9 Things I Am Too Old For

I’m too old for this shit.  – Detective Roger Murtaugh 

If I go back 25 years and think about the information available to me compared to now, I realize why my ADD brain swirls like one of the cheap pinwheels Randy decorates our deck with.

I was still decades away from caring about headlines that had to do with aging. I just scanned headlines on Cosmo for 3,609 Ways To Please Your Man articles.

Hint: Say yes. That’s really all it takes.

For the record, I just lied. I never scanned for those articles. They annoyed the fuck out of me then. Now, I just find them unworthy of contemplating.

Now? I can read one of thousands of articles on aging ranging from reasons it sucks (no it doesn’t) to age appropriate ways to wear eye shadow (fuck you, you can have my black eyeliner when you can pry it from my cold dead fingers). 

I love getting older. I spent a life time filled with self loathing. I gave that up. I gave up feeling stupid, because I’m not. I gave up beating myself up over being awkward. I’m socially anxious. That’s who I am. There are a lot of us. We’re a tribe. Well, a tribe whose members prefer to keep to themselves. I have replayed times when I’ve said or done something embarrassing literally decades after it happened. I’m done with that. I’m done worrying about how I look. I spent decades worrying about every gray hair and every bulge.

I stopped dying my hair over a year ago. I won’t lie though, I still worry about the bulges. But see? That’s the other thing, I’m cool with that as well. I accept me for who I am. Who I am right now is someone who would like to be a little less squishy. I am all about self-acceptance. And that is very nearly true.

My mind doesn’t understand that I’m 52 years old. It still feels 31. My body, however, it is fully aware of the number of years it’s lived.

There are things I am too old for. Time does change a person and I am finding that it is easier to accept these changes than to fight them.

These are things for which the ship has sailed:

1. Shutting up – I no longer want to keep my mouth shut when I see an injustice. Or feel one. It’s not that I never spoke out, there were times when I did, but it was usually on behalf of someone else. Not for myself. I’m done with that. I don’t know how much good it will do, but if I get treated like shit, I’m going to shout about it.

2. Worrying how I look to others – Randy and I had breakfast at an upscale cafe this morning, well, upscale compared to Waffle House. We were going grocery shopping afterward. My hair would have looked okay if I hadn’t run out of dry shampoo, Also, it’s possible I was wearing jeans that should have been washed 3 wearings ago. But really…jeans don’t ever get dirty, do they? There were four women sitting at the table next to us and every one of them was wearing an infinity scarf. I had a brief moment of panic. I kind of looked like a pan handler and Randy…well, he definitely looked like a pan handler. What would the infinity women think of me? Then I decided that their opinion of me wouldn’t change how my bacon and avocado omelet tasted. For the record, Waffle House has better coffee.

3. Guilty Pleasures – I no longer have any guilty pleasures. I just have regular pleasures. I don’t feel guilty about liking Lady Gaga. I don’t feel guilty about reading every Stephanie Plum book and I certainly don’t feel guilty about getting obsessive about a TV show and watching it over and over. I have moved on from Supernatural and Doctor Who. I am currently re-binge watching The Walking Dead. Because Daryl.

4. Uncomfortable shoes – Fuck wearing uncomfortable shoes. I don’t care if my socks match or not. If they mostly match, that’s good enough.

5. Making excuses for my messy house – You know why my house is messy? Because I don’t feel like cleaning right now. Also, it’s messy because I’m unorganized and a bit of a slob.

6. Accumulating shit I don’t need – Oh my god, I cannot convey how much I am done with this. Nearly everything we have isn’t necessary or entertaining or comforting. We have less than two years before our baby boy graduates and starts college. During that time, it is my goal to relieve ourselves of at least half of everything we own. Maybe more.

7. Spending unnecessary time with people I don’t like – I actually started this one a few years ago. I used to go to lunch a few days a week with a group of coworkers. I don’t like them. They are mean, petty, and we don’t share the same interests. One day, I looked at them while they squabbled over sports or politics or a work project and thought what the fuck am I doing here? And then I stopped having lunch with them. Life is too short to spend unnecessary time with douche twizzles.

