• Mon, Dec 30 - 10:00 am ET

I’m 44 And I Still Don’t Know How To Act My Age

145083527Some of you know I turned 44 three days ago. I ate so much cake! And this fact, that I got really excited because I was presented with a beautiful cake, coupled with this new article in the Huffington Post about what words I’m not supposed to be saying if I am over age 30, has me all stressed out about how I’m not a grownup. Totes.

I’m always going to be the old lady yelling about agesim and how we should all be able to do whatever we want and wear whatever we want and enjoy whatever we want, no matter how old we are. I usually don’t give a fuck (I don’t think I’m allowed to say that at my age, it’s not very becoming of a woman my age) about what headlines or society or the media tells me I can and can’t do, but then I also keep thinking that at some point I should probably.. mature a little. I’m mature, I take care of business, I have a career, and a mortgage, and I make dinner and check homework and iron and pay my electric bill and try to sleep at least six hours a night. But then again I also got really excited about the Beyonce visual album and I wear a lot of glitter nail polish.

I think in many ways our moms had it easy, because back in the day when they reached a certain age they were allowed to be that certain age. Now none of us can find our bliss in casserole preperation whilst donning pastel tracksuits because of Oprah. I mean, did you see the January cover of O mag? Oprah is tuning 60 and she looks maybe 35. I’m constantly torn between idolization and anger as I want her to just go ahead and age all ready so the rest of us feel like we can too.

I knew how to be 43. 43 was easy. I was just me but with less concern over whether I should be applying a moisturizer to my neck nightly. Now at age 44 I know there are things I should be doing but I have no idea what they are. Do I start taking multivitamins? Learn how to play Majohong instead of getting really excited about the Xbox One? Buy more earth tones? Invest in some Hermés scarves?

I don’t know how to be 44 because now one ever talks about being 44.

I work in a field dominated by people young enough to be my daughter. I like a lot of these people, and find a lot in common with them, but then one of them will mention something about being in a club at midnight or ask me what it’s like to have kids and I remember that my eldest is not so much younger than them. And when I talk about my age, I find so few women in my field who are the same age or who will admit to being the same age. It’s like the majority of these women, when they hit the over 35 mark simply stop mentioning it, because they are afraid it will make them seem.. irrelevant. Or old.

I’m the only 44 year old on earth.

I never really felt my age or cared about my age or worried about my age until now. And it’s not even like I’m worried about it, other than the fact I’m really technically middle age and that I’m closer to death than birth, and sometimes when I wake up my hands ache, but it sure would be nice if I understood a little bit more about how to be this age. I don’t know what 44 should look like because everyone in the world is trying to do everything not to look 44.

Maybe I’ll buy some neck cream. Or just play the Xbox One.

It should be noted that beloved Mommyish reader AmazingE also has the same birthday as me. WOOHOO! Happy Birthday girl!

(Image: getty images)

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  • rrlo

    “35 is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years.” Oscar Wilde – Importance of Being Earnest.

    Cheer up Eve…You’re all kinds of awesome!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I am getting this tattooed. end of discussion.

    • Alexandra

      This is my favorite quote ever, possibly right after this:

      ‘To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.’
      LOVE Oscar Wilde. Sorry to Hijack this post!

      Eve – you’re awesome, and you’re right no one wants to be their true age, but it’s so much more comfortable!

    • CMJ

      Oh oh! This is my favorite!!

      “All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does, and that is his.”

    • meteor_echo

      I’m hoping to prove him wrong.

  • Bethany Ramos

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Your age makes me really happy because it’s an inspiration. Sometimes I see really lame ass middle-age people (obvy not Mommyish readers :)), and I get a little scared. So I’ll just plan to be like you, and then we all win. Eve 2.0!

    • Julia Sonenshein

      Yeah Eve if I am even halfway as close to being as cool as you at 44 I’ll be a happy woman. You being 44, which is older than me but not old, is one of my favorite things about you, because I feel like we’re able to relate to each other perfectly but you have the experience to talk to me about things I’ve yet to understand. You’re not awesome for a 44-year-old–you’re awesome and also 44.

    • Bethany Ramos

      You can be Eve 3.0 :)

    • Julia Sonenshein

      THE DREAM!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      aww ty

  • Tinyfaeri

    “Here are the things you need to stop saying if you are over the age of 30. Or if you have a mortgage, or a job that comes with benefits. Or if you have teens.” By that, I needed to refine my speech by age 23, and that was almost 11 years ago. She can go kiss my cray-cray amazeballs ass.

    Happy Birthday, Eve!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I love your cray cray amazeballs ass

    • CMJ

      TOTES!

  • LiteBrite

    Happy belated birthday Eve! I hope it was a great one.

    I think at 44 you can bake casseroles AND play the Xbox One. Just don’t start donning sweaters with kittens and bears on them.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      xo

  • Kay_Sue

    You’re talking about being 44. It’s a start. Happy birthday!

