by Monica Beyer
Being "old" is more about how you feel, rather than how old you actually are. But there are a few things in life that can really make us feel pretty decrepit and elderly.
1. Someone calls you ma'am
When we were young, we always called people older than us "ma'am" or "sir," especially if we worked with the public. Once you've gotten your groceries sacked by a teenager, who then calls you "ma'am," you know you've already got one foot in the grave.
2. Someone asks if your kid is your grandchild
Some people become grandparents at a young age, and some people become parents when they're a bit older. When these two seemingly separate times of our lives intersect, it can confuse the hell out of people, leading to the worst question ever.
3. Someone asks for your help selecting the best produce
Since you're super old, that young man totally thinks you know all about the best cantaloupes, green peppers, and onions, amirite?
4. You don't get carded
While some establishments claim they'll card anyone who doesn't look like they're over 40, others take one glance at you and don't even bother. Because old.
5. You ask someone to turn the music down
Your commute, your home, or your office is often a battle between your sensitive old lady ears and those who want to crank it up.
6. You get excited to make an appliance or home improvement purchase
Yes, it sucks to have to replace your old washing machine, but ooh this new one is so pretty, and it does all the things. GIMME.
7. You wake up at 6 a.m. for no reason at all
It's the weekend, and you can sleep in, but instead you wake up before the sun even rises, betrayed by your ancient, old-timer brain.
8. You realize 1996 wasn't 10 years ago
Time flies when you're getting old, doesn't it? Kind of scary to realize how the last two decades have just cruised by, or that kids who are going off to college were born in the late 90s. How is that even possible?
Of course, not everyone who does these things is completely elderly, and really, being "old" is a totally amazing thing to be — because if you don't get old, you're not around to even think about getting a new fridge or why the hell you are waking up before sunrise. So enjoy the experiences and wisdom that your advanced years have gifted to you, and don't forget to tell all the youngins to stay off your lawn, because they really should.
Monica Beyer lives in the Kansas City area with a husband and a houseful of kids. She has been writing things on the internets for over eight years, and her work has appeared at SheKnows, Thrillist, Mental Floss, Good Housekeeping, Babble, GOOD Magazine, and tons more.