twitter: @vanessaltorre

Phoenix, AZ

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