    Quit quasi-worrying about what you should be doing at 44, lady. It’s pointless, and even after considering and coming to a consensus of what you should be doing, at least half of the folks you meet will still silently (or not silently) judge you for doing it wrong.

  • Carinn Jade

    I heart you so so so much.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I heart you too my Carinn

  • EX

    Happy birthday Eve! When I was a kid I thought being a grown up meant drinking your coffee black, reading the Wall Street Journal and getting dressed up/looking put together even when you don’t have to. I do none of these things (I don’t even always manage to look put together when I have to). I still haven’t decided if that means I’m not grown up or if I need to change my definition of grown up.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I think we need a new definition

    • Tinyfaeri

      Can it involve yoga pants, whiskey and sweaters with cats on them?

    • Samantha_Escobar

      Yes, for the sake of my and my children’s futures, yes please.

    • EX

      If being grown up involves wearing yoga pants (more or less exclusively) well, then I guess I’m as grown up as they come!

    • Tinyfaeri

      Well, I say it does, if that helps… :)

  • Samantha_Escobar

    Happy birthday, Eve!

    To me, the only qualifications I see for people acting their age–really, any age after high school/college–involve (A) taking care of oneself whenever possible, (B) taking responsibility for one’s actions and (C) taking responsibility for one’s future. I mean, that’s a SUPER condensed version of how I feel about growing up, but basically, I see you as somebody who “acts her age” in that you’re really responsible, loving and caring for yourself and those around you; the rest of the stuff people make post-30/post-40/post-50 prohibitive lists about are just dumb.

    If it makes you feel any better, I feel like people never take me seriously because I’m 24, which apparently means I’m incapable of having gone through wonderful and terrible life experiences, feeling pain, being in love, understanding my job and having life goals beyond convincing people to throw me a surprise birthday party.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      SAMANTHA I LOVE WHEN YOU COMMENT IT’S LIKE SPECIAL GLAMOUR GUEST STAR

  • LJ

    I haven’t been able to be on here much lately but I wanted to drop in just to say <3 <3 <3 <3. Eve, Youre fabulous! The. End.

    http://www.1851project.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Survive9.gif

    • LJ

      …..So apparently my comment posted twice. One as me and one as Guest!…Thanks interwebz. Anyway, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      and it’s so worth it! xoxox

  • LJ

    I haven’t been able to be on here much lately but I wanted to drop in just to say <3 <3 <3 <3. Eve, Youre fabulous! The. End.

    http://www.1851project.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Survive9.gif

  • http://twitter.com/mariaguido Maria Guido

    Happy Birthday – you are totes amazeaballs and I love you!

  • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

    I’m pretty sure that “Words you should not be using if you’re over 30″ has had the exact opposite effect it was supposed to. I’ve never used most of those terms (though, they will have to pry my “I know, right”s from my cold, dead lips), but very few things make me feel more rebellious than being told to “act my age”. Because what does that even mean?

    I’m 34. I’m already told on occasion that I’m a little old to have butt-length hair. I’m told that I’m getting too old to be playing video games. I’m told that I’m too old to be “dating around” like a teenager, and that I need to hurry up and settle down with just one man while I still have some functioning eggs left. I’m told that I’m old enough that it’s time to stop thinking I’ll be able to make a career out of my fantasy artwork.

    But y’know what? I go to work. I pay my bills and taxes. I do my best to treat the people in my life well. I take responsibility for my life, my actions, and my needs. I do my grown-up stuff just fine.

    And that means that when I have time to myself, I get to catch Pokemon, draw unicorns, and eat ice cream for dinner if that’s what I want to do! :D

    • Alanna Jorgensen

      I’m about to be 32. If anyone told me I was too old for video games I would karate chop them in the throat.

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      The thing I find weird is that the same people who tell me playing video games is a childish thing to do with my time think it’s perfectly reasonable to be able to describe to me, in detail, what happened on every popular TV show that week.

      Because TV is grown-up stuff, I guess.

  • AmazingE

    Happy Birthday, birthday buddy!!! At least you got cake on yours, all I got was cookies. That I had to make. Not cool.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      OMG I NEED TO ADD IT WAS ALSO YOUR BDAY ONE SEC/see above

    • AmazingE

      Aww, you are just the coolest. If I’m half as cool as you in eleven years, I’ll consider myself pretty darn lucky.

  • pixie

    Happy birthday, Eve!!

