Fifty - the ultimate f-wordThe countdown has begun. I will be 50 in 2016. What the WHAT?

Fifty has got to be the ultimate f-word. It just sounds like a dirty word when you think about it … or say it slowwwwww-ly. (see what I mean?) While I do feel blessed to keep having birthdays and all, 50 just got here so FAST!  And to be completely honest, I’m a tiny bit excited and a whole lot freaked out! I reserve the right to change my mind a billion times.

But here’s the thing … weird stuff is beginning to happen. Last year at Salon Nirvana getting one of the many necessary tune ups on my hair color (because 50), I was telling Peggy (beloved stylist) about something that surprised me most about speeding head-on into the mid-century mark: I am slowly turning into an old man. The 40-ish guy (very cute, in fact) in the next chair (probably drinking a glass of white wine. I’m not sure, but let’s just say he was) was laughing at my observation and chiming in with some awesomely flirty remarks. I decided to not point out the ironic parallel that he was in a salon (probably drinking chardonnay) and not in a barber shop — and maybe he was slowly turning into an old lady. We are the perfect couple, obviously.

During the past 10 years, the process of becoming an old guy has been a slow transformation … but now it’s speeding up. Apart from the obvious warning signs of aging everyone enjoys (reading glasses, body aches, naps and food hangovers), there are a few additional clues that prove my metamorphosis is in full swing:

Clue #1:  I drink whiskey (bourbon mostly, as you will see if you read anything else here). And if it’s good whiskey I’ll drink it neat … just like a distinguished silver-haired gentleman hanging out at the county club after a round of 18 holes. Yep.  And speaking of golf …

Clue #2:  I play golf sometimes… but I want to play golf all the time. It is addicting. So girls, listen up: give your men a break. Or better yet, go learn how to play too. I started taking lessons several years ago and I have to say this game rocks. I just can’t get enough. I’d play every day if I could. I play with my friends’ boyfriends and husbands and am also getting pretty good at the guy-talk, which is basically just hurling insults back and forth.

Clue #3:  I watch college football (guns up, wreck ’em and Go Tech!). I’m happy to sit at the neighborhood bar with the guys, drink old-school happy hour man-drinks and watch sports. And argue about politics. My crew averages in at about 70 years old.

Clue #4:  I’m conservative. Okay, scratch that, I’ve always been conservative. But now I’m a conservative libertarian who is overly suspicious of the government. I’m not quite at the conspiracy-theory level, but am likely just one election cycle away.

Clue #5:  I grumble about today’s youth. Get a job! Pull up your pants! Turn down that noise!  If I had a lawn I’d yell at a youth to get off it. Kids today! They have no idea what GenXers had to go through in the 80s. Wussies.

Has anyone else experienced this phenomenon? Is this a post mid-life crisis? Is it simply a survival skill for today’s single girl? Can I still all myself a “girl” after 50 or do I have to cut off my long hair, drink chardonnay (gag), buy ugly sweater sets (kill me) and start referring to myself as a “woman of a certain age?” I guess I should be very thankful that I’m not dealing with nose and ear hair. Yet. That’s probably next.

If you have any insight or advice, please share in the comments (or just post your favorite bourbon, golfer and college football team — I’m good with that too).

So here’s to 50 people … high five, dudes!

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