Things Not To Own After 40? Who Says?

I am filing this blog under The Skinny Bitch Chronicles which is my heart portion of this blog and you’ll know why at the end.  I came across this article on MSN and usually I don’t click on articles like this.  For whatever reason, it caught my eye and I was super curious about what kind of grand advice could be given to someone over 40.  

Let’s break these down one by one.  Here we go—-my responses to 40 Things No Woman Over 40 Should Own by Deanna Pai.  I did a little social media surfing and I can say with 99% certainty that she knows nothing about being 40.  Here is her list:

1. Celebrity Fragrance.

She advocates eating well to smell good.  Whatever.  I am vegitarian and I wear Gucci.  Plus, the last time I bought it, I found it on a rock star sale at Nordstrom Rack (really, $10.00).  Personally, I am going to wear the fragrance and let any other woman who would judge me for it stand way far away from me.  Any woman who does that to another woman is not my tribe. My tribe doesn’t do that.  My tribe says rock your favorite fragrance all the way to the casket!

2. Uggs.

Psst…They are warm and I hate, wait, detest the cold and that is the best I have for winter.  Enough said. Alas, I had to get rid of mine because I wore the hell out of them all while I was over the age of 40.

3. Tights with holes or runs.

And these are ok under 40?  Is it not unprofessional to walk around like that under 40?  What makes her think that this is something that women specifically over 40 do? This is just good practice all together no matter what your age!  Personally, I avoid this by not owning a single pair of tights or hose.  I had one pair last February when the oldest daughter got married and I threw them away at the reception!  I can stand hose for approximately the length of one wedding ceremony!

4. A Nylon Duffel Bag (She advocates leather because it is first class)

About a year and a half ago I took a two week trip on a WWII Western Front Battlefield Tour in Europe with our local high school. My two youngest went with me and there were 72 from our little town that went.  It was the most fabulous trip through England, France, Belgium, Germany and Poland.  I literally had walked the soles off my hiking boots by the last day in Poland.  Now, had I been carrying a leather duffel bag, can you imagine how heavy that would have been? And that is before you even pack it.  Nylon all the way, lightweight, practical and travels so much better. Make sure it is a rolling duffel and then it is light and you can roll it!  Seriously, I own some great solid leather handbags and I never carry them.  They are pretty and “in” but so heavy before you even put anything in them.  I carry a nylon crossbody that I bought for that Europe trip and never quit carrying.

5. Alcohol in Plastic Bottles & 19. Plastic Wine Glasses

I personally don’t drink much post heart attack and closing in on my 49th birthday means it would only take a couple drinks and I really would care less if alcohol was being poured from plastic or glass.  That is precisely why I am lumping in 19. Plastic Wine Glasses with 5.  Generally, when my friends and I are together at home, we are outside on the deck barbecuing and having some drinks and playing some yard games.  We go one step lower and drink wine out of paper cups and not even a plastic wine glasses.  My friends and I are all about the party and the precious time with friends that we know is a gift.  I know that I easily could not have this time with friends—my tribe. My cardio thoracic surgeon told me the night of my heart attack that had I lay down to see if I felt better, I would have never woken up. I would have died in my sleep.  Let that sink in and then tell me how important what I drink wine out of is. Who the hell cares what I drink my wine in?  And honestly, why the hell do I want to wash wine glasses? I’m allergic to doing dishes! Throw those cups away (in the recycle bin) and start planning the next wine in paper cups, fortunate to be here, worth everything in the world get together with my tribe. I have an entire set of beautiful crystal wine glasses—they are wrapped up in a box in my basement 😊

6. An Ex’s Hand-Me-Downs

This I agree with.  However, I agree with it for every age. Why over 40? What made her pick this? Is that the magic age that it becomes tacky to keep your ex’s college sweatshirt or what?  I just stepped my 18-year-old daughter through this after she broke up with her long time high school boyfriend.  She is off to college this fall and doesn’t need any of that.  This is for all you ladies of any age!  Leave that behind and move on.  There is a reason you broke up—there is someone else out there for you.

7.  Harem Pants

WTF???  Where did this even come from? Out of all the choices, how did you pick that you shouldn’t own harem pants after 40?  Did you just watch Aladdin? These are harem pants:

(These are available at Amazon)

Here is my feeling on this. If you own harem pants and you love them, rock them all the way to the grocery store, to the library and the parent teacher conference.  Here is what would happen to me if I wore them. 

The dog, Lola, would get out of the yard and I would have to chase after her in my harem pants.  I would get all tangled up in my harem pants and trip and that would be a trip to the ER.  After all, doctors need to make a living—they depend on people like me.  “Doc, I was wearing my harem pants, I had to chase the dog and I got tangled up in my pants and tripped. This is how I broke my ankle.”  This, this is my reality.  You see, harem pants have nothing to do with age and everything to do with coordination and grace. (Is there an ICD-10 code for getting tangled up in harem pants?)

8. A Magnifying Mirror

Now, I must have a magnifying mirror as I get older because my eyes get older too. I’d have terrible looking eyebrows if I didn’t have a magnifying mirror because I wouldn’t be able to see exactly where to pluck them with a regular mirror!  Only someone with young eyes thinks this.

9. Sparkly Eye Make Up

What does she know?  I wore sparkly eye make up the last time I went to the heart and stroke ball.  I loved it and would wear it again for the right occasion.