    You are fantastic, hilarious, and gorgeous. Who cares if you’re 44 and like to play Xbox? If someone really cares that you’re past 40 and still playing video games, they’re not worth your time and clearly not as cool as you. My mom will be 58 in February. She’s not afraid to tell anyone how old she is, even though she looks like she’s in her 30s. Sure, she works in a bank, doesn’t drink very often, goes for a run every morning, and always eats healthy foods (things she has pretty much always done), she also loves watching rugby games, finds John Cleese and Rowan Atkinson hilarious, got her black belt in jiu-jitsu at nearly 50, and still teaches small children how to fight. There’s things about her body she wishes she could change, but she’s still an amazing, beautiful woman and mother. Just like you are.
    I’ve never understood why some women (like my 61 year old aunt) who insist on trying to hide their age and working so hard to look younger. There’s nothing wrong with trying to improve yourself if you’re unhappy with the way you look, but I think women should embrace themselves and their ages. I hate how society as a whole seems to favour 20-somethings over everyone else. Well, screw society, Eve, you keep being your cake-eating, Xbox-playing amazing self.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I love your mom, she needs to come teach us all her skills

  • MellyG

    I’m 33 – my first thought in reading the article on Huffington Post was “I am totes glad i am not her friend’ :-P Seriously, she sound incredibly boring and judgmental. You, on the other hand, sound like someone I want to get glitter manicures with!

  • JLH1986

    I thought being able to play video games, drink when you want, wear glitter nail polish (because my mom HATED that stuff) was the perk to being over a certain age because there was no one to say things like “you don’t pay bills, you don’t get an opinion!” or “when you grow up you’ll look silly wearing that” (my $15 mani says otherwise mom!) and my favorite “You aren’t always going to be able to drink like that” Um I can and now I can afford the cab ride home!

  • Ann

    I will be 42 in March and I have 2 kids in their 20′s and 1 in his late teens, I STILL don’t feel like a “grown-up”. I use words that I probably shouldn’t use, I probably should pay more attention to how I dress, but come-on T-shirts and shorts (I’m in Florida) are my main go to clothes because they are comfortable, I have a purple streak in my hair because I retired from my job of 20 years this past January and said fuck it I don’t need to look professional anymore and the only thing my kids said was that it looks bad-ass! Enjoy your age, what ever it is, because you can only be ___ once!! Happy Birthday Eve!

  • Alicia Kiner

    Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks you should do or be, and just do you. Do whatever makes you happy. I have a great aunt who’s about to be 89, and she fits in with my friends. She’s got a dirty, perverted mind, and dirtier mouth, and a hilarious sense of humor. And she just rocks the IDGAF attitude. Do you. If they don’t like it, screw ‘em.

  • http://www.gamedevwidow.weebly.com/ Theresa Edwards

    happy belated! I remember being really excited when I was little about reaching middle age because it meant I could wear lots of velour. Now I feel like that never happens.

  • Lindsey Conklin

    this is really beautiful!

  • meteor_echo

    Happy uterine independence day, Eve, and I wish you to keep being totes goshdarn amazeballs 5ever! :3

    Also, I’m going to be that one old lady who wears Doc Martens and has pierced nipples. I won’t even give a fuck about anyone telling me to “act my age”, because age is but a number.

  • Fuzzy ‘n Broken Mirror

    You don’t look a day over 42

  • Awa Adams

    I’m starting to feel like the ideal of womanhood is a vacume. Once you reach a certain age, you spend the rest of your life being pulled or pushed in two directions. Even at 25, I still feel like a teenager sometimes, and part of it stems from being raised to believe that adulthood holds all the answers to life. No one knows how to act their age, because the age you feel and the age you are and the way you picture that age are always going to be at war. I’m always going to be caught between wanting to enjoy the perks of the age I’m at, and wishing I was older (less condescension from older women) or younger (more energy, less responsibility, no post-baby bod). And I’ll still be saying “I know, right?” into my 70′s. Maybe the answer is to have fun and not care how young or old people think you’re acting.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    To anyone who tries to tell you to act your age, I say tell them, “You’re not the boss of me!!”
    Happy birthday!

  • AnastasiaMcNally

    Happy birthday, Eve! I turned 21 a week or so ago and I feel so much older because I am the first of my friends my age to have a baby and buy a house and in my head I was all like omg I am going to have to stop buying fantastic glitter nail polish and having wii bowling competitions and drinking cider and watching trashy TV shows and I have been panicking so thank you thank you!

  • Alanna Jorgensen

    That article is nonsense. I said “I will cut a bitch” in casual conversation just today. I drive an Accord, not an Oddysey, though, so it’s totes okay.

  • gothicgaelicgirl

    I’m 23, have 5 kids in my life and still act like the biggest kid!
    They love it and I do believe it keeps me young.
    A perfect example is my mother.
    She’s 44 but honestly doesn’t look a day over 30!

    She says laughing keeps her young!

  • Why?

    I’m 42, wearing jeans, Converse sneakers, with one arm sleeve tattoo! I definitely do not feel 42. Never settled with any of boyfriend, just because you are “supposed” to. Thank you for the article. I was starting to think I might have something wrong with me!