When did 40 become the new 30?

I have often had people assume that I was much younger than I look which made me wonder, if that was a good thing or a bad thing.

Was it something I had on, my outgoing personality, or just the way I look that gave them the impression that I was in my late, late twenty’s or early thirty’s?

When I tell someone I have a 16-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter, I can see the calculator going off in their head trying to figure out my age. I usually chuckle and tell them don’t worry I’ve been married for 17 years. With pure amazement I’ll tell my age and we move on.

Sometimes I see this as a good thing if someone thinks I am younger, however there are times I see it as a bad thing. I can recall working at a high-end retail store where I wore my all hair pulled back in a ball, when a colleague of mine ask me to do a favor for her.

Upon following through on the favor for my colleague, I can recall her saying ‘Thank you young lady for mission accomplished.’ It was at that moment a nerve struck because somehow I felt slightly disrespected, not because I did something for her, but because of her gratitude for calling me ‘young lady.’

One may think well you’re from Alabama, mannerism & respect is something you should be used to receiving. You should be happy she didn’t call you something else.  I concur but the epitome of being called young lady for me at my age is like someone popping on their chewing gum, or  dragging their fingernails across a chalk board.

As I worked my six-hour shift that day, I couldn’t help but look at myself in the mirror and try to figure out why some people think I am younger than I appear. I can recall every since I was a little girl my mother has always told my sisters and I to take care of ourselves as we got older because no one else can take care of us better than we can. So that particular statement is something that I have always lived by from staying on top of my fashion, working out and eating healthy, and enjoying life.

I often question myself what does a 40-year-old suppose to look like?

What are the do’s and don’ts of being 40?

For example as a girlfriend and I decided to do a girls night out we walked into a local bar one Saturday night, where I realized the crowd seemed to be much older than I expected. Could it have been the bright lights, the old men in pull over sweaters on a warm Saturday night, or the band playing Johnnie Taylor, whatever the case may have been I was not feeling the crowd and felt I was out of my element.  Anticipating whether we should leave or not, we decided to order a light dinner and head to another bar 10 minutes away.

As we arrived at our second bar of the night, I was looking at the way the females were dressed as they went in, thinking am I over dressed for this type of venue.  As we approach the guy checking our ID’s I notice from a distance that this crowd at the bar clearly seems much younger or juvenile.

‘What gave it away?’ one may ask. ‘

It was the music, it was the guys  waddling over to females because their pants were at their knee caps, and yes it was females giving ‘ lap’ dances to a group of men wearing all white ‘orthopedic’ like shoes at the dining table.  Did we want to take a risk of leaving this place to spend our Saturday night bar hopping, and wasting gas?

With no satisfaction we decided to just tough it out by ordering drinks, people watching, and coming to a conclusion that on the Saturday nights the two locations we made ourselves present at, could no longer provide the type of laid back entertainment for a 40 year old woman.

Although I know that age is nothing but a number, I’ve noticed  turning 40 is a beautiful thing, turning 40 is like the middle child syndrome you’re not too old and you’re not too young, you’re just right in whatever you want to do; however, whoever said that 40 is the new 30 lied.