Saturday, April 6, 2013

50 things the Huffington Post says I should be able to do, even though I might not want to. Because I'm old, dammit!

For my birthday, my daughter sent me a link to an article in the Huffington Post.



My first thought was: Since when does my daughter read the Huffington Post?  But then I remembered that she is trying to be all New York-y, and I'm sure Manhattanites read The Huffington Post.  Even though for the 18 years she lived here in North Carolina, her idea of big news was when the local Forever 21 opened.
But I digress.

I read this article, found it lacking, and then went back and counted all the things I could honestly do. And found myself lacking.

According to Shelley Emling, who lives in New Jersey and apparently has experience doing stuff, says that by 50, women should know how to:
  1. Say "no" without feeling guilty  (Not a problem.  Anyone with as much experience with people as the average fifty year-old woman has said 'no' at least seventy bazillion times.  And I have found that after fifty, I have very little guilt left.  My children have used it all.)
  2. Book their own travel (...and travel alone.  And not feel guilty.)
  3. Say "I'm sorry" and mean it (I don't know about you, but I say this a lot.  I also say "I completely f*c#ed that up" a lot.  People seem to respect the fact that I am honest about f*c#ing things up, so I go with it.)
  4. Laugh at themselves (ummm...daily?  Or in my case, hourly?  Mainly because I am f*c#ing things up.)
  5. Change a tire (Nope.  because when you're young and cute--which ends approximately the moment you turn 37.75--you have all kinds of guys out there wanting---nay, BEGGING--to change that tire for you.  After that, you're just too tired to learn anything new.  To this I say, "Hey!  You're old!  Get the AAA membership!")
  6. Take themselves out to dinner and/or a movie -- on their own (...but no Pee Wee Herman moves, please.)
  7. Get around in a foreign country (If you're worried about this, limit your foreign travel to Canada.  It's almost like the US, only with better health care.)
  8. Program and operate their TV (this is easier said than done!) (Apparently, Ms. Emling doesn't realize that most of us have magic remotes that do everything for us but make popcorn.  Next she'll be telling us we need to be able to program our VCRs. Sheesh, Ms. Emling--have magic remotes not made their way to the wilds of New Jersey yet?) 
  9. Mix at least a few classic cocktails (Or swig beer from a bottle, if that is our choice.  And what do you consider "classic," anyway?  A Sidecar?  An Old-Fashioned?  Are we living in an episode of "Mad Men?"  Because if we are, I want the appropriate outfits.)
  10. Do their own taxes (...and claim all of those cats as deductions.)
  11. Invest in the stock market  (...in cat food companies.)
  12. Make themselves and their own needs a priority (Wait!  Didn't you just say we should be apologizing for everything?)
  13. Sew -- at least a little (Chances are, if you're over fifty you were required to take Home Economics in Junior High.  Surely some of that rubbed off.  Oh, wait.  You may be too old to remember.)
  14. Defend themselves against an attacker with at least one signature self-defense move (which cannot be 'smack upside the head with a 2 x 4,' even though that's what you're threatening to do.)
  15. Perform CPR (Please be aware that the 'old' CPR is no longer CPR.  CPR has changed, whether you know it or not.)
  16. Carve a turkey (Not hack it to death.  Although that could work.  Then use "I was having a hot flash" as an excuse for mutilation.)
  17. Choose their own wine (...by the gallon.)
  18. Light a grill -- and then cook on it (Unless you're having a hot flash.  In that case, fan yourself frantically and shout "Someone else get these d*mn hamburgers...I'm burning up here!")
  19. Swim (...even if it's just to get rid of the hot flashes.)
  20. Order a credit report -- and then be able to read it (Surely you learned to read. Because you went to school when they actually TAUGHT reading, now how to take a test.)
  21. Examine their own breasts (...and have some fun while you're at it!)
  22. Graciously accept a compliment (Please define "graciously."  Is a quick "gee, thanks!" gracious enough?  Or should we gush as though this may be the last compliment we ever receive.  Because at our age, it might be.)
  23. Flip their own breaker (Is this a euphemism?)
  24. Plunge a toilet (Is this a euphemism?)
  25. Properly hang photos and artwork (Or look it up on Pinterest.  In fact, about half of these things can be found on Pinterest.  Maybe the only skill a 50 year-old needs is to be able to look $hit up on Pinterest.  Because if it's not on Pinterest, it might not really exist.)
  26. Whip up a signature dish that's not spaghetti or meatloaf (Define "whip up." Does it mean getting something together quickly?  Because I can slap together a mean turkey sandwich.)
  27. Walk away from a situation or relationship when it's not working (Like flipping a breaker or plunging a toilet.)
  28. Tell off at least one person who deserves it (Or twelve.  Because there are no limits to stupidity.)
  29. Say what they really want in bed (Like, "Leave me alone...I'm having a hot flash.")
  30. Put together a piece of "some assembly required" furniture (Or look it up on Pinterest.)
  31. Apply makeup without a mirror (Oh, hell.  You're still wearing makeup? Who are your trying to impress at your age?)
  32. Buy something crazy expensive just because they want it (without thinking about how you'll pay for it.  Then, go back to number 20 and see how you're doing.)
  33. Ask for a raise (...and be prepared for laughter.  Because employers know they have you over a barrel.  No company wants to hire an old lady.)
  34. Mow their own yard (...or plant a lot of ground cover.)
  35. Unclog a drain (Is this another eupemism?)
  36. Tell which direction they are facing (Because by fifty, everyone should know the difference between left and right.)
  37. Tell at least one really good joke (...that contains at least one cuss word.)
  38. Make small talk with just about anyone (...and know when to tell your joke.)
  39. Know when to reveal personal information -- and when not to (Note: 'personal' refers to stuff that most other people find boring.)
  40. Think critically and independently when hearing speeches and listening to the news (...and don't post your opinions regarding said speeches and news onto the facebook.  Because half of your friends will think you're an idiot.)
  41. Paint a room (With the right tools.)
  42. Buy the right-sized bra (Make sure that it's the right size for NOW, not for 1985.)
  43. Beautifully wrap a present (Or stick it in a gift bag with some tissue paper.  Who has time for $hit like this?  You're HALFWAY TO DEATH!!!)
  44. Hail a taxi (...or almost step in front of it because you're having to adjust that bra from 1985 )
  45. Reach out to an old friend (But not in a Pee Wee Herman kind of way.)
  46. Jump a car battery (Is this a euphemism?)
  47. Show love with actions and not just words (Not gonna touch this one.  NOT. GONNA.)
  48. Put together a real retirement strategy (Like work until you keel over at your desk because you went and bought something crazy expensive for no good reason.)
  49. Look good in a photo (You will not if you are still wearing that bra from 1985.)
  50. Open a bottle of champagne (With a sword.  Or a 2 x 4.  Whichever.)

