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My friend Dennis wants me to dedicate a blog to him. He rather expects me to devote a whole post to listing his many qualities, he informed me over lunch the other day. What a bold request. OK, I will dedicate this post to Dennis. But singing his praises? That is so not going to happen. Especially since he is the one who broke the news to me.

“What news!?” you cry with excited curiosity. You may not actually want to know, after all. So this is your chance to stop reading if you’re my age or above. Just close the page and go back to surfing for pictures of chimps in clown outfits or whatever you freaks do on the interweb. Don’t deny it. You are reading this blog, right? So it seems unlikely that you originally logged on to read iambic verse. Well, apparently you are still reading, so don’t blame me if I ruin your perfectly good time.

The bad news revealed to me was, that it turns out I am actually middle-aged and have been since 20 July 2009!! Why didn’t I get some sort of memo? A letter from the library? A t-shirt? Or, at the very least, a badge? Now I feel like a complete idiot, having lived my life like nothing happened, feeling all smug and youngish for the past three years, while all the actual youngsters have been laughing behind my back.

“How is this bad news for me?” you think impatiently to yourself. Well, that depends a great deal on the date on your birth certificate, I would say. Read on.

Let it be said that Dennis is younger than me but really not that young! Not that it really matters to the story but I would just like to emphasize it: Not.That.Young. There. Much better! He brought me on to the hard facts while joking. More specifically, he said: “What makes you think I would be interested in porn made for middle-aged women like you?” This is obviously taken out of context. A context I would rather not get more specific about, if you don’t mind (I feel certain that you don’t). I will, however, quite happily share the seemingly unrelated fact, emerging from our conversation with a third party, that the widely appreciated “Mahna Mahna” song from The Muppet Show originally appeared on the soundtrack of an Italian soft porn film from the 1960s. Needless to say, Sweden and saunas played a crucial role in the intricate plot. We all owe thanks to our good colleague, Peter, for sharing this invaluable information. The Muppet Show will never be quite the same for me.

Before Dennis made his remark, I had never even considered the possibility that I could belong in that bracket. Or that they made porn with middle-aged women in mind. Do they? Asking for a friend.

But Dennis had planted a worry in my mind. So the other day, as I was browsing through a scientific journal – I believe it was called Google – I found an article from 2010, claiming that middle age starts at 35 and ends at 58. After this, I presume, you are just considered old, then? The horror! I was not prepared at all. I hadn’t had time to go out and buy mum jeans or even sensible shoes.

In a panic I continued my Google browsing in search of some badly needed assistance in preparing for my new and more age-appropriate lifestyle. I found a very confusing website called Manhattan Makeovers Blog for Attorneys where the photograph below is used to illustrate the article “Hairstyle for Middle-Aged Women for 2011.”

Should I understand from this photograph that the lovely makeover experts have lowered the age limit further to allow 25 year-olds in the club? Or perhaps I shouldn’t rely too much on the judgment of a website which has an article for men devoted to “How and when to wear a cape.”

Just to make it clear, gentlemen: This – and only this – is how and when to wear a cape

OK, so I’m in the know about hair and jeans. I can always quickly nip down to the nearest supermarket to pick up a few t-shirts to go with that. I am thinking peach, lilac and mint green. Preferably with some print. Perhaps a text that says “Springtime is my favourite time” and an illustration with grapes (yes, I know, grapes are usually ripe in autumn around here but these t-shirts never make sense anyway, so just let me have my grapes!).

With the look sorted out we’ve come to the tricky part: behaviour. To a large extent, I think I’m OK in that department. I am generally boring: I like to throw things together in the kitchen, drink wine and enjoy a good book. However, sometimes I have a lapse and fall straight into teenage-mode. Like Friday, when I spent a considerable amount of time and energy in a lesbian club, trying to convince various guys (?) to perform a birthday striptease for my friend’s friend. Not that I was actually terribly bothered to see them naked (and she certainly wasn’t); I did it for the sport of it. Maybe I need a hobby. Any middle-aged appropriate suggestions? Not involving asking men to take off their clothes. Nah, I didn’t think so. Most middle-aged women’s hobbies revolve around that theme.

If I wasn’t already depressed enough, Wikipedia added insult to injury with this definition of middle-aged people’s health:

“Middle-aged adults often show visible signs of aging such as loss of skin elasticity and graying of the hair. Physical fitness usually wanes, with a 5–10 kg (10-20 lb) accumulation of body fat, reduction in aerobic performance and a decrease in maximal heart rate.” 

Great – just what I need: Yet another accumulation of body fat! So basically, give me a year or two and this will be me?

I guess I better make sure that at least one of my hobbies includes exercise and hardcore moisturising. I am sure it can be incorporated in the “asking strange men to undress”-hobby. I’ll think of a way. Maybe middle-age won’t be so bad. After all, I know quite a few people who have survived it and crossed over into the “old” bracket. Which they probably shouldn’t really have too high expectations of surviving in the long run. But that’s a different matter which I may address in 20 years or so.

So here you go, Dennis! A whole post about middle-age. Dedicated to you. You will get there sooner than you think. No need to thank me – it was my pleasure!

If you would rather read this post in Danish, please go to my Danish blog Stakit, kasket, stafet