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Women: Top Ten Signs You Are Old

Updated on August 14, 2018

You've heard that old saying "you're only as old as you feel." And you've never felt old. In fact, you've always felt like a girl – maybe a working girl or a party girl or a girly girl, or even just the girl next door. But as the years creep up on you and the birthdays keep accumulating, you've started to get a nagging feeling in the back of your mind that maybe you're not so young any more.

Sure, there are the usual signs of getting older – the wrinkles around your eyes, the hefty balance in your 401(K) account, being called "ma'am" by the bagger at the grocery store – but how do you know for sure when you are old? How do you tell when you finally cross that line between sweet young thing and woman of a certain age? Here are the top ten signs you officially are old.

1. The discussion at Girls' Night Out is dominated by menopause symptoms.

It's always been anything goes when the girls get together for drinks after work. Nothing is off limits, whether it's dishing about your love life or playing a rousing game of "do, date or ditch." But lately you've noticed the discussion has gone from raunchy to, well, just plain gross. Instead of gossiping about that hot new guy in Marketing you're talking about ... night sweats? Yes, when you find yourself comparing notes with your BFFs about hot flashes, fatigue, and Aunt Flo's increasingly erratic visits, you know you're old.

You know you're old when it takes more than one person to light the candles on your birthday cake.
You know you're old when it takes more than one person to light the candles on your birthday cake.

2. Those in positions of authority and trust are young enough to be your children.

There are certain people in positions of authority and trust to whom you always looked up, like your doctor or pastor or the quarterback of your favorite football team. But, is it just you, or have those people started to look younger and younger? Then one day it hits you, that nice gynecologist conducting your cervical exam was still toddling around in diapers while you were sneaking into bars at college. And that cute state trooper you're flirting with to try to get out of a speeding ticket tells you you remind him of his mother. Honey, make no mistake about it, you are O-L-D.

3. Hair today, gone tomorrow.

It started out with a single white hair sticking out of the top of your head. So you did what any self-respecting girl would do and pulled it. And then another appeared. So you pulled that one, too. Then another, and another. Now you're to the point where you can't keep up with all the white hair on your head and, besides, if you pulled them all out you wouldn't have much hair left. So you've turned your attention to more pressing matters – all those weird, wiry hairs that keep showing up on other parts of your body – your chin, your chest, your neck. You've even made a pact with your closest friend that if anything ever happens to you and you become incapacitated, she'll bring a tweezers to the care center to pluck all those errant hairs for you. Yes, you guessed it, you're old.

4. The clothes at Chicos are starting to look cute.

Let's face it, ladies. There are certain stores where your mom shops that you normally wouldn't be caught dead in, unless shopping for or with your mom. You know the type – the ones with the Mexican folk-artsy prints and long, flowing tunics like Bea Arthur wore on "Maude" (and if you remember what Bea Arthur wore on "Maude" that's another good sign you're old). But maybe the last time you were at the mall with your mom that zebra-striped jacket in wrinkle-free fabric she was admiring at Chicos actually looked kind of cute to you. You're clearly getting old. And when you finally break down and purchase your first crochet cardigan with a monkey appliqué (or any sort of appliqué, really), that's when you can be certain you've entered little old lady-hood.

5. You no longer see the point of high heels.

Remember back in the day when you got dressed up to go out? When you slid on your sexiest pair of stilettos you felt hot, hot, hot. Now the feeling is more like ouch, ouch, ouch, and that's if you even can manage to get them on over your bunions and heel spurs. When you do wear heels, you skip the Jimmy Choos in favor of brands like Easy Stride or Naturalizer. Even then, you can't wait to get home and put on a pair of Tevas or, better yet, your fuzzy slippers. When you select footwear based on comfort and not style, that's a pretty good sign you are old.

6. You no longer see, period.

Has this ever happened to you? You're having a romantic dinner with your honey at an elegant, dimly lit restaurant. The waiter hands you a menu and you can't read a word on it. And, damn, you forgot your reading glasses. You're too embarrassed to admit you can't see a thing without your glasses so when the waiter returns to take your order, you wing it and point to any old random thing. The waiter raises his eyebrows ever so slightly. "Interesting choice, Madame," he says. And you understand why when he brings your food. It seems you have ordered the tripe. Yum. If this has happened to you, you most definitely are old.

7. When you adjust the volume, it's to the left.

Of course, the eyes aren't the only thing to go in old age. Remember cranking the music and singing along with Madonna, Michael, and Whitney to all your favorite songs? Who knew the volume dial even turned to the left? But now when the music is blasting you can't hear a word anyone is saying. In order to avoid repeating "what?" every time someone speaks, you simply turn down the volume. Guess what? Yep, you're old.

8. You don't recognize anyone in People magazine.

You're at the doctor's office nervously waiting for your first colonoscopy (ding, ding, ding; you're old). You pick up a copy of People magazine and start flipping through it. You don't recognize any of the kids in it. You most likely are old. You actually think to yourself, "I don't recognize any of these kids." You are old.

9. You don't hesitate to leave the house without makeup.

There was a time when you would never consider running errands without looking your best. A cute outfit, makeup, and styled hair was de rigueur for any trip out into the public. But now? Suppose you're out weeding the garden. (Let's stop right there. You have a garden? That itself is suspect.) Suddenly you remember you're supposed to bring a snack to Bunco night at the neighbor's. (Bunco? Oh, honey.) So you brush off most of the dirt from your old work jeans, tie your greasy hair back into a ponytail, and head on out to the store, not caring who you might run into. I'm so sorry, dear. You're old.

10. Sexy negligee? What sexy negligee?

Remember your bachelorette party when your friends gave you all those silky, sexy negligees? Where are those impractical things now? You're certainly not wearing them to bed anymore. They've long since been replaced by cotton t-shirts and pajama bottoms (or flannel pajamas, depending on the season). And you're now looking into getting some of those wicking pajamas your friends have been telling you about so you don't have to get up and change three times during night (see item 1 above). Yes, there's no doubt about it. You're old.

No matter how old I am, I'll always be an American girl.

So what's the verdict?

Are you old?

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