Monthly Archives: September 2008

#125: Fall Is So NOT Your Favorite Season

Favorite season of the old: Fall. Why? Because the colors are so lovely, and you get to wear clothes that cover your body again, and you’re forced to stay in the house and eat beef stew and apple pie and drink sidecars.

Sounds pretty good to me, but not to the young. For young people, fall means a return to school (blech), even for years after they graduate. No more bikinis, no more sex on the beach, goodbye to the summer share. Second and third place go to spring, as in fever, and winter, for the snowboarding and the nice Christmas check from mom and dad.

So that leaves the old with fall all to themselves.

Other favorites of the old you may want to rethink:

Favorite Color: Greyish-green.

Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving.

Favorite Day of the Week: Thursday. Or maybe Sunday.

Favorite Skirt Style: Pleated.

Favorite Weather: Cool and rainy.

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#124: Gotta Love Those Entourage Boys

I was walking down the street the other day — yes, right here in New Jersey — and there coming toward me were Vince, Turtle, Drama, Ari, and E. I tried waving to them, then leaping in front of them, and finally, in an attempt to get their attention, whipped off my turtleneck, sweatpants, and underwear and stood in their path wearing only my Garnet Hill polka dotted kneesocks and Blundstone ankle boots. Finally, they glanced my way.

“She’s yours, Turtle,” said Vince.

“No, no,” I said. “I just want to ask you a question.”

“Questions start at $20 million,” snapped Ari.

“C’mon, Ari,” said Vince, rousing himself to blink. “She’s just a fan.”

“Oh, Jeez,” said Drama, “she can’t be a fan. If she’s really a fan, we’re over, over! Look at her, she’s older than Tina Fey!”

“Oh, yeah?,” said Turtle. “I bet she’s not too old to suck my cock. How about it, granny?”

“Please, I wouldn’t suck your little finger if it had chocolate frosting all over it and I’d been on a sugar fast for a month,” I said, hoping he wouldn’t guess it took me a whole 24 hours to come up with that line. “And I’m not a fan: I only watch you in a desperate attempt to bond with my husband and teenage son. But what I want to know is why they love you so much.”

“They love us because they wish they were us,” said E. “We’re proof that everything you’ve ever told them is wrong is actually right: You can be your most immature, lazy, stupid, unredeemed self, and you’ll get rich and famous for it. Oh, and you’ll get lots and lots of great sex with babes who are young and gorgeous and never make you put your Coke can in the recycling.”

“So do you horrify and repulse me because I’m female? Or because I’m old and out of it?”

“That’s two questions,” said Ari, yelling at me through his cell phone, even though I was standing right next to him and didn’t actually have a phone of my own. “$40 million!”

The other guys looked at each other and shrugged. “All the other women love us,” they said. “Must be the old thing.”

“But I would have hated you even when I was young,” I said.

Too late though: A Ferrari pulled up carrying some rappers, some pole dancers, and a couple of pit bulls, and the guys were off. But before they pulled away, Vince looked back at me over his shoulder and called, “See you next Sunday night?”

I sighed. “Sure.”

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#123: Stop Surfing The Net

If you still say you’re “surfing” the “net,” you’ve got to stop right now. I said RIGHT NOW! That phrase is just so 2003, or maybe 1998 — I don’t know, all those years pretty much run together.

Don’t spend any time in “chat rooms,” either. Or use the word “cyberspace,” except ironically.

In fact, if you want to get all modern about it, what you should do instead of surf is Twitter. I signed up for Twitter, allegedly, and I’ve gotten reports that a couple of people are “following” me, an activity whose dullness might only be matched by actually being me. What are you doing now? I’m typing. What are you doing now? I’m typing. What are you doing now? I’m still fucking typing, goddammit!

The real point, though, is that web words have moved on. For a primer of a hundred of the newest, watch this educational video.

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#122: Throw Off the Middle-Aged Burka

When exactly did the imams sweep through my town in suburban New Jersey and decree that every woman over the age of 40 had to chop off her hair, wash off her makeup, and start dressing in baggy black or beige linen or flannel, buttoned up to the neck, hanging down to the ground, and I’ll have you wear flat, rubber-soled shoes with that, missy.

The middle-aged suburban woman-shrouding style is so ingrained that anyone wearing something bright or tight or low-cut (usually that’s me) is viewed with suspicion. What’s she up to? Who does she think she is? Where is she going? And why is she flaunting it like that?

I say break out the hair dye, invest in some really expensive undergarments, make your daughters take you shopping for once. If your husbands feel threatened, if your friends think you’re a traitor to the sisterhood, if the other moms question your fitness, just let ’em. As long as you’re still walking this earth, you might as well do it in shoes that click.

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We Got A Book Deal, Baby!

So here finally is the big surprise I promised you back in August: How Not To Act Old is going to be a book! Extremely exciting, especially for me. With my big truckload of money, I’ve already hired an editorial assistant, Rolf, and outfitted him with an appropriate tee shirt: That’s him on the left. And I’ll have you know, he typed in those page numbers all by himself — he got all the way up to 200 before he had to ask for help!

The publisher is the classy and fabulous Collins, the book will be out in August here and in the U.K., and the official title is How Not to Act Old: 157 Ways To Be Phat, Sick, Dope, Hot, Awesome, or At Least Not Totally Lame. Or something like that.

I did consider some other title ideas. My friend Dottie Frank suggested The Devil Wears Bifocals. Fran Liscio contributed Do They Have Facebook in Hell? and I Scored Some Eileen Fisher Caftans, and That Shit Was Bangin’. Rolf made a forceful case for I May Be Old but I Am One Amazingly Hot American Bitch.

