It’s funny how the realization that you’re officially middle aged never sinks in slowly—it hits you like a brick. One day you’re feeling youthful. The next? You’re annoyed at your family for leaving so many lights on, you’re concerned about the young girl on the street who isn’t wearing a jacket, and you’re calling Google “the Google.”
Does that sound like you? If so, you’re definitely guilty of several of the hilarious things that only over-40 people do. To learn what the rest of them are, read on, and be sure to avoid them at all costs. And speaking of getting older: if you’re got an very special over-40 man in your life, don’t miss our amazing collection of Clever and Affordable Father’s Day Gifts.
They use the definite article even when it’s entirely unnecessary
No, it’s not “the Facebook” or “the Twitter.” You’re not going to find any answers on “the Google.” You can just call it Google! We all understand what you mean.
They let out slight groans when bending over.
Not always, but sometimes—and it’s not always induced by pain. No, it’s as though it’s all of a sudden second nature to pretend that you’re older than you really are. But if you’re feeling real pain, check out these 6 Amazing Everyday Moves to Conquer Back Pain.
They sign texts and Facebook messages with their name.
Nobody wants to point it out, either. Because, well, it seems so obvious. Their name is RIGHT THERE next to whatever they’ve written. Signing your name at the end of a text is as weird as ending an in-person conversation with “Sincerely, Steve.”
They get very excited about finding their car in a parking lot.
Learning to appreciate the small victories is a big advantage of reaching 40.
They get very upset when younger people don’t wear coats.
If it’s cold outside and a 25 year-old isn’t wearing a coat, they’re probably going to be fine. Maybe a little chilly, but it’s not going to turn into an Andes Flight 571 situation.
But people over 40 are for some reason always unreasonably concerned with the coat situation of the people around them. “Are you not wearing a coat?” they can be heard demanding. “This is coat weather. You should really have a coat!” It’s exhausting.
They forward Internet scam and virus warning emails in earnest.
Hey, it’s coming from a good place. But if you’re getting an email forwarded from a work contact who forwarded it from their aunt warning you about the ILOVEYOU virus which hasn’t been a thing in almost two decades, that email was almost definitely sent to you by someone over 40. And for more on life after 40, check out the 40 Lies Every Over 40 Tells.
They buy expensive home exercise equipment that they use twice
And for what they spent on that crazy looking contraption, they could have purchased a two-year membership to Equinox.
They’ll back out of a musical performance if it involves standing.
In your 20s, the first question you ask is, “How much are tickets?” In your 40s and beyond, the first question is, “Are there seats?” And for more about aging, check out these 30 Hilarious Jokes No One Is Too Old to Laugh at.
They have a “party” and the neighbors never know.
There’s no worry of the neighbors calling the cops on a 40 year old’s party. The guests are reserved, and the music is set at a reasonable volume for polite dinner conversation. Are you ready to roooooooock? And by “roooooooock,” we mean talk quietly over wine and cheese?
Their clothes are chosen for comfort and not style.
They’re done being fashionable. From now on, if it doesn’t have a flexible waistband and the shoes aren’t slip-on, they aren’t interested.
They’ve danced in their underwear to “Old Time Rock n’ Roll”
Hey, back in their high-school days, this was considered rebellious!
They could easily fall asleep after just one glass of wine.
A second glass of wine? Ha! Not unless you’re offering it with pajamas. And to learn more about over-40 behavior, check out the 40 Things Only Older People Say.
They get pop music names all wrong.
Ask them what they think of the new Zedd or Childish Gambino song and they’ll have no idea what in God’s name you’re talking about. But hey, they’re trying!
They can’t even with those “You must have been born on this date to buy alcohol” signs.
You want to know what outrageous things they were doing precisely 21 years sans one day ago? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.
They’re obsessed with turning out all the lights.
Don’t even think about leaving the light on in the bathroom after you’re done unless you want to be lectured about their insane electric bills.
If they haven’t booked a cruise, they’re at least looking into it.
If there’s a better way to pay too much for fruity cocktails and subpar food on a big ship that’s liable to break down at any moment, they’d like to hear about it.
They’re shocked at how explicit and risqué TV has become.
You know, back in their day, you couldn’t say those words on TV. And all that nudity, wow, they had to watch Cinemax to see even one-tenth of all that skin. What is the world coming to?
They experiment with fonts.
Anybody who sends an email written in 18-point Comic Sans or, heaven help us, Curlz MT, is definitely over 40.
They love the Weather Channel
What is it about the weather that’s happening across the country that’s so fascinating to them? It’s like they hit 40 and suddenly can’t be more interested in whether it’s raining in South Carolina.
They’re really into board games
We enjoy Settlers of Catan as much as anybody, but it’s not “the best way to spend a Saturday night” until you reach a certain age. However, there are some board games you should definitely avoid, starting with the 30 Worst Board Games of All Time.
They spend way more money than they used to on lotion.
Believe it or not, they have separate creams for their face, hands, and feet. There’s a very specific type of cream that gets applied under their eyes, to prevent eye bags. Their skin is now roughly