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Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

Middle Age Are You Kidding Me?

Yesterday my husband and I were in the car together when I said something, I don’t even remember what, but I do remember his response…

“Well, what do you expect,” he said. “You’re not a spring chicken anymore. You’re a middle age woman.”

Obviously, he’s incredibly lucky that I was the one driving and both of my hands were firmly planted on the steering wheel.

“I’m WHAT? Did you just call me middle age? I can’t believe you just called me middle age. I’m not even 40 for god’s sake.”

He just did one of those man grin things and changed the subject. But I’m a woman. Regardless of my age, I don’t let these things go. It bothered me all damn day. Middle age? It’s not possible. I brought the subject up again later in the afternoon. I brought it back up at dinner. I brought it back up as we were getting ready for bed. I nagged him into conceding that even if my life expectancy is somewhere in my late 70s, 36 is still NOT middle age. YES, I nagged him into promising I still look young and that middle age is many, many years away.

But my husband wasn’t the only one throwing blows at my aging ego yesterday. To make things worse, I was perusing Twenty Four at Heart’s blog roll, which she has categorized into nice little bunches of links. There’s a category titled Heavy Hitters and one titled More Favorites. It’s really very civil. Want to know where she put me? She put me in the section titled Midlife Writers. What the hell Twenty Four? Have you been conspiring with my husband? I’d like to send a big fat announcement out…I’M NOT EVEN 40 YET!!! And haven’t you all heard that 40 is the new 30, which means I’ve got a long, long, long time before I hit midlife, right?! Right? RIGHT!

I thought I didn’t have to claim the title of a middle age woman until I hit 50. Have I been living in a fantasy land? Has middle age creped up on me and I didn’t realize it until my husband and another blogger hit me over the head. This is not good people, not good at all.

I’ve decided to take drastic measures. As soon as the salon opens today, I’m calling my favorite stylist to make an appointment for a color consultation. If I ever had any questions about whether or not I’d age gracefully, I am no longer wondering. I’m going to kick and scream the whole way. Botox anyone? Who knows a good plastic surgeon?

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33 comments to Middle Age Are You Kidding Me?

  • donna

    Tricia, age is just a number. You are as young as you feel. Stop letting it bother you. You can not change the numbers and you are not in my opinion middle age. If you are then that makes Kim a senior citizen. I am middle age at 52. Your grandmother is a sr. and yes Kim is middle age. No one thinks of you as middle age accept maybe Kim and he is just wishing that he can be your age.
    So stop fretting , it will give you wrinkles. :-)
    XOXOX

  • Jan

    Don’t worry, dear – I won’t move you to the midlife roster on my blogroll until you actually turn 40.

    I, for one, like being middle-aged. I’m still young enough to do the things I like to do, but I’m mature and solvent enough to be able to afford to do them. Most of the kids are grown and on their own, and the two that are left are a walk in the park, relatively speaking. That’s not to say there are no problems – they are, after all, teenagers – but we no longer agonize over every little thing. We’ve gained a lot of perspective.

    Middle age isn’t a demon – it’s a chance for you to begin to learn to live your life with new insights and maturity. Welcome it, and make sure it hangs around a long, long time.

    Because I refuse to be a senior citizen, you know?

    Jans last blog post..Thanksgiving Thursday – Bourbon Molasses Sweet Potatoes with Buttered Pecans

  • donna

    Ok now I am laughing now. Stop, step back, take a look and see the real Tricia and stop letting this bother you. I have watched you with your sin and you are a young 36. You are not middle age. I think that he just said that to get a rise out of you, and look it worked.
    If you stop and look at how long people live today, then what is middle age anyway? I am sure that anyone reading your blog will agree with me that being in your 30’s is not middle age.
    I think that I am on the cusp of middle age. I choose to think young.
    XOXOX

  • Tricia

    Mom: You’re not kidding; I found six new wrinkles this morning from all that fretting. And regarding your second comment…what do you mean you’ve watched me with my SIN. Did you put a camera in my bedroom or something when you were visiting?

    Jan: I will be paying close attention. I’m kind of tiered of being mature. I was a very young mature and had to grow up rather fast. I’d really like to start throwing tantrums every now and then. I’ll welcome middle age if you’re SURE it provides new insights, though. That sounds intriguing. What kind of insights, what have you learned?

  • Tell your husband that independent experts agree that you’re a gorgeous young woman and PPPHHHLLLBBBBT!

    garys last blog post..wee little elephant mugs

  • Amy

    I just want to say that you got there before me!!!!!

    I agree with your mom, forget the number and LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Kim: Are you getting senile, saying such crazy things?

    Amys last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Happy Halloween

  • so how old is 24 at heart then?

    i think of “middle-age” as 45-55 or so.

    Memarie Lanes last blog post..Sam’s Flub

  • I’m 48. I guess I’m middle aged now. I never really thought about it before.

    Smalltown Moms last blog post..The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

  • I wondered why I lost you as a reader!