8. Finding the good in every person I know – Sometimes, people are assholes. I’m sure, even with the biggest asshole, if you do enough digging, you’ll find something good about that person. But why would I do that? Why have I done that? I don’t want to waste anymore time than I have to on unpleasant people. People make their choices. If they decide to be insufferable twat monsters, then so be it. I no longer feel compelled to find something attractive about people like that. I just want move on from them as quickly and painlessly as possible.

There are 8 things that I am too old for. I know the title says 9 things, so I am going to need your help.

What are you too old for?



117 Thoughts.

  1. For me, it’s doing things that I am supposed to like, because classy people do. Like jazz, especially that free-form, endless stuff with a million soloes.

  2. I’m with you on all of these. I think you’re my big sister in a parallel universe.

    I’m too old to not be ME! I’m done trying to fit into anyone else’s box of expectations. I’m almost 40 and I have blue hair with gray roots and I play Dungeons and Dragons. I’m not too old for that, I’m just too old to care what you think.

    @angraleigh on Twitter

  3. Yeah, stuff uncomfortable shoes!
    I’m working on most of what’s on your list, except the grey thing. Once I get to the point of more grey than brown I will probably start using punk colours as I intend to grow old disgracefully
    I hope I’ve outgrown subjugating myself for the sake of a relationship. If that means being alone from now on then so be it.
    I haven’t achieved it yet but hopefully the thing I will outgrow is making other people the centre of my universe and putting their needs above my own.

  4. I love Stephanie Plum novels. My boys will hear me laugh out loud while reading and ask “are you reading that lady again?”

    I think I’ve finally hit the point where I’m completely over pretending I’m someone I’m not just to keep a relationship. I just don’t care enough about it anymore. I’ve been single, I’ve been in relationships and there are happy moments and memories in both. I’m also done apologizing for my kids. Sure they can be real jerks at times, but I’m still proud of them. Besides, it’s not like they’re criminal jerks just young male jerks.

  5. I have outgrown allowing family members to get away with shit I wouldn’t allow anyone else to get away with. I don’t care if you are my father- if you’re being a bully I’m calling you out. I don’t care if you are my MIL- if your’e being a selfish diva I’m calling you out. If you’re…well, you see where I’m at.

    I’m still not comfortable with my wobbly stuff, but I’m with you on being good with growing older. I am never the “put together” one in the room either. And a messy house is a sign of a life well lived, especially if there are stacks of Janet Evanovich scattered about!

  6. My list looks exactly like yours. My number 9 (“Number 9, number 9” –ha) is that I don’t give fuck if I’m “too old” to wear whatever I’m wearing. All I go by now is whether I look hot, even if I have to imagine that is true. Thank you, declining eyesight!

    I also have a Number 10 that I’m not going to post here. I’m a Womsn of Mystery, y’all.

  7. Great post! I need to print that out and re-read it everyday. I’m too old for all those things as well, but I forget that pretty much every fucking day. I especially relate to #7–spending time with people I don’t like.

    I am too old to have to explain why I don’t like, or don’t want to do, something. I JUST DON’T! If others are confused, surprised, judgmental or pushy about my decision, they can just struggle with that on their own. I’m done ‘splaining, Lucy.

  8. this has been my year of ‘FUCK YOU MAN’ so my list is long. so long. all of everything you said nodding my head the whole way down the page.
    cheers to just being done with bullshit and the douche twizzels out there!

  9. This just became the post that made me want to stand up and cheer. I’m 46 and there are soooo many things on this list that I am in total agreement with. I still color my hair because I just can’t let it go yet. I’m not there. Maybe when I’m 51? I hope so. I want to be okay with it. I’m just not there yet. While I’d like to add to and be your 9th, I have a hard time thinking of anything I would add to this list. Mine would have been your #7. I am right there. I have spent YEARS doing that shit and I am over it. I used to feel like I had to “for my family”. Screw that. Believe me, if I’m in a room with someone I don’t like, my family would be much happier to not have me there at this point in my life. I’ve lost my filter.

    Awesome post, Michelle! Loved every word!

