Main Street News

This is 40 … plus-something … again!

By Published On: April 6th, 2024

I’ve made it another rotation around the sun. No, no, this is not a solar eclipse thing. This is an age thing. You see, on this exact day last year it was my birthday. And to commemorate that milestone (aka that crisis) I wrote an op-ed similar to this, talking about a midlife crisis. (To read that article, click here). 

And much like on this day last year, today it’s my birthday too. Thank you, thank you. I’m a year older, and a year wiser (or so I hope). And no, I won’t disclose my exact age – no one needs to know that. Just know that I’m technically 40-plus-something. And I’m really starting to resent that “plus-something” part. *sigh* #imindenial

Last year I shared my take on what a midlife crisis actually means, to me at least. Basically it’s coming to the realization that we’re not considered “young” or necessarily in our “prime” anymore. Oh the horror, I know! So today I wanted to argue against that point and say something profound and say how 40 is the new 30 but, well, truth be told? I threw my back out earlier this week. I have literally been horizontal for three days. Soooo, I might not be feeling quite in my prime or ready to argue how my newfound 40-something age is just like 30-something… right? 

I mean, I can’t, can I? Not in my current state?

But further, is this the downward spiral? Is it really all downhill from here? Oy vey, the pain… specifically, the back pain.

No, it can’t be. I refuse… just give me a moment to pop another Tylenol and find my Bengay and then I’ll refuse super hard. Just give me a minute… I gotta get up from this chair first. #lendmeahand

Times are ‘a changing

We all grew up with the older generations telling us how times have changed and how things were “back in my day…” Yeah, well, I do that now. 

I tell the younger generations around me how things “used to be” and how “back in my day” we used to do things that way or this way. And I did in fact walk to school, uphill, both ways, in the rain and the snow. So there’s that. 

Now when a certain movie or song reference comes up, and these yutes (yes that’s a “My Cousin Vinny” reference… Google it if you were born after 1995) look at you with question marks in their eyes, I do sometimes inwardly sigh before groaning. Like, gee thanks for the agist reminder. Do not recommend. 

Just a few days ago I was saying that Rex Manning Day would be coming up soon, and the Gen Zer I was talking to just went, “Huh?” I think I literally slapped my own forehead. After so doing I looked at her and exasperatedly said, “Empire Records? Does that ring any bells?” Spoiler alert, it did not. I then proceeded to advise her to invite her mother to a movie night to watch the movie and report back to me. Stay tuned for that one.

The point of this “back in my day” rant, you ask? Well, the point is that I finally get it now. And honestly, we just can’t help it! Gosh-darnit, we can’t help but tell these youngins about all of our “worldly” experiences and how things may have been better back in our day. And we hope that maybe, just maybe, they might listen to what we have to say. That maybe, just perhaps, we might know a little bit about what we’re talking about. 

But you know what burns my bacon about this whole scenario? It’s when you’re trying to tell your kids something, to pass on some of your hard-earned knowledge and spare them the pain of having to figure it out for themselves, and you’re not even sure if they heard a word of what you said, but then come back at you sometime later and repeat the factoid that you just shared with them and you feel amazing! Like “yes! I got through to them!” But that joy is swiftly taken away when they end the repeated factoid with “… yeah, I saw it on TikTok.” 

Can I insert an exploding head emoji here?

So because someone online posted something, that makes it truth? But not a real live person who actually did the thing and learned the thing and is now trying to teach you the thing? No? Oh, okay. Good to know. Guess I’ll just double up on my stories and the “back in my day” sayings and see if it matches up with the facts from the likes of TikTok, huh? 

Sure, sounds like a good plan. Because everything on the Internet is true… just before you go though – could you show me how to repost and add to my stories? And what’s a reel again? Hang on, I need to get my glasses – the fonts on this phone are so small…

Back in fashion

I find it quite hilarious honestly to see that what I was wearing back in junior high school is now in fashion again. The crop tops with the big bulky jeans, the bucket hats… I just had a full body shudder. But if they bring back those comfy jeans, band T-shirts and flannels and I can blast my Nirvana and Pearl Jam like no one’s business, I mean, I could get on board. 

