Life Lessons from Nina Bargiel
Old Enough to Know Better is a weekly column of non-advice advice. It's taking everything women are told about aging, tossing it in a dumpster, and setting it on fire. There are a hundred columns out there telling you that you’re aging wrong. But I’m here to tell you: They’re right.
Welcome to middle age. You’re doing it wrong. But don’t worry. I can help.
My mother is 70 years old. But she doesn't look like she's 70 years old.
She was born in a refugee camp in WWII. Now she drinks champagne with her daughter who writes dick jokes on social media. We also go to Vegas and drink champagne. We're monsters.
I posted this photo on my mom's birthday a couple of weeks ago. Sure, it doesn't hurt that there is some vaseline-level soft light bathing us in erase-the-years-away glow, but everyone couldn't believe it. She's 70?
I would show you her birth certificate except for that whole born in a refugee camp thing. (It turns out they're not really on top of the paperwork thing, what with trying to survive and all.)
Since I do not have the access to the virgin blood my mother is clearly feasting on daily, my anti-aging regimen needed to take a different tactic. I experimented with cheap creams and fancy lotions and crafty homemade Vitamin C serums. But they all had one thing in common: They take time to work.
You know who doesn't have time? ME. YOU. US. We're closer to the end of the line than the beginning (and let's be honest, some of those later years don't count.) What could I do that would take 10 years off of my life this very second and didn't involve going under the knife? Or over the knife. (Honestly, I should probably just stay away from knives altogether.)
But I discovered the fountain of youth. And I am here to share it with you.
Five Simple Ways to Look 10 Years Younger INSTANTLY
1. Stop shitting on other people's fun.
This is what you look like when you complain about Pokémon GO:
Maybe you don't understand it. That's OK! But that doesn't mean that you have to piss on someone's birthday cake. Only yell at the kids to stay off your lawn if they're actually on your lawn. (But cut them some slack if there's a Mewtwo, OK?)
2. Stop adding your friends to Jamberry/3-D Lashes/Lularoe groups.
The characters of Logan’s Run had a lifeclock embedded in their palms that began to blink when they turned 30 and it was time to go to Carousel. But we don't have blinking lifeclocks. We have invites to Jamberry Facebook "parties." These aren't parties. Parties have food. And alcohol. And people who talk to you before asking for your credit card.
I know that everyone can use some extra cash, but if you're not going to speak to me, then at least let me remember us at 17, staying up late drinking jugs of Carlo Rossi Burgundy, smoking cloves, and listening to the Smiths. Or at 27, staying up late drinking bottles of Two-Buck Chuck, smoking cloves, and listening to the Smiths. Or at 37, drinking rosé, smoking cloves, and listening to the Smiths. Adding me to a group with 3871 of your closest friends to visually assault me with a snappy Fourth of July Pantaloon and Summer Sweater set instantly ages you. Don't do it.
3. Don't write a critical open letter to young women.
Yes, I know that we don't give a shit what other people think. But don't confuse that with telling young women what they should think. Remember how annoyed you were when people did that to you when you were younger? Yes, you are cool and unique and different. You're not a regular middle-aged person! You're a cool middle-aged person!
Maybe your open letter isn't critical. Maybe you just want to share the wisdom that comes with age. But isn't that what inspirational Pinterest boards are for?
4. Don't complain about how young people are growing up "wrong."
When we were kids we played outside! We didn't have cell phones! We climbed trees and skinned knees! We talked to people, like the weird guy who lived in the house on the corner who'd ask the girls to come inside and play "fashion show!" We had respect for our teachers, especially my 7th grade teacher who responded to my complaint that I was being groped repeatedly by a fellow classmate that I "just needed to be nicer to him!"
5. Stop putting "the" in front of everything: "The Facebook." "The Twitter." "The email."
But seriously, could someone explain to me how The Snapchat works?
Nina Bargiel is a feminist killjoy on the Internet and a TV writer in real life. She wrote the bra episode of Lizzie McGuire. You're welcome.