Me at the AHA Kansas City Heart and Stroke Ball

10. All Those Bridesmaids Dresses

I’ve long since been out of the age where I wore bridesmaids dresses and have long ago donated them.  If you still have yours after 40 and you still fit in them, you have earned the right to rock them at whatever event you want!

11. Headbands, 12. Scrunchies &  13. Claw Hair Clips. 

I have very short hair and don’t need any of these but I’d rock a hippie headband, tie-dye scrunchie and claw clip every chance I got if my hair were long. I wear super short hair because it has always been easy mom hair and now that I am this age, it has been easy to grow in my newfound white hair. I’m 80’s through and through and I own every bit of it! I’ve never once looked at a woman and thought OMG, I can’t believe she’s wearing a headband.  There you go.

14. Stolen Hotel Slippers.

I don’t wear them but it has nothing to do with being over 40.  I don’t wear them because usually I am wearing Birkenstock sandals.  They are far better than slippers at any age!  However, if you are in need of some slippers and there are some at the hotel, wear them home on the plane if you want!

15. Cubic Zirconia, 27. Charm Bracelets , 32. Choker Necklaces & 38. Cheap Jewelry

While I agree with getting rid of anything that turns you green, if you bought expensive jewelry for every occasion, you’d never retire.  I was just at my 30 year high school class reunion and a couple ladies had on choker necklaces and they looked super cute so no to this one.

16. Printed Leggings, 20. Sweatsuits, 21. Clothes With Blatant Logos, 22. Tube Tops, 30. Low Rise Jeans Number 31. Peasant Blouse 39. Single Socks & 40. Sorority T-Shirts

If you are 60 and you feel good enough and are confident enough to step out in a tube top and low rise jeans, you have earned the right and you just go on and wear them. Blatant Logos?  Hello Nike, Reebok, Harley, Life is Good.  Whatever, I have a t-shirt or sweatshirt with just about every logo on it. Sorority T-Shirts? I never rushed but does that go for college logos too? You know, because Rock Chalk Jayhawk and all the shirts I have with that beautiful bird on them.  Really, no one should tell you what to wear which is why this whole list is wrong.  If someone has time to worry about what you wear, they are not living their own life.

17. Concert Posters

Does she not like music?  My very first concert was Elton John in 1986, last week I saw Lyle Lovett and His Large Band and next week I am going to see Foreigner and Cheap Trick. I have seen Boston, Rush, Pink Floyd, Train,  Sting, Paul Simon, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Kansas, James Taylor, George Winston, Alison Krauss, Norah Jones, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Brooks and Dunn–you name it–I have seen hundreds of concerts.  You have no idea how much I wish I had a vintage poster from each one of those that I could hang in the basement.  Buy the poster :).

18. A Bulletin Board

These are surely off limits after 40.  I’m just going to leave this one here.

23. Elaborate Keychains & 24. Tassels

I’m going to combine these because, well, KC Royals Tassel, Go Red For Women and Rock Chalk Jayhawk:

25. DIY Nail-Art Kits

She gives us this example and asks if you can imagine a board meeting with them:

Why yes, yes I can.  I could rock these in a board meeting any day (and so could you) as long as I knew my topic inside and out.

26. Beat Up Bras

Yes.  This.  A million times over.  Beat up and ill fitting bras.  Go get fitted.  You will thank yourself.  Again though, why just after 40?  Any age.

28. Kitschy Phone Case & 29. Wristlet Purse

Bling up your phone if you want.  It is your phone.  Oh, and wristlets aren’t just for the clubs.  They are super functional at fun, grown up things like charity balls when you don’t want to “schlep around your tote bag.” 

33. Dust Ruffle, 34. Half Dead Plants, 35. Expired Sunscreen, 36. Stuffed Animals & 37. Colored Pens

My dust ruffle hides my containers with my off season clothes that are under my bed.  Do you have to be 40 to have half dead plants? I didn’t know that requirement.  I’m sorry to all my dead plants in my 20’s. Apparently 20 somethings own no half dead plants (because they know how to use the internet better)! I have a stuffed bear with a heart embroidered on the chest sitting next to my bed.  My tribe brought it to me the day after my massive heart attack when I was in the CCU.  I love to write in pink.  

Expired sunscreen?  Yes but insulting that she thinks that only women after 40 don’t know this.  No one should keep expired sunscreen.  It doesn’t protect you at any age.

Here is why I file this under the heart portion of my blog.  I file it here because who the hell cares?  Step in my shoes. I am a STEMI survivor and I have spent time volunteering for the American Heart and Stroke Association with the most amazing women.  They are heart attack and stroke survivors.  They are CHD survivors and heart transplant recipients.  They don’t care about any of this.

I file this here for the many women under 50 I know who have battled cancer–stage 4 breast cancer, stage 4 abdominal cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer.  I file this here because I stood at a 30 year class reunion a couple weekends ago with a woman that has a tumor that is a Grade 4 Glioblastoma–stage 4 brain cancer.  My cousins wife was diagnosed with stage 4 triple negative breast cancer at her first mammogram at age 40.  It has metastasized to her liver, bones and beyond.  None of these women care what she thinks about them wearing a sorority t-shirt.

As women, we should support each other and the trials and tribulations that life brings us.  We shouldn’t judge others.  Just because I wouldn’t step out in a tube top and low rise jeans doesn’t mean that I don’t have deep admiration for another woman that has enough confidence at our age to do just that.  To each their own.

Find your tribe, love them hard and accept everything about them at any age!

 Until next time–Cheers!  Jodi

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