'Dina's 40th Birthday party' photo (c) 2009, Gord Webster - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Every Friday my syndicated column appears in a bunch of newspapers in southeastern Ontario and Saskatchewan. Here’s this week’s! I had help from my Facebook Fans for some of the one-liners. But this one was fun to write!

Is it wrong to be giddy that your husband needs glasses? As one who has required corrective lenses since I had to squint at the blackboard in school, I must admit to being tickled pink watching my husband break down and purchase some reading glasses. As my daughter and I, who struggle with contact lenses everyday, exult at both his misfortune and delight in being able to see again, it occurs to me that perhaps my husband and I are entering that phase commonly known as “middle age”.

You know you’re middle aged when you have to play the trombone with medicine bottles to read small print.
You know you’re middle aged when you meet someone new, and can’t narrow down their age any more precisely than “somewhere between 15 and 30”. They all look the same to you.

You know you’re middle aged when you have to start shaving and plucking hairs out of places where hair really shouldn’t grow. I always knew they made leg waxing kits. But lucky for me, they make facial waxing kits, too. Sigh.

You know you’re middle aged when hormones which used to be a mild irritant now wage war. I always believed PMS existed, but I never had that full, rich experience until “peri-menopause” hit. Now every month there are at least two days when, if someone says “Hi, Sheila,” I feel an irresistible urge to slap them. It’s like an out-of-body experience: I can see how badly I’m behaving, but I can’t stop myself because I’m so darned mad. I know I’m middle aged because my family heads for the hills periodically, skulking away, without telling me why.

You know you’re middle aged when, upon being given the choice of two “wild and crazy” things to do, you choose the one that will get you home the soonest. In fact, you know you’re middle aged when your bedtime is now the earliest one in the household, because one’s teenagers stay up later than you do.

You know you’re middle aged when you have to cross your legs if you laugh, and you have to avoid trampolines at all costs, unless you have fully emptied your bladder and have not had anything to drink for the last 36 hours.
You know you’re middle aged when every doctor’s visit results in multiple requisitions for “routine” tests that involve strangers becoming far too intimate with your nether regions.

You know you’re middle aged when your husband develops an obsession with weeds. After years of not caring what our lawn looked like, gardening gloves and glasses have become his new uniform.

To top it all off, we know we’re middle aged because we have dorky hobbies. We recently started bird-watching, a distinctly middle aged activity. Young people like to hike, which sounds vigorous. Middle aged people head to the trails, too, but usually we’re armed with cameras and binoculars and bird books, and have to take numerous breaks to verify that that Small Brown Bird really is just a sparrow, and not some rare warbler.

You know you’re middle aged when your favourite music is on the classics station.

You know you’re middle aged when your waist size matches your age—and that’s a bad thing.

You know you’re middle aged when your kids start saying, “You’re not going out of the house wearing that, are you?”

Finally, you know you’re middle aged when you decide to live until 120, so that you’re no longer middle aged.

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