Let's face it; we live in a youth-oriented society. And as a member of Generation X as well as a member of an indie/alternative band, I've always clung to my youth, however fading or fleeting, with white knuckles. Judging by the number of over-40 somethings running around in velour sweat pants with "JUICY" bedazzled across the backside, I'd say we're all white knuckling it.
I've been on the other side of forty now, for...a number of years...and it hadn't freaked me out all that much until, recently. Somehow it's hit home recently that it's not all "same as it ever was" anymore. When you start noticing your rock stars look a little more distressed than your favorite handbag, and you stumble into the mall realizing that you don't recognize any of the stores, maybe you're getting old.
In fact, the signs of aging are all around lately, and I'm not talking about the kind that require Retinol. Or maybe I am.
Here are 20 of them...
1. You form a cover band called Counting Crows Feet.
2. Your husband forms a punk band called Grumpy Old Punks, and the only drug they're strung out on is Ex-Lax.
3. The music pumping out of the speakers at the outdoor mall consists of orchestral versions of songs by Smashing Pumpkins, The Pixies and Sonic Youth. Hearing "Here Comes Your Man" performed by the Philharmonic is not what Kim Deal or Black Francis had in mind, though I bet Billy Corgan probably enjoys hearing "Today" played on oboe.
4. When the only stores you used to shop in are populated by 20-somethings and teens and the only people your age are there with their daughters.
5. You start getting catalogues from Chico's.
6. You see someone your age in the "I've fallen and I can't get up" ad.
7. You realize it's been 10 years since the Friends series finale.
8. All your favorite bands are doing reunion shows.
9. When you go to those reunion shows, you wonder who all the old people are. Then you realize they're your age.
10. You've still got hundreds of cassette tapes and nothing to play them on.
11. You tell your kids to set up the DVR to "tape" your shows.
12. You've replaced slam dancing with the Grand Slam at Denny's.
13. That hot waiter at your favorite eatery calls you ma'am. And you're old enough to be his mother.
14. You can't act ironic anymore because you are ironic.
15. You can't get away with wearing your Mighty Mouse baby doll T shirt in public anymore unless you're at a kids birthday party, and even then, your muffin top makes you look like Honey Boo Boo's dad on a bender.
16. You say things to your kids like "I remember back in the day, when MTV played music..." And they ask you what a VJ is.
17. You're closer to actual nirvana than to the concert you went to in '91.
18. When you order your usual sloe gin fizz at a bar, the bartender thinks you're so retro.
19. You hardly recognize anybody in People magazine anymore. Or Rolling Stone. Or US Weekly. Until you realize they are the children of the people you used to read about when you began subscribing.
20. You've been around to witness The Tonight Show change hosts four times. And you can't stay awake long enough to watch it.