Things only women over 40 understand.

Remember when 40 was old?

Not only old, but really, really uncool. But now that I am 6 months away from that number myself, I feel neither old or uncool. But you know, self-reflection is not really one of my strong points.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Garner. All women over 40.

But I am starting to see a definite divide opening up between being 30 and 40. Hell, even 35 and 40 seem to contrast spectacularly. In fact, there are several things that only women who are at the door of 40 and beyond will understand.

Long hair probably no longer really works for you anymore.

I’ve had long hair since I’ve had the ability to make my own decisions. My mother used to keep it short, probably because it was curly, a mess and a complete fucking nightmare to brush. I though, sick of being referred to as a boy, grew it the minute I could and have not cut it since. But lately, I’ve started to admire the ladies walking past me with short locks. They look like they have their shit together and they are aren’t, like me, embarrassingly trying to hang on their long-lost youth. And you know, let’s not even get started on the greys.

You become invisible.

Now, I’m not talking about just turning heads on the street here, I mean, standing at a bar on a Friday afternoon, simply trying to get a wine for you and your friend and being TOTALLY overlooked and ignored. Sometimes, especially lately, I’ve started to feel like I’m in The Sixth Sense and actually questioning if I’m dead and no one can see me. Surely that’s the reason the only people who see me are those dead sea skin mineral people in shopping centres..

Your friends start to divorce

I call this The Splintering. When I was 30 and one of my good friends was 40, she warned me. She said to me, “Just you wait, when people who are married hit 40, even the solid ones, they ask you over and announce that they are getting a divorce”. She was so right.

You might also like: “The upside of divorce is getting rid of your spouse.”

Your body starts to breakdown.

Oh, so you you’ve not had a bad back before? Never known the pain of a sore knee? Not experienced annoying and constant reflux? Don’t know what your cholesterol level is? Well you’re in for a TREAT because shit is about to get real. Now I’ve been one of those lucky bitches who has not ever had a sore back, I eat a lot of bad food, drink loads of alcohol and exercise intermittently but still maintain a fairly good physique and my blood tests have all come back perfect. This last year however has shown me that not only am I not invincible, I’ve been a flagrant idiot.


Every movie you watch is just around 10 minutes too long for your bladder capacity

You know how I was talking about The Sixth Sense earlier?  Yeah, well one of my friends, 40 at the time just couldn’t hold on ANY longer and left right before the wedding ring rolling across the floor moment (if you haven’t’ seen the movie – spoiler alert, he’s dead. COME ON, it’s 2014 already I’m not even sorry for ruining that for you). Skipping and jumping on a trampoline are probably out too. Sorry.

You no longer get carded

Thing is, you were probably still asked for ID at 29, even as a 35 year old but once you hit 40, no nightclub bouncer worth their dubious credentials will ask to see your ID when you’re 40. Again, you are invisible. Luckily this has no impact on your dancefloor skills. In fact, seeing as you now figure you’re invisible, you bust moves to Prince songs no one has ever SEEN before.

Sourcing High Fibre Cereal becomes a “thing” for you.

Kale? Quinoa? WTF are these things? Oh wait, WTF is a ‘younger’ person’s term and your child will be mortally embarrassed if you say that out loud (Just FYI). Seriously though, health, especially if you’ve had little regard for it up until now, will suddenly become something you give your full attention to. You can no longer be flippant with your diet, it’s not even about weight loss anymore, suddenly, it feels like it’s about actual life or death.

Want more? Try: Does anyone eat anything any more?

You start to investigate “miracle creams”

I cannot tell you how many hours I’ve spent in chemist aisles trying to work out what cream will instantaneously get rid of the wrinkles around my mouth or the puffy bags under my eyes. Because in the last year I’ve noticed them. They seemed to come and go before but now, now they’ve taken up permanent residence and like most 40 something’s, I am obsessed with a cream that might magically make them disappear. Let’s never speak of the $100 “miracle serum” I bought off the home shopping channel that burnt the skin on my earlobes.

You make a pop culture reference of your time, only to have it fall completely flat.

NO ONE PUTS BABY IN THE CORNER! I dare you to say that to a 16 year old’s face and not have them think you are batshit crazy. And all I feel is sorry that the kids of today because they will miss out on the rad kind of childhood that I had. One full of John Hughes’ movies and Rubix Cubes. But then again, they probably feel sad for me because I still use the word rad.

How has it been made abundantly clear to you that you are a woman over 40?