You Know You’re Middle-Aged When…

I’m starting to act my age and that’s not good

SG Buckley

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I’m middle-aged. It’s a fact. But the strange thing is that until recently, I didn’t feel middle-aged. But then last week I’m walking my dog in the park and we run into Ruby.

Ruby is cute — a small, feisty, golden AdoraDoodle — but she’s also incredibly annoying. She rolls in mud (I’m putting a good spin on things; it’s goose poo) and then jumps on other dogs, and their owners.

I dread seeing Ruby. It’s not the dog; it’s her owner.

She never apologizes, even when you’re standing with your jaw open and crap all over your jeans. Instead, she chuckles and says she just can’t control that dog. Her smile tells you she thinks her dog is pretty perfect just the way she is.

Then last week, she confirms it:

“Ruby has this great little character. I don’t want to train it out of her.”

And I’m thinking:

I have a great dog too, but as with my child, I’m training him not to be a nuisance to others like by smearing poo on people or knocking down toddlers.

I’m also thinking that I don’t get this younger generation. How could this 20-something-year-old woman be so self-centered?

I’m thinking in generations.

I’m still thinking about this days later. Both about unbridled Ruby and her irritating owner, and the fact that I’m thinking like a crabby old person.

I made a list of signs that suggest you’ve hit middle-age.

  1. You’re fuming for days about stuff — Ruby, useless AT&T service reps, toddlerish politicians — that you would have forgotten instantly in your twenties and thirties.
  2. You wake at 6AM each day, even on weekends, and are back in bed by 8PM watching Netflix.
  3. You stretch multiple times a day and yet still feel your back could snap at any moment.
  4. Your hair is all over the bathroom floor.
  5. You look for your iPhone only to find it’s in your hand. Ditto, glasses on head.
  6. You don’t know how to use Snapchat.
  7. You think in generations, i.e., Millennials, smug and precious; Gen Zs, precious in a good way because that’s your children’s generation.
  8. You love that Brad Pitt is 58.
  9. You don’t care if the AT&T customer service representative likes you.
  10. You finished this list.

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SG Buckley

Writer, editor, parent. Former staffer at Quartz, WSJ and Inc. magazine.