What I find most hilarious about the 90s fashion making a comeback is the fact that the Gen Zers are all about it. They’re wearing the overalls and crop tops and horrible bucket hats and mom jeans with pride. Mom jeans, seriously? They are flattering to no one – I repeat: To. No. One! And further, no one needs that mom jean negativity in their lives.

Wait, is this cringe look on my face the same one that my mother gave me when I wore those things circa 1994 and I continually blasted Nirvana and Blur? Please hold, I might need to call my mother to compare notes. 

Thirst traps

I have to admit that I have some fun friends who like to scour the Internet for, well, to be frank, they’re thirst traps. Or to be fair, my friends don’t have to work so hard to find them. The algorithm takes care of that for them. And I don’t have to work at all for the traps or for the algorithm because these same friends will just send them to me. Unsolicited most of the times (but also, thank you – you know who you are). 

Just yesterday one of these friends, who shall remain anonymous, sent me one such trap. She said it had been for “research” on tattoos that the two young men in the video had, sure-sure, sounds plausible. But her next comment had me first in stitches, but as reality sank in I sighed and groaned again. She said that once she saw one of the guys’ tattoo that declared his birth year that she cringed and flipped to the next video… but that was after she sent it to me, of course. You know, because – research. But that birth year had been in the 90s. #doesthismeanimold

Last year in my mid-life crisis article I wrote a little about this, about how we all grow up with a group of celebrities whether singers or actors, and it really becomes apparent for us that we’re aging when all these new up-and-coming people come up and they just look like… children. Or kind of. And at the same time, the ones that we kind of grew up with – our contemporaries – when we see some of them age… *gasp* … when we see them age that makes us think of our own age. The struggle is real my friends. 

In last year’s article I also shared when I had been watching a football game and Nick Bosa’s age had been revealed – yeah, well, the reality of his age still haunts me. It poignantly put into perspective his age vs. my own age and you know what, it’s just not fair! I say that only to reference what I said last year because it still rings true: for the majority of our 20s and 30s, we feel that we’re all at a very similar age. Once you come to the realization that you’re just not “that age” anymore, it really really sucks! You’re now…. 40. #sendhelp

And in my case, especially today, I’m past that 4-0 and getting closer and closer to that 4-5 number every day. It’s just… it’s not cool, man. 

But, but! Wait, just wait. Just like last year, I will reference Paul Rudd again. So I have the great pleasure of not only sharing this birthday with my best friend in the world – I love you Maria! – but we also share it with the incredible Paul Rudd. Now, Paul is about a decade older than me, but Paul was recently voted sexiest man alive. So Paul gives me hope. 

And plus, as a side note, Paul is ageless and he’s incredible. So maybe I’ll just wrap this up where I started and say that maybe, just maybe, 40 is the new 30. I feel more confident making that claim now not just because of Paul or the fact that my pain meds kicked in and I can sit upright, but because as we age we do live and learn. Perhaps every wrinkle and age spot are marks of my experiences. Not to say that I won’t try some of that “ageless” cream that Maybeline or L’Oreal is trying to peddle off to me, but I subscribe to the idea that I’m only as old as I feel. 

To be fair, today I feel pretty ancient. But post-Tylenol and Bengay, I’m feeling a bit younger. Hopefully tomorrow I might feel even younger. There’s no guarantee of that (I really did a number on my back after all), but it’s all about the mind, right? And in my mind’s eye, I just want to stay in that sweet spot. And for me, that sweet spot was in my middle to late 30s. I’d be happy to just stay there for a while… at least while I figure this 40s thing out. And since Paul has set the standard, if that’s what 50 looks like – well Paul – 50 looks darn good! 

Happy birthday to Paul, Maria, me and everyone else celebrating. Just remember that we may have said farewell to the dirty-thirty but the flirty-forty is here to stay. And yes, I will gladly accept ace bandages, Tylenol or Motrin, and Icy-hot as part of my presents. Please and thank you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to locate some Tums for this heartburn before I go lay down. #adultingishard