    OK …! First of all, I did my blogroll at 2 a.m. one day and I didn’t even know I put you in that category! I will change it TODAY. I promise. Second, I am only in my forties and I’ve been told middle aged is 35 – 65 these days.

    I think, in fact, I better get rid of the entire mid-life category because … ahem, it might just be for the best.

    Also … you are without doubt the YOUNGEST Shout writer I have ever encountered. Or hoped to encounter. I’ve known all along – just from your writing that you and I were BOTH only 24. Honest!

  • donna

    oops! There goes that spelling again. I meant son. They should look at this key board and put it al alphabetically. I is right next to O
    OXOXO

  • Wait, 24 is in her…40s??

    When I was younger, being a ’spring chicken’ wasn’t a compliment either. Just sayin’. :D

    And yeah, middle age has its advantages, although I’m certainly not saying that you ARE middle age. 36 is the new 26.

    goodfathers last blog post..Dear dooce®, part 2

  • Jan

    Insight #1 – life is damn funny. Laugh at it.

    Insight #2 – gravity is not your friend, but is inevitable. Laugh at it.

    Insight #3 – your teenagers WILL grow up eventually and become interesting, responsible adults at which point they will move away from home. In the meantime, it really helps to laugh at them (besides, you’ve earned it).

    Insight #4 – nothing lasts forever. The world is in a constant state of change, and you are too. Laugh at it.

    Beloved and I? We spend a LOT of time laughing. Oh, yeah.

    Jans last blog post..Thanksgiving Thursday – Bourbon Molasses Sweet Potatoes with Buttered Pecans

  • Amy

    Okay I love reading about all this! But being the information hound that I am, this is what I have found:

    According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_age):

    “Middle age is the period of life beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age. Various attempts have been made to define this age, which is around the third quarter of the average life span of human beings.

    According to Collins Dictionary, this is “… usually considered to occur approximately between the ages of 40 and 60″.

    The OED gives a similar definition but with a later start point “… the period between youth and old age, about 45 to 60″.

    The US Census lists middle age as including both the age categories 35 to 44 and 45 to 54, while Erik Erikson sees it ending a little later and defines middle adulthood as between 40 and 65.”

    If you go here there is some very interesting information about the health of middle aged people and whether it is truly the ‘prime time of life.’

    There is another interesting site: Middleage.org (http://www.middleage.org/definition.shtml).

    Here you will find lots of interesting tid bits and an essay regarding the definition of middle age … here is one quote:

    “I’ve decided that middle age is that point in your life when you shift from seeing the future in terms of your potential and begin to see it in terms of your limitations”

    I am not sure I like this definition or not BUT I guess as long I I still see LOTS of potential then I am NOT middle aged!!!

    Well, there were lots of other thoughts but this is long enough! Hey just live and as Jan has said … “laugh”! Does it really matter, my theory is if I wake up in the morning then I am doing good!

    Amys last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Happy Halloween

  • Blogroll changed!!

    Although it is still out of date and I need to add several people to it!

  • Dang, that’s funny. You’ll know you need to worry when you’re dressing like Cher and your eyebrows are pulled up to your scalp line.

    Lisa Ps last blog post..Name That Christian

  • Hi Tricia,

    I came over here and am instantly in love with you! I have 2 German Shepherd dogs too … and I feel that instant bond with folk like you :) . You have a nice blog too, but that is secondary :) :)

    Oh yes, you are also middle-aged …I mean “young but oh-so mature” ;) …I am in my 30s too and I love to describe myself that way. I am sure I will be saying the same when I am in my 40s ;) . Women never really age – does your husband not know that ??? :)

    Mayas last blog post..Welcome – Please Come in!

  • Laura

    In exactly two weeks from today I will be 40…. does it bother me NO WAY… embracing your age is part of aging gracefully… stress just adds wrinkles…. and yes a good salon does wonders… I am out the door in 5 minutes to visit mine.. best $200 I spend each 8 weeks… 40 is the new 25… or at least itis in my world.. LOVE YOU!

  • PFFT!!! Remember, I just had a birthday this week. I swear, the lines in my forehead are now twice as deep as they were a month ago. And I have perpetual bags under my eyes, no matter how much I sleep. I’m so depressed over my looks I can’t see straight. Actually, I can’t see straight because I have a stupid floater in my right eye that looks like a gnat buzzing in front of my face all day. Aging sucks!!!

    HeatherPrides last blog post..A Day Late and a Dollar Short

  • Tricia

    Gary: I told him! And you just got yourself a Gary Rith shopper for life!!

    Amy: Yea, whatever. I do realize that this is payback for all the bragging I did when I turned 16, first and 18 first, and 21 first. Apparently back then, I didn’t realize I’d not be so happy to turn 30 first or 40, and I can’t believe all that research you did. None of it makes me feel better, you realize that of course.

    Marie: I’m holding fast to my idea that mid-life starts at 50, although I may very well starting singing a different tune when I actually hit 50.

    Smalltown Mom: Oh no you’re not. You have two more years of young adulthood.