  10. For me Numbers 1 – 9 is wearing what’s comfortable vs anything remotely fashionable… Most of the time that translates into scrubs for work, shorts & T-shirts (most of which were Ride Awards; if my memory weren’t as holey as Swiss cheese I’d reproduce my colleague’s “$50 T-shirt” speech – which w/inflation have become $100 T-shirts!!!) for leisure time…
    I still DO have nice legs (thanks to all the riding) so I continue to embarrass my son by showing ’em off!

  11. I’m with you on all of these!! And I’m only 32, so I prob look like a dumpster diver at brunch rather than a panhandler. Which reminds me that I enjoy dumpster diving (or at least perusing rich neighborhoods for thrown-away furniture.) My #9 though: I’m too old to be ashamed of regifting, making handmade stuff or giving people hand-me-downs. Especially for Christmas. A gift is a gift and if there’s no tag attached, it’s called VINTAGE or well-loved or the most utilitarian gift you ever received. How many people have “upcycled totes” that cost $100 but can’t accept a gift that not new? It’s the thought that counts.

    • I couldn’t agree more. I always plan to make gifts but then end up running out of time…but I personally, LOVE vintage stuff. And anyone who doesn’t just say ‘thank you’ for a gift regardless of it’s origin is rude.

  12. Things I’ve outgrown:

    1. Brushing my teeth with regularity
    2. Washing myself every day
    3. Caring if I queef or fart during sex
    4. Keeping a pristine house
    5. Putting up with people’s shit
    6. All of my clothes

  13. Hey, you stole my list! 🙂 I turn 50 a week from tomorrow and I am going to stop coloring my hair. That means I have eight days to decide on the shade of my last shebang. I’ve never gone completely purple . . . I really like purple!

    My number 9 is . . . I am too old to think there should be exceptions to 7 and 8. I spent years trying to accept a woman who is dangerously vindictive, lies about everything (big serious lies), enjoys hurting other people, and cannot go a single day without creating some kind of bizarre drama. I really thought I had to have her in my life because of who she is. But a few months ago – after being deleted from her Facebook yet again (after yet another public meltdown on her Facebook page), I walked away. And after some soul searching recently, I realized that I am not going to walk back. I don’t like the person she is and I don’t like the person she pretends to be. I love her and I always will but unless she gets some help, I do not want her in my life. Sadly, she is my daughter.

    • Ohhh…that is a tough one..but really? We only have this one life (or so I suspect) and it behooves us to fill it with people that we find happiness with. I’m sending you a big fat supportive hug right now.

      • Nah, we get lots of lives but it is still up to us to make each one the best that it can be.

        Thank you for the hug – it IS tough, but necessary. There is nobody else in this world that I would allow to be a part of my life if it meant standing there watching them destroy people and wondering if I am next – why would I do it for her? I can’t. I have gotten old enough to know that blood may be thicker than water, but it’s thinner than common sense. Or maybe I am just a cold-hearted bitch. Nah – but I wish I was – it would make this crap easier!

  14. Yes, YES and YES AGAIN to every single thing on this list. Regarding the cleanliness parts, I wanted to mention that I used to have a hang-up that the sheets on the bed had to be changed EVERY SINGLE Sunday evening. One I had my kid and my laundry load increased exponentially, I realized that you can actually sleep on your sheets for TWO whole weeks and no one will die. I just change out the pillowcases on the alternating Sundays. You’re welcome in advance for that helpful hint. Just call me Heloise. Or don’t. Because I prefer Gina.

    • I would DEFINITELY prefer Gina over Heloise. And our sheets never last that long..not because we’re anal about it, but because I eat in bed all the time and get crumbs in the bed and it drives Randy crazy.

  15. To all you “youngsters” out there – I just hit 65 and have every Stephanie Plum book written. Funniest. Writer. Ever. Up yours if you don’t think so. As far as hair dye goes – I have roughly half as much as I had when I was 25 (damn menopause), but it’s still down to my ass and I’ll cut it when I’m damn good and ready – so stop telling me it’s “age inappropriate”. Since when has that ever mattered to me? As for coloring it – it’s a pain in the ass, but every now and then I put in one of those 6 week jobs – just for a change of pace. I work out of my home so my clothing options aren’t important. If you come to my door uninvited and I’m not wearing a bra – serves you right!
    This is one of the best blogs I’ve read, which considering how much older I am than all of you, means that I still have good taste . So there. Love every minute of this, including the comments!

