Chin Hairs and Other Weird Stuff - A Funny Look at Obscure Signs to Know When You're Approaching Fifty
Is your hair turning gray? Do your knees ache when you sit down? Has hair started growing out of your ears? Are you getting wrinkles? These are all pretty obvious signs that remind you that you aren't getting any younger. There are many more indicators, but they aren't nearly as obvious.
I turned 47 years old a little while ago. 47...phew. How the heck did that happen? Wait a minute...that means that I'm going to be 50 in 3 years. That can't be right. My daughter will be 12 when I turn fifty. Do 50 year olds have 12 year old kids? I can't be this old. I still act like a goofy kid when I go visit my parents. Of course, I do go visit them in their apartment in a retirement community. Maybe that should be a clue that I am getting up there in age. When I get together with my brother, we behave like school delinquents. I can't possibly be almost fifty...I have dance moves that put young women to shame (well at least I think so).
Thinking about it, I should have noticed the signs earlier. They've been coming on slowly and I probably didn't want to admit what they meant. Maybe I didn't want to notice in hopes that they would go away.
Whatever the reason for my denial, it's all there for everyone to see now. Well it's all there to see, except for my gray hair. That has been expertly disguised to look like my sun kissed locks from days gone by. So, with the goal of helping all of you determine if you are getting close to turning 50, I've composed this handy dandy guide. I hope it helps!
*Please note that this article is for entertainment purposes only. In all seriousness, if you notice any changes in your body, you should consult a physician.*
You might see chin hairs...yuck!
A couple of years ago I noticed a stray hair on my chin. Every once in a while I'd grab my tweezers and yank it out. I didn't think much of it at the time. Then, slowly but surely, I noticed more on my chin and a few on my neck. Seriously...my neck? Where did they come from? They weren't even the nice blonde peach fuzz hairs I always had on my face. These were wiry dark things. Fast forward a couple of years and it's gotten to the point that I have to pluck these wayward hairs every week and what really blows my mind is that they seem to grow back overnight. Even my "moustache", which was barely visible at one time, now provides a nice dark contrast to my pale upper lip. Adding insult to injury, I've recently noticed an eyebrow hair that is about double the length of all of the others and sticks straight up. Upon further eyebrow inspection I have discovered loads of gray eyebrow hairs. Holy moly, I can't catch a break. At this rate, I'm going to have to get up half an hour earlier every day to pluck stray hairs so I don't end up looking like Sasquatch!
One thing that makes me feel a little bit better is that my husband, who's the same age as me, has sprouted so much hair on his back it looks like he's wearing a woolen sweater.
Bottom line...Make sure you check your face for these mystery hairs. It's a sure sign that fifty is just around the corner.
Chicken fat arms begin to appear
Your body changes throughout your life, but things really start going south (literally!) in your forties. At least that's when it started with me. I've always been on the chunky side, losing weight, then gaining it back, so weight change is not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the dreaded chicken fat arm. You know, that floppy skin that hangs down under your upper arms and waves like a flag when you shake your arms. My arms have never been stellar, but they never kept waving long after I had stopped. I didn't notice this change until a few months ago and I do not like it one bit. The only benefit that comes from this calamity is that the local sporting goods store made a few bucks off of me when I went and bought dumbbells. Now I just need to use them.
Keep a close eye on your arms. That flabby chicken fat creeps up on you like a cat in the night. Maybe I'll add push ups to my non existent daily regimen. Hmmm.
Funky body spots start popping up everywhere
I don't know if everyone approaching the big 5-0 has this problem so this section is dedicated to all those 1960s babies who were told that baby oil was ok to use as sunscreen. It wasn't and I'm paying for it now. I have spots, bumps and skin tags all over my body. Even during the dead of winter when I look like a vampire, you can still see the outline of a bathing suit, except that the bathing suit is pearly unblemished white skin and the exposed skin is shades darker because of all of my sunspots. Over the last 5 years I've had lots of spots removed and I go back every year to get a skin check. I'm your classic case study of what NOT to do when tanning. Any sunscreen with an SPF higher than 4 used to be my kryptonite. Now anything lower than SPF 30 fits that moniker.
If you don't have any spots or bumps already, you're probably going to get some.
*All joking aside, get skin spots checked by a doctor and wear sunscreen, protective clothing and a hat. It will be worth it in the long run.*
You find yourself singing to muzak
Strolling through the shampoo section at the local drugstore the other day I found myself doing a little hip shaking and singing along to the Muzak song that was playing. If you don't already know, Muzak is that instrumental music that gets piped into elevators and stores, but back to my story. It wasn't even a great song...some Barry Manilow number that was a big hit way back when. Turning around, there was the teenage stock clerk with a silent smirk on his face. Mortified, I grabbed the nearest bottle of candy pink conditioner and hustled down the aisle. To add insult to injury, as I was checking out, on came a Muzak version of an Eric Clapton song. Come on...Eric Clapton on Muzak. Jeez, I am getting old.
I hate to tell you this, but when you start recognizing songs from your youth being piped in to your local pharmacy, you are getting close to 50.
Your old clothes start to become new again
I love getting fashion catalogs. All the latest styles are modelled elegantly by women that weigh about 95 pounds. Yeah, like I'm sure that slinky crop top is going to fit me just like it fits her. Well a few years ago I started noticing that some of the clothes and shoes these waifs were modeling looked familiar. Ah, how I loved those rock hard clogs I used to wear around high school, twisting my ankle at every other step. I had the bellbottoms too. Of course now they are now known as boot cut jeans. Had I known these things would come back in style I would have ignored my rule of getting rid of any clothing item that I haven't worn in 2 years. They wouldn't have fit, but I could have made a fortune on ebay.
A sure sign that the aging process has begun is when you start seeing styles you wore when they were first introduced way back when.
You've started watching the weather channel
I never used to care about the weather. If it was going to rain, then bring it on. Weather never stopped me. Now I find myself checking the Weather Channel or my fancy phone weather app to see hour by hour updates. God forbid it's predicted to start snowing when I run out for my morning coffee. I'll probably never make it home from the gas station that's 5 minutes away.
The way I knew I was getting close to the big 5-0 is that I started watching the Weather Channel with my father-in-law and we started discussing the forecast. Yeesh...
You're hitting the early bird specials
I am really embarrassed to admit this, but I've noticed lately that my husband and I go to dinner a lot earlier than we used to. We find ourselves checking the clock, knowing that a popular restaurant gets busy pretty early. We don't want to get caught up in that line so we head out around 4pm. We've started noticing that some places offer discounts at that time and you don't even have to be a senior. Not too shabby.
Keep an eye on the clock. If you notice you are heading out the door for your monthly big night out at 3pm, then fifty is right around the corner.
See for yourself if you are nearing 50view quiz statistics
Turning fifty Isn't so bad
Now that you know a few of the more obscure things to look for to see if you are aging, take a look at yourself and see if you can spot any signs. Once you've found them it will be time to try to do something about it. You can go out and spend lots of money trying to turn back the clock or, better yet, Get Over It!
Come to think of it, nearing 50 really hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be. I'm thankful I have a terrific family and my health. Check back with me on my fiftieth birthday and I might not be quite so optimistic!
© 2012 Claudia Mitchell