Now, don't get me wrong; these are excellent ideas.  But some of this stuff is a little ridiculous.  I mean, if you go to a department store where they have staff who are trained in the correct fitting of undergarments, take advantage of that.  If you only want to spend $14.95 on a bra, then go to the Target and get a sports bra in a generic size. And what, exactly, is a 'signature self-defense move?'  Can't it be whatever move you can make in the situation at hand?  It's not like I'm gonna say to my attacker "Hey...move a little to the left so I can get a better shot at your sternum."

I applaud Ms. Emling for doing her thing.  I don't know if she's over fifty--so many of these folks who write for women over fifty are not--but THAT'S what being over fifty should be about.  Being true to yourself and your priorities.  If you don't drink, why choose a wine, mix a cocktail or open a bottle of champagne?

Personally, I will be using a sword.

24 comments:

  1. However, if you are the author of Kirb Appeal, no one get to tell you what you SHOULD do. You are WAY beyond shoulds. You abound in awesomeness, and besides you have much more important s**t to do, like learning your 100 lines plus blocking and helping 8th graders prepare for whatever life is going to throw at them!

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  2. I have a samauri sword handy, who are these women who can't leave the house make cocktails or buy wine??

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  3. Omg. I just used a ninja sword last night to open my bottle! You could have
    Easily written this.
    Ps.get out there and mow your yard!!!

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  4. I long ago decided that there are some things I just hate to do. I know I could plunge a toilet, change a tire, program a remote, and travel around in a foreign country alone if I had to. I prefer trading off these tiresome jobs. My husband doesn't like to iron shirts, clean out flower beds, or pay parking tickets. I do his crappy jobs and he does mine. As for traveling alone, why would I not want to share that adventure with my best friend while I could? I might even take my husband.

    One of us is going to have to do all this stuff when the other has the nerve to kick off first, but we each will have the comfort of knowing we made life a bit easier for the other slacker by doing some small and unimportant stuff.

    Hey, my son is in Manhattan now, too! Of course he was already New York-afied having been born upstate. I think that counts although people from "the city" apparently disagree with me.

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  5. Thank you for reminding me of the definition of a euphemism. I am always mixing that one up.. kinda like how I don't know the difference between offense and defense. P.S. You need to add the cute little twitter, FB , social icon links so we can tweet this one to the twittersphere.

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  6. Wow! I'm inspired! I'm going to get a hacksaw and make myself a frame for this post...right after I drink a Dirty Martini that I made myself and use my signature defense move, which involves one of my fingers, while politely telling everyone to stay the f*c# away from my unopened bottle of wine. If they drop over from shock, I will perform the correct and modern form of CPR on them and then apologize FOR them for messing up my happy hour that I'm having with friends who are making small talk with me while I'm grilling my amazing signature steak recipe that involves tenderizing it with the tire iron from my trunk because that's all I know to do with it. If someone snaps a picture while I'm doing all of that, I'll be sure to post politely in my ill-fitting bra. You crack me up!