  16. I’m too fucking old to be cold. My winter hat is a monstrosity with (fake) fur lining and ridiculous ear flaps. And I wear it with my suit and formal overcoat. And I will continue to do so, as it keeps my noggin warm. Even though I look like an escapee from the asylum.

    • I LOVE it. My husband puts a skull cap on around the first of November and takes it off around the end of March. He takes it off to shower and sleep and that’s about it. I’ve grown accustomed to it.

  17. I’m to effin old for uncomfortable digging into the depths of my soul, foam shaping, back squeezing bras! Screw that!!! I’ve discovered stretchy, comfortable, sometimes uni-boob producing usually blahhh nude color, pull over my head bras and I’ll NEVER turned back. And I also don’t care what my loving hubby of 23 years thinks of my new look, even though he’s only ever cared what my bra looks like thrown at the end of the bed 😉 at this point he’ll take what he can get

    • I am so with you. I have NEVER found a bra I’m happy with…I should make that my next goal in life. HAHAHA..and hubs doesn’t give a fuck about the state of my underwear..only that they sometimes come off.

  18. #9 Answering the phone just because it’s ringing. Hey, it’s my phone, my life. Just because someone called does not mean I have to pick up. I might be busy … busy relaxing!

  19. I agree with ALL of yours and here is my number nine.

    I will not let others think I agree with something stupid they have said because I am too afraid of confrontation to speak up. I am speaking up and damn the torpedoes! okay I just realize that is the same as your number one.

    I am too old to go to a social activity I don’t want to go to. I can just say no, no apology, and stay home and knit and binge watch my latest addiction on netflix.

    so yeah, that symphony, I will take a pass.

  20. I’m too old to pretend my hair is blonde. Almost, too old…I’m not completely committed to my natural mousey color yet. But the roots are growing in nicely. I’m with you on all of your ‘too old fors’, Michelle! I recently read a magazine thingy on how to dress for your ‘decade’. It went from 30’s to 60’s. Fuck that shit! I’m too old to have ANYONE tell me HOW to dress. I’m done with the whole fashion magazine thing that recycles boring stories of how I need to do this and that better (including pleasing my man).

    oh, ya and ditching unpleasant people from my life—absolutely necessary!

  21. #7 & #8 are biggies for me. I used to waste an awful lot of time accommodating people who were simply not worth it, just because we’d been “friends” for ages. No more. Life just goes by too damn fast, so the Drama Queen Bullshit time slot has been permanently removed from my appointment book.
    My #9 would have to be “Respecting your elders.” Yes, a good deal of elderly people are worthy of respect. But some are just dicks, and I’m done getting walked all over, sometimes literally, just because someone has decided that being old means doing away with common courtesy. If you use your advancing years as a Get Out of Jail Free card to be a complete and utter misery to everyone around you, fuck you. Don’t expect me to smile at you and chuckle, “Oh, what an old dear!” after you ram your shopping cart into my kidney at the grocery store instead of politely asking me to move out of your way.

  22. I’m wid Scott, own dramas only! And, I reckon, once you’re done with douche-twizzling you’re like the Zen master of grown up-ness

  23. Have to say I am also too old to give a shit what others thing of me, I am a short fat middle aged woman and I am for the most part happy with me I know I am loved by my family and that is enough for me. My grandmother was a big woman, my mum is a big woman and I am a big woman so this is who I am love me or leave me

  24. I can’t think of anything (good) to add to your list, it’s great ‘as is’. I can contribute several “physical” items. When my kids were toddlers, that’s when I discovered I could no longer do a somersault. I didn’t know you could get too old to do somersaults, but I definitely have. And my husband, he still believes he can beat his kids in a race. Umm, no, I don’t feel like making a trip the the ER because your dumb ass pulled something!

  25. Well I’m 56 and I’m pretty sure I just peed myself reading all of this…
    And I’m just too friggin’ old to give a shit about telling people how old I am. In fact, sometimes I add a few years so they think— OK, so maybe she’s a little on the lumpy side, but you know she’s not too bad for her age.