    24: You were creating your list at 2:00 AM? I have to forgive you considering that kind of blog dedication, plus if you’re going to say such nice things about how young I am, well, you’ve got a reader for life right here. And, I just checked your updated list of links, and I’m LMAO over here.

    Donna: It’s the user, not the keyboard.

    Goodfather: Oh yea, can you believe 24 has been lying to us all this time. I think that’s why she’s been blogging about sex so much; she’s trying to throw us off track.

    Jan: I think you’re having far too much fun with Beloved, but if middle-life includes all those wonderful insights, I’ll put on my big girl panties, start laughing, and join you, just not yet.

    Maya: I’m so glad you stopped by and I’m so excited that you also have two GSDs. Not that I’m partial or anything, but there really is no other breed to have. Well, OK so I love all dogs, but the GSD…there’s just something incredibly noble… I’m going to send your comment to my husband. He needs a reminder about women and aging, apparently.

    Laura: I’m glad you are embracing this milestone in your life, really I am, but I’m not really ready for you to turn 40. I still remember when you turned 18 and it doesn’t seem like that long ago!

    HeatherPride: It’s that darn mirror you have, it’s broken, Get a new mirror cause I’m quite certain those lines in your forehead are getting smaller, not deeper! Happy Birthday to you!!

  • I would sooner pull out my own tongue than let those words slip out, whether joking or intentional. It’s like asking a woman if she’s pregnant. Unless she’s brought it up first, shut the hell up!

    Captain Dumbasss last blog post..Spin Cycle: Elections, Rocks and Internal Organs

  • isn’t middle age something that only happens in middle earth??

    and i have to say i really don’t get people who have a melt down at the number 40…it just seems really…odd…i am enjoying being 40+ way more than 30+, except for that gravity thing which seems to be worse some mornings than other…perhaps the Earth wobbling a little on it’s axis?

  • I’ll be 38 in 2 weeks, so the idea that 36 is middle age is particularly icky. On the other hand, my ob/gyn informed me that my pregnancy is classified as “elderly”

    given the choice of elderly or middle age, I’ll take the latter.

    judy haley (coffeejitters)s last blog post..What Fuels Your Vote?

  • Tricia

    Captain Dumbass: You are obviously a very smart man or a very well-trained husband!

    Thistle: middle age…middle earth, I’ll subscribe to that.

    Judy: Me too, but I can’t believe your ob/gyn said that.

  • Good thing I read through the comments first. I was about to roll up my sleeves and go meet 24. ;)

    I love the pic.

    I’m not yet 40 either…who else do we bad a$$es need to go speak to about this middle-age thing?

    Grandys last blog post..It’s a wonder Grandy’s head hasn’t EXPLODED!!

  • T–just stating the facts, ma’am….

    garys last blog post..le froig

  • Hi Tricia. Thanks for stopping by! I will be back to peruse…you have a lot of stuff.
    I agree with Thistle – 40s more fun than 30s (so far).

    :-)

  • I’m told that I’m middle aged. I just opt not to believe it. ;)

    Hilarys last blog post..Lights, Camera, Action!

  • 36 is so not middle-aged. I agree, it is 40. And I am 51 so I should know. Good lord, by htat style of keeping track, I would be a senior citizen in a couple of years.

    phhhsts last blog post..Wicked Weekend Birthday Bonanza

  • Are you the baby of the family? I am and I think I have a harder time with this aging thing because I’m used to being the young one. And IMHO 36 is not middle aged. 46, yes, 36, no. I’m freaking out because this is the first time we’ve elected a president that was the same age as me. That makes me feel older than any birthday.

    PS. There’s a little something for you on my site.

    Smart Mouth Broads last blog post..THE BLOGGYS

  • I’m just 3 years younger than you n i hv to declare this – being in yours 30s is not being middle-aged..while i know that i aint no spring chicky no more, hey, i think i can spring my own grooves, IYKWIM!!!

    ps I’m looking at my boobs now.

    Brandygirls last blog post..Happy Birthday to Ya!!!! erm..ps would you like a slice of my homemade banana bread?

  • My 18yo son has just left for universtity and I realised that, in my heart, I’m still the same age as him. I still want to party, stay up late and have all kinds of adventure.

    My teenage self inside is completely unblemished – it’s just the outside that’s creased!

    Being 50 is better than the alternative

    Laura Essendine
    Author – The Accidental Guru
    Casanova’s condoms
    The Books Limited Blog

  • See, I’m a bit insulated from remarks like that because my hubby is 66 to my 44 so if he called me middle-aged, he’d be calling himself a senior citizen, right?

    Oh, it really is just a number. Take care of your body mind and spirit and you’ll have the joy of youth forever.

    Skip along sidewalks and laugh a lot – that’s the secret!

    Jannies last blog post..Well, it was Thanksgiving Friday and all…

  • JS

    36 is not really “middle-aged” but it means you are getting close…. 40 is in your sights. But it’s not exactly young adult either. It’s a good in-between time. I’d say it’s more like this: there is child, teens, 18-30 young adult, the 30s, “middle age” 40-65, and then senior … and these days even beyond. ;)

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