I’m so pleased to be in my fifth decade, because, if you haven’t heard, old is the new young! It’s the granny chic zeitgeist. 20-year-olds are so passé. And while you might fool people with your silver hair and cat eye glasses and smile lines at a quick glance, the real secret to looking old is attitude. As an old person, myself, I’ve got some tips for you:
Show Me Your Grump Face. The movie is Grumpy Old Men. Not Cheerful Old Men. Cultivate a sourpuss attitude. Begin with the weather on the morning news. Is the forecast sunny? Complain about the drought. Is rain predicted? Now the roads are going to be a mess. Continue this attitude through the day. If your neighbor brings you freshly baked, chocolate-chip cookies, accept them with a scowl and mention that you’d prefer brownies. The glass is half empty, people!
Trust No One. It’s true: everyone is out to get you. And it’s personal. The kid that littered in your yard did it just to piss you off. The a-hole that tailgated you in heavy traffic doesn’t like your bumper sticker. The man that cut in front of you in line thinks he’s better than you. The surest way to suss out the hostiles is to answer every question with a question. When the clerk at the grocery store asks, “Did you find everything you were looking for today,” answer, suspiciously, with “Why do you ask?” Because what he probably means is: “Do you really need a bag of clearance Halloween candy, Terra chips, and a box of wine, you big fat drunk? Did you have trouble finding the SlimFast and the AA meeting?” Confrontation will usually get to the true, nasty, intention of others’ actions.
Sure, you can try for “old” by wearing the same hairstyle and clothes you wore in highschool, but you’re just a poseur unless you incorporate age into your mental state. Wrinkles and saggy eyelids aren’t enough. Joie de vivre will out you as a young person, every time. No one will believe you’re old when you spend the evenings pushing your boundaries and the weekends making new friends. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off practice my cranky face in the mirror. Gotta work on those frown lines!