  26. I absolutely agree with you on those 8 points – clearly it does come with age !!!!!
    I’m too old to listen to my boss rabbit on about her children and how wonderful and polite and good and caring and clever and talented and and and they are because, I find them to be quite rude children who don’t greet you when you greet them and their Mother has a very over rated version of how talented they really are – I have heard them sing and perform and they are not that good – in fact they are pretentious brats !
    I’m also too old for lies – lies to make you look good and me look bad. Lies don’t work – EVER no matter what reason you are telling them – just don’t. Tell the truth and live with the truth.
    I could never understand how my Mom went out without make-up on some days (often?) – now I totally get it although she was probably about 15yrs younger than me when she was doing it !!!!
    Have the bestest day and take care !
    Me xox

  27. I am to old for shitty ass winter weather. My joints hurt, it’s cold, it’s wet and it’s slippery. To hell with that I need to live in Hawaii and teach myself to surf or something equally dangerous before I freeze into a solid sheet of ice!!!!!

  28. Yes to all these things – especially the uncomfortable shoes. I am only 37, but I refuse to squeeze into something just because it is cute. I am also finding that I have little time for doing things according to “protocol.” I do things because I want to, not because I have to.

  29. Michelle, I am a bit older than you, and am constantly figuring this stuff out! I saw Anne Lamott yesterday, and she started with how important those “me too” moments are, and this post is certainly one for me! Me too!! Love this post.

  30. I LOVE this!!! You are my hero and since I’m 49 your post will be my new mantra!!! Thank you! And I agree with everything you stated!!!! xo

  31. I’m tool old for about half of the things you list. Not quite there yet on the others. However, I have finally gotten too old for worrying about what other people think of me. I do my best and they can take me or leave me. Whichever.

  32. You are my hero. Seriously, I agree with all of this. (Especially Darryl.) My number 9 would be I’m too old to still worry about what others think of me. I have made a freakin’ career out of worrying about this shit. (and you have my dying over the infinity scarves. I thought I was the only female on the planet who didn’t own one and wear it 9 months out of the year! I see 1st graders wearing them!!! Did I miss something on the scarf front? Cause I don’t get it!)

    • HAHAHA. I don’t either. I mean, I HAVE some scarves. I wear them when it’s really cold. End of story. But I’m not fancy at all, so I probably don’t know what I’m talking about .

      I have made a career out of worrying what people think of me as well. It’s exhausting. I’m glad we’re both giving it up.

  33. Michelle, a big fat YES to your entire list. This year, “Maybe I can just wear these shoes for, like, an hour…?” became non-negotiable. Screw it. I want to look cute because I like looking cute. But there are a gazillion other things more important than pleasing other people. I can’t do what I’m here to do if I’m all uptight about stepping on other people’s toes! Doesn’t mean I’m not going to try my utmost to be tactful, but life is not about pleasing everyone BUT ourselves. Brava to you!

    • Thank you! And I agree, it’s kind of dumb to go out of our way to be disagreeable..a lot of people do that..but that doesn’t mean that we should be agreeable for the sake of agreeing.

  34. Oh, PS- I’m too old for tiptoeing around my husband. He never required that- in fact, he finds it annoying. I started giving that one up around three years ago (I’m 46 now). I’m too old to live like a 1950’s wife and too smart to teach my kids that that’s an appropriate role for a woman. Love you, and your article- thank you.

  35. It’s a good list – covers many bases. It’s not very jazzy but I’ll go with #9 – truly not giving a shit what people think about me – it’s none of my business anyway (coupled with always trying NOT to be an asshole and generally behave like a decent human. If you still think I suck well good on ya – not my problem).

    • Dude…that’s perfect. Seriously. That’s my code…try to not be an asshole and be decent. That’s it.

      Not that I always succeed, but I like to think I own up to it when I fail.

  36. Lies, insanity, and conspiracy theories. I’m not on drugs anymore, and as Paul Simon once said, I don’t find this stuff amusing.

  37. Yes, yes, yes, yes and YES!
    Not just uncomfortable shoes, any clothing that pinches and binds and demands to be taken off the Minute. You. Get. Home.
    I’m rocking the yoga pants and elastic waistbands. With a semi-clean tunic and a comfy pair of boots, I ready to take on the world!