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  7. I read it!!!!!!! ( faithful daily Huff Post reader here lol
    I'm going to try to use my teeth to open a bottle of Champagne.............
    XOX

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  8. So if we can do all those things are we OK? Wait, that means I lack confidence right? Wait, that makes me sound like I feel guilty right? Thank goodness I can open a bottle of wine and have AAA...what else does une femme d'un certain age need?

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  9. It was my understanding that people could manage their tv remotes and taping duties UNTIL they were 50? Gads...only 6.5more years to find a bra that fits!

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  10. i am dying over here because just last night i was telling my friend (who is 51) that i had wanted to throw her a pajama party for her bday but the plans got foiled by a kids event. chris was making fun of me saying he would buy me new pajamas if we did it anyhow, because i am famous for keeping underwear, bras, and pjs til they are a shred.... i don't like to spend money on them and heck, the only person who sees it besides me is chris, and what does he care. he is just happy if i tell him i want anything at all in bed. ;) and also the plunge the toilet one.... well i think it takes more of a person to admit they clogged it in the first place than to secretly try to plunge it when no one is looking!

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  11. LMAO Kirby! I was about to head to bed but decided to read this email first. I'm so glad I did, I'll be sleeping with a smile on my face that is stuck on from laughing so much, and dreaming of all your euphemisms. What a hilarious post! I have to pin this, tweet it, share it with all and sundry.
    Debbie :)

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  12. A lot of this stuff I would say by the time you are 30 you should know how to do.

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  13. I open champagne by whatever means necessary. You are awesome -- who need the Huff Post anyway?
    xo Heidi
    PS -- I LOL'd when I read that, even though LOLing isn't cool anymore, it's ha ha-ing. Whatevs. ;-)

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  14. I'm stuck on the apply makeup without a mirror ... huh? Why? Do all the mirrors suddenly disappear when you turn 50? I can't imagine putting on eyeliner and mascara without a mirror ...

    Some of these make me think Ms. Emling is either (1) WAY older than 50 -- like 30 years or more or; (2) so highly privileged (read: servants) that she has people who dress her a la Downton Abbey ...

    :) Linda

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  15. Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha.......

    Seriously who is this woman?

    I've got the moves like Jagger, waaaaaa HA!

    Bliss

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  16. Just because you don't doesn't mean you can't and just because you can doesn't mean you should. At 50 you've earned the right to do whatever the hell you want to do! Lists, schmidst... Personally, this is just one more reason on a VERY long list of reasons why I ignore HuffPo(o) and the people who rely on it for their information. ;)

    xo

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  17. I'm thinking that it is possible to know a woman's age by how high they rate on this list. I certainly don't know many 28 year olds that could answer yes to many of these. Like Linda I can't quite figure out the makeup without the mirror thing...unless it means that you eventually get so blind that you can't see in the mirror. I'm already finding it difficult to see which hairs to pluck from my chin so perhaps that is correct. One thing I know for sure, I've been able to flick my own breaker since I was 10.

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  18. Oh I love you, Kirby. And I'm so with you.

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  19. Hilarious. As a single old lady homeowner I know how to do these things because I haven't really had the option NOT to know. Except that I look like crap in every single photo, and I always thought it was because I was actually homely, not because I don't know how to look good in photos! Navigate in foreign countries? I spent a day in Nassau, Bahamas by myself once, does that count? If I found myself alone in any other foreign country I suspect it would be because I was knocked out and kidnapped and taken there, and then I'm dinked regardless. I can't afford to travel to them otherwise.

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  20. Kirby- I needed this today! I think she might be a bit behind in her vision of what NOW is, but I love your comments. Plus, who doesn't book their own travel? I'm pretty sure Nia Vardalos in My Big Fat Greek Wedding was the last travel agent ever:)

    Jessica

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  21. In this case, your responses were much more entertaining than the list. One of the items that made me laugh was to carve a turkey. I have been married for 42 years and have successfully never even cooked a turkey. It might be because my family hates turkey and and they hate eating anything I cook more than they hate eating turkey.

    I have started doing #32 more frequently. If my husband can buy and then drink crazy expensive wine then I think a crazy expensive purse that I will have forever is justified.

    I thought of you as I did a "mean girl/boy" lesson with my mean girl/boy Leadership class. I think tomorrow I am going to share your blog post.

    Thanks for the good laugh!

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  22. Kirby, you ROCKED this here dumb-ass list! Thanks for giving me some real laughing out loud this morning! Gotta git my LOL's in whenever I can since I'm "halfway to death"!! (LOVED THAT!!);-)

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    1. PS--gonna start asking "Is that a euphemism?" whenever my 6 yr old (yeah, 51 yr old mom with a SIX yr old kid! Now, THAT'S not funny!)makes her usual demands: "Mama, can i stay up to watch Power Puff girls?"
      "Is that a euphemism?"(heh!, heh!)

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    2. Froxy--thanks for the great compliment!

      Have fun explaining euphemism to a 6 year old! (You are a brave woman.)

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Your comment makes me feel twenty years younger and thirty pounds lighter!