by Alex Lee
Friendships DO get better when you are older. Not only have your friends put up with your quirky antics like celebrating Naked Gardening Day EVERY year, but relationships, like a fine boxed wine, mellow and improve with time. Why, you ask? Take your protein pills and put your helmet on.
1. We're so over being dependent.
We now have this incredible fantasy concept called "household income." We can buy ridiculous things like Taco Cat shirts and inflatable dinosaur costumes if we so choose. Not being hampered with an "introductory" salary makes us a little more relaxed about paying for things. We can be spontaneous with casual dinners out, seeing the summer blockbuster movie about that cute kitten, or purchasing that really good scotch instead of settling for light beer (mostly). When we drive, the car isn't going to suffer catastrophic engine failure. Our earning potential peaks at 40 so, statistically, this is the best time to be alive.
2. We're so over looking awkward.
Physically, we're mostly past the acne. Our "look" is polished and we're comfortable in our skin. We know the makeup and hair products that work best and we've survived our own makeover disasters (*cough* home permanents *cough*). We smell right. If we got back to our pre-baby body, great. If we didn't, ALSO GREAT. Skinny jeans and yoga pants may be looked at as fashion don'ts a decade from now, but we're not paralyzed over what that cute boy or girl in PoliSci 101 thinks about our clothes. Put us in a football jersey or a business suit — it looks amazing on us.
3. We're so over sounding awkward.
We can tell our friends that we love them and it doesn't turn into an entire slow-cooker of regret. We love a lot of things: cake, sleeping kittens, virtual reality, imported wine, museums, social justice, and deep-fried foods to name a few. We still mean it when we love our friends, but we have a better grasp of what those words mean in that context. When we hug, we don't hover. Seriously, who does that?
4. We're so over dumbness.
Old people always say how stupid kids are these days. Whether you've just finished your Master's degree or prefer Real World Experience University, there is some value in being able to make a delicious pie from scratch, fixing a toilet, or emerging from a hot kitchen with the best fried chicken in the state. It's here that we bring a lot to the table for our friends. Sure, knowledge is a cellphone away, but it's also good to have actually changed a flat tire on the side of the road because not everything happens like the YouTube video.
5. We're not dead yet.
We still remember how to have fun. Bedtime might be a few hours earlier, but our days of binging and purging in the gutter are behind us. We don't have to lose consciousness to prove to anyone how "hardcore" we are. We've smoked, drank, eaten, and experienced what we needed and have lived to tell the tale. Plus, we can bowl.
6. We can talk about a whole lot of things.
As old as we may chronologically be, we can still carry on conversation without surrendering to our weakening anatomy. We don't have to open with "Oy, my lumbago is really acting up today." Would you like to know more about that magical era known as the '80's? Pinhead said it best - "We have such sights to show you." On the flipside, we're secure enough to just be in the moment, too. "That's when you know you've found somebody really special: you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably share silence." - Mia Wallace, Pulp Fiction
7. We're so over virginity.
In the arena of benefits, we still have game. Am I allowed to say that? My daughter just ran out of the room so I'll take that as a good sign. We know our way around the bedroom. We're no longer fumbling with bra hooks or rushing toward the finish line. Having this confidence in our bodies, ourselves, and each other allows us to either build a lasting relationship or at the very least have one hell of a ride. Don't take my word for it, listen to the science. For the first time, women in their 40s are giving birth more than women in their 20s. While this makes for a strong argument that birth control is allowing women more autonomy in determining when to start their families, it also indicates that women in their 40s are not done with sex by a longshot.
8. We're so over pettiness.
It seems inevitable, doesn't it? We invest so much of ourselves into these friendships — the monitoring of someone's timeline, the likes, the clever GIF responses. We see their kids growing like we see our own. It's Friends and Family. Then they STAB YOU IN THE BACK. Who knows why. For love, money, attention, or just two neurons firing when they shouldn't have. Now, a douchebag dudebro amped up on Monster Ultra Red TM might hop into his lifted Silverado and road raged you (or himself) into a highway ditch.
But we're different. We've evolved past that. We realize we need our transfer cases to remain intact so we can drive our sons to oboe practice and get our daughters registered for the next Girls Who Code seminar. It doesn't make the hurt any less, but it doesn't make the situation worse. We can conduct seances to fuck those bitches in the privacy of our own sewing rooms because that's a healthy outlet for this anger.
Don't you want to be my friend now?
Alex Lee is a 45-year-old father of two and was THIS close to becoming a doctor. He loves science, drums, making cakes of his best friend, and liberalism. He is also a full-time IT Specialist and part-time Technical Writer.