But in the end, we decided to stick with the original. Along with keeping up the blog I’ll be writing lots of completely fresh material for the book. As many of you know, writing is very hard work. Here’s a fast-paced live-action video produced by the novelist Roger (R.N.) Morris, which pretty much tells it like it is for me, though instead of a cat draped over my shoulder, I’ve got Rolf.

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#121: No Arcade Fire or Porkpie Hats

It’s one thing for an ancient (that’s you, baby) to keep abreast (there’s an old word) of popular culture and stay aware of what the young and deck and hipsterish are doing just to torture you.

But it’s quite another to attempt to actually be a hipster. You may think you can deconstruct all the elements of hipsterhood — the yoo-hoo tee shirts and the Regina Spektor tapes (yeah, they’re back), the vegan diet and the loft in Williamsburg and the toddler named Leta — and then you will be a hipster. But you’re forgetting the most important thing it takes to be a hipster: You have to be young.

How young? If you have to ask: younger than you. So give it up, dollface. Put the aviator shades in the case, find a long sleeve shirt to cover up the crown o’ thorns inked on your bicep, stop calling everything fierce. Take this advice, from McSweeney’s no less, about growing old gracefully.

Now aren’t you winning as much admiration for all your acquired wisdom as you did for your mint green Vespa? As if.

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#120: Neutralize Your Crazy Old Sperm

Yes, John McCain, I’m talking to you. Lest you and Cindy decide that a fifth child would provide, ala Palin, a political advantage, I direct your attention to this new study that shows that children of fathers over 55 are more likely to develop bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses. Maternal age, I hasten to point out to all you guys out there who try to blame women for everything, was not a factor.

Finally, a solid reason — beyond, you know, imminent decay and death — for older guys to put some limits on how long they go around spraying out babies. Why anyone would want to make it through the enormous job of raising a family only to go out and raise another one is totally beyond me, unless you’re the kind of guy who wasn’t much involved in raising the first batch of kids and won’t do much about raising the second or third batches either.

Of course, you might believe that your sperm, mutant as it is, still deserves to flourish wherever it finds purchase. If so, I’d appreciate it if you’d go around singing this Monty Python song, if only to give women warning.

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#119: Don’t Use The Republicans To Make Your Own Sorry Self Feel Cool

I’m sitting here watching the Republican National Convention feeling all proud of my own badass self. Jeez, I would never wear a dorky yellow cowboy hat like that, I think, or one of those tacky red blazers. I am waaaaaaay thinner than nearly everybody there except Sarah Palin, Cindy McCain, and Anderson Cooper. And I can outdance anybody in that stadium, young or old — crank that, baby!

And then I remember: Oh right, they’re Republicans. Really devoted Republicans, in Minnesota. And what’s more shameful, I’m using them.

That’s right, I admit it, I have absolutely no interest in Mike Huckabee’s speech. I do want to see Sarah Palin, and I’m hoping to get a glimpse of the hot baby-daddy, but I don’t know whether I’ll be able to stay awake that long. My real agenda here is using the Republicans as a coolness crutch.

The really embarrassing thing is that I’m enjoying this more than most television shows I’ve watched lately. Tonight’s Project Runway, last night’s 90210, Monday’s Gossip Girl, Mad Men on Sunday: I love them, and yet they all make me feel old and ugly and fat and out of it.

Not the Republicans. Watching the Republicans makes me feel as stylish as Rachel Zoe, as hot as Gisele Bunchen, as cosmopolitan as Amy Sacco, as cutting edge as Amy Winehouse. And that’s just wrong. Delicious, but wrong.

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#118: Stop Talking About Menopause

There is a kind of girl who’s always liked to talk about her period: How she can’t wait to get it, when she’s having it, how bad her cramps are, where she buys her tampax, whether she’s late, how heavy her flow is, when it’s slowing down, and what it feels like when it stops all together.

And to all that I say: Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala. In other words, I don’t want to hear about it, okay? When did menstruation, or the lack thereof, get to be polite conversation? I guess around the time they started running ads for tampons on prime time TV. But to me it’s just, ew, gross.

What’s so interesting about menopause, anyway? What is this wisdom they keep talking about, this freedom, this huge change that demands hormones or maybe not hormones — sorry, I can’t keep track. The only thing more boring and unseemly than discussing getting your period is, it seems to me, discussing not getting your period.

Some of you might say my feeling on this issue is old, and that the modern stance is to be openly affirmational about the feminine circle of life. Well, I can get all woman-y with the best of them, girlfriend, but I still say keep the whole blood in your cooter thing to yourself.

On that note, I’ll change the subject to something younger: cool music. I have no idea what group or song this is, but the video got millions of views on YouTube and it features thematically-related red flags. At least I guarantee it will be more educational and entertaining than hearing about anyone’s adventures in menopause

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#117: Don’t Live in West Virginia

Oldest state: Florida, right? Not quite. While Florida may have the highest proportion of people over 65, according to census figures, the state with the oldest median age is West Virginia. Other states where the median age is at the top of the scale — over, yikes!, 38 — are Florida, Maine, and Pennsylvania, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Utah has the youngest median age — 27, the only state where it’s under 30 — followed by Alaska and Texas.

Still, statistics are not what it’s all about when it comes to not living someplace old. More important than reality is the perception of the place. Therefore, if you live in New Jersey or Connecticut, move to New York. If you live in New York, move to Brooklyn. Leave your school-age-or-older kids behind in the suburbs, not because Brooklyn is a bad place for them, but because they’ll definitely compromise your image, age-wise. One photogenic toddler is acceptable.

Living in San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, or Portland, Oregon will also make you seem if not actually feel younger.

Avoid Buffalo, Omaha, and most places in between.

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