  38. #1 – I never mastered that one.

    #4 – I bought my favorite pair back in 2009 and even though they’re crying to be laid to rest, I can’t let go.

    #6 – The Salvation Army loves me. They’re quite familiar with my address and they know that they never have to knock at the door. It’s always waiting for them – curbside.

    #7 – And that includes family members.

    One more thing:
    Don’t knock on my door unannounced. The days of just stopping by are over. It’s my space so don’t take it for granted.

    I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for sharing…

  39. I’m only 34, but I’ve outgrown changing for a guy. I’m in my second marriage and there are days that it is difficult because you always find something that doesn’t 100% mesh with the other person, but I’m not going to be anyone other than who I am because that’s who I promised to give him in our marriage vows. We don’t say, “I promise to follow all of your rules and adapt to your every little whim.” Screw Cosmo!

  40. I love your list – it sounds like you’re in psychologically healthy mindset.

    As a 56-year-old male, what am I too old for? Alas, receiving certain types of sexual favor, apparently!

  41. Totally! You said it in your preface to the list, this is your tribe, and I agree, the post and all the comments, my tribe too!

    The #9 I would add: I have changed my terminology from “too old to” to “too WISE to” do this crap. I earned every nugget of wisdom during these years revolving around this planet. 🙂

  42. I am a member of the tribe you describe. The one who has long ago quit comparing. And become more comfortable. The old messages raise their head from time to time. The ones that are shaming and negative. Then it’s time to confront. And shut that voice up. I have read your writing before – I just wanted to comment tonight. Thanks for the venue and the inspiration.

  43. #9. Settling. I have stopped settling: settling for near-tight shoes because I like them and they’re on sale; settling for the smallest serving (steak, chicken breast, etc.) on the plate set in front of me when my husband’s is given the largest portion (????) and we paid the same for both (“Take mine back and give me another. No, we won’t trade plates.”); settling for relatives visiting me when it’s not a good time because I feel some sort of obligation; settling for cheaper or lower quality (jewelry, car, hotel room, food, entertainment, furniture, etc.) just to save a few $$$ when it’s not what I really want and I know I will spend the rest of my life wishing I hadn’t “settled” just to save $$$ that I won’t have saved 5 years from now anyway; settling for anything less than a choice I would make if circumstances were better (when the hell do they ever get better?). If I’m given a choice, and I want to make a choice, I won’t settle. 🙂

  44. When I turned 60, I realized it was the age I was was supposed to be; had always been. Granted, the flab was not welcome but am working on that. Aging is 50% acceptance and 50% maintenance (though those percentages fluctuate depending on the day and the special at my favorite restaurant). I don’t worry about loving short hair any more – kept growing it out and cutting off. Don’t care that I love jeans and t-shirts, lacy lingerie, baggy night shirts, my rescue pups, slightly shiny/sparkly eye shadow (they say you don’t want your wrinkles all glittery but do you want them all matte and muddy?). Love minimalism (getting there one garbage bag at a time), reading, reading, reading; exercise in moderation, a good diet to stay healthy, only really good friends who fall into the category of “family” versus relatives (who I have little in common with), and so many other things. About not shutting up… I have a friend who was raised in the South and came from, and was, a proper Southern woman; polite, demure (such a Southern word and sentiment), never raised her voice, devoted wife and mother. When she hit menopause, BOOM! She hasn’t shut up since and the world is a better place for it. I’m a psychotherapist, and, yes you’re right – “finding the good in everyone” – Why should I have to find it? – If they can’t be bothered to excavate it and put it out there, fuck ’em and move on.
    Keep the good words coming, Michelle!

  45. The first time I colored my hair blue, my customers asked a coworker if I was depressed! Then I got a tattoo, and they were ready to do an intervention. I guess my #9 is I won’t compromise myself, my beliefs, or my style to fit someone else’s idea of what I should be. Life’s too short!

  46. Good for you. I’ve been moving into this space for the past few years. I’m now 73 and have reached most of those goals. My biggest impediment is that I work in customer service. S-o-o-o-o-o!! But, otherwise, I’m stepping into my comfort zone and have stopped worrying about measuring up to someone else’s standards.

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