Twenties vs. Forties vs. Fifties

After having one of those days where I just should have stayed in bed, I pondered my life both then and now and decided to make a side-by-side comparison of

Mom & Me in my twenties

what I wanted from life or did in my twenties and what I want from life or do now that I’m almost 54.

Things change and priorities shift as you get older.  When you have kids they change even more.  As a responsible adult, sometimes fun gets put on the back-burner and a once clear-head becomes non-existent.  I miss that clear-head.

Now I’m in my fifties (ugh) and I can’t wait to see if this decade has changed me yet again.

Me in my forties

When I was 20 I was living it up in Paris on my parents’ dime, footloose and fancy free.  My only concern was where the next best soirée would be held and who was going to be on the guest list of my next party.  At 43 I worry about paying my bills, money in general, the health and well-being of my family, my health, taking care of my cats, going to work and the list continues.
At 53, soon to be 54, I’m in the “I don’t give a f***” stage. And I have to say, that it feels spectacular!

So let’s take this point by point so we can examine the age gap, and maybe now understand what our parents went through with us as cranky teenagers and crankier twenty somethings, as adults and not being here to worry about us anymore.

  1. 20:  I wanted a hot guy with a hot car.  Hondas need not apply.
    40:  I want my hot guy with his hot car.
    50: I want my guy and am happy he can still drive. LOL.
  2. 20:  I drove a fast 1978 Camaro LT, 350 4-barrel with louvers, air shocks, fat tires and a spoiler.  I had a lead-foot.
    40:  I drive a fast BMW convertible  with fat tires and I still have a lead-foot.
    50: I drive a fast Mercedes Benz convertible and still drive like a maniac while cursing out Left Lane Dicks and shitty drivers.
  3. 20:  I worked at TSV Video (when I was in the US), watched movies all day, drank wine, flirted with the customers, watched and recommended porno, loved my boss Stan and used to arrange Gumby-like toys in sexual positions on his desk every night.  I rarely had to deal with any bullsh**.  My biggest responsibility was making change and setting the alarm.
    40:  I work as a teacher, enlighten impressionable minds all day, drown in paperwork, drink water or Crystal Light, recommend places to visit in Paris and I’m not commenting on the boss.  I constantly have to deal with bullsh**  from EVERYONE.  My BIG responsibility is other people’s children.
    50: I love being a teacher! I’m not as pissy as I was before. Probably because I can retire next year if I wanted to! Teaching college and middle school is how I spend my days… and nights.
  4. 20:  I had a dog.  My parents took care of her and I played with her.
    40:  I have 2 cats and I take care of them:  butt wiping, baths, litter box scooping, trips to the vet, cuddling partner, Mommy, playmate.
    50: I have 6 cats. Nine if you count my babies who went over the rainbow bridge. Still allergic to them but I dream about being a stay-at-home cat mom.
  5. 20:  I pounded shots.  Many shots.  Body shots.
    40:  I sip good wine.  A lot of wine.  All kinds of wine.
    50: I worship vodka. Good vodka. Oh, and expensive wine.
  6. 20:  I tried to figured out new ways to get away from my parents.
    40:  I wish I still had both my mom and dad and now love spending time with my Daddy.
    50: I’m an orphan and it sucks. Daddy died in 2014. No siblings. I’m alone (except for my husband).
  7. 20:  I had a Mandee Charge Card and no debt.
    40:  I have too many credit cards to count and debt up the wazoo.
    50: I own 2 houses and still have too much debt. A vicious circle.
  8. 20:  I weighed 120 pounds and ate anything I wanted.
    40:  I’m always on a diet!
    50: I’m not quite in menopause yet but it’s rearing her ugly head. Call me menopause fat.
  9. 20:  I would stay out all night and party.
    40:  I will stay out all night and party but try to get home by 4 so I don’t piss off the husband.
    50: I’ll still go to Happy Hour and come home late, but Covid is screwing me up. I’m in bed by 8:30!
  10. 20:  I wanted to be a translator for the U.N. or a big-wig in the international business world.
    40:  I want to keep my teaching job and hope my pension will still be there.
    50: I’m thinking about getting a third job so I can retire and move to Florida.
  11. 20:  I slathered on baby oil so I could get that deep, dark tan.
    40:  I slather on sun block and skin repairing cream to try to undo the sun damage of yesteryear.
    50: I’m in the sun every day. I buy expensive skincare and gadgets. I say, “Bring it on!”
  12. 20:  I had big, whorey hair.
    40:  I have big, whorey hair.
    50: I would have big, whorey hair but I haven’t had a haircut or a dye job in a year. I’m not wearing a mask for 3 hours.
  13. 20:  Fifty dollars was a lot to spend on shoes.
    40:  Now I try not to spend over $500.
    50: I have enough shoes. I did buy a cute pair of Love Moschino sneakers the other day. Mea culpa.
  14. 20:  I had no kids.
    40:  I still have no kids (by choice).
    50: I have step-children and grandchildren. Can you believe that? I guess I’m finally getting used to it. PS: I love them!
  15. 20:  I never wanted to go home.
    40:  I can’t wait to get home.
    50: I don’t want to leave home.
  16. 20:  I lived in France and loved it.
    40:  I want to live in France and I still love it.
    50: I want to go back to France soon. Would I live there? Probably.
  17. 20:  I had a boyfriend who wanted me to look like a Barbie doll.
    40:  I have a husband who wants me to look like a Barbie doll.
    50: I just found all my Barbie Dolls.
  18. 20:  Dressing like a whore was always an option.
    40:  Dressing like a whore is a weekend only option.
    50: Dressing like a whore is not an option. I’m a grandmother for christ sake.
  19. 20:  I went to the gym almost every day.
    40:  I stare at all the gym equipment in my house and dust it off once and a while.
    50: I was going to the gym but refuse to wear a mask while I work out. Isn’t that insane?
  20. 20:  I stared at myself in the mirror and thought about how hot I looked.
    40:  I stare at myself in the mirror and notice fine lines and aging and think about when I can get my first facelift.
    50: I’m still staring. Still no Botox, fillers or surgery. I’ll never say never.

Some things have changed and some things have stayed the same.  I believe age is only a number (even though it keeps creeping around like a bad case of crabs) but with age come wisdom and knowledge.  I’ve heard before that youth is wasted on the young.  I believe it now.  If we only knew then what we know now, we could have ruled the world.

I don’t know about you but I’m not done yet and I still plan on ruling the world. Maybe.

© 2021 & 2010 J. H-M and CultureChoc2010. Re-published 2011. Rewritten 2021.

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