40 is the New Hotness, I’m Just Saying

I turned 40 this year!!

Don’t get it twisted … I wasn’t sad. I didn’t wallow in self pity and regret. I didn’t pine for my youth because my youth wasn’t squandered.

As 40 approached I waited with anticipation because I am thankful for each year. It’s quite the milestone.

Saying goodbye to my 30s made me reflect, and maybe a little nostalgic, but in an appreciative way. I found there were some things I wanted to incorporate into who I am. Things that I wanted to change.

I don’t know why but it made me think of this scene from Fried Green Tomatoes:

  • Evelyn:  Excuse me? I was waiting for that space.
  • Girl #1:  Yeah? Tough!
  • Girl #2:  Face it lady, we’re younger and faster.
  • (Smashes into car)
  • Girl #2:  What are you doing? Are you crazy?
  • Evelyn:  Face it girls, I’m older and I have more insurance.

Getting older has to have some perks, right? And so I decided my 40 perk was going to be FREEDOM OF SPEECH. No longer would I hold my tongue. I was going to let it all hang out like the character Maxine from Hallmark’s Shoebox Greeting line:

  • “I am aging like fine wine … which is to say, I’m building up pressure and about to become uncorked.”
  • “A friend will always tell you exactly what she thinks! So I guess I’m friends with everybody.”
  • “If I’m not bitchin’ check my pulse.”

So I spent the last few months of my 30s preparing my family and friends for this change. Letting them know what was soon to be coming their way. Managing expectations if you will. As if giving them a head’s up would make what I was going to start doing alright.

My family wasn’t fazed. Their response was quite surprising. They asked, “How is that different from any other day?” Really? Am I that direct? Here I thought I clamped down on any wayward comments.

It has become the family joke now. When I make off-color remarks or statements that are just shy of rude, my husband lovingly says, “But you’re 40 so you can say that!”

How is it a good thing to verbally upchuck on people? I mean why is a perk of aging about reaching a point where you no longer have a filter of grace, tact, and diplomacy?

The more I think about it the more embarrassed I am. But, oddly enough, I am not willing to give up this freedom of speech. HA!

Maybe as we age we fear being forgotten or left behind so we do and say memorable things. Or, maybe we lose our minds. Or, we just stop caring. Who knows?

I guess when you really think about it, it’s the circle of life:  when we’re young we say lots of stuff that could be classified as rude, mean, or inconsiderate; and people label it cute or precocious. For example, when my 7 year old said of my pending milestone birthday:  “Wow Mom, you’re almost halfway to 100.”

Yeah? Cute? Precocious? Whatever!

Well than call this freedom of speech a reclaiming of my youth because I plan on saying whatever I want.

I’m reminded of one last movie clip:  Men in Black 2 when Agent J brings back Agent K and they fight about who’s going to drive.

  • Agent J:  Wait, what are you doing?
  • Agent K:  I always do the driving.
  • Agent J: Oh no … 
  • Agent K:  I remember that.
  • Agent J:  No. What you remember is that you used to drive that old busted joint. See I drive the new hotness.
  • Agent J:  [Pointing at Agent K] Old and busted.
  • Agent J:  [Pointing at himself] New hotness.
  • Agent J:  [Agent K looks at Agent J. Then Agent J hands the keys over.] Old, busted, hotness …

I’ve decided that 40 is NOT old and busted but it represents the New Hotness.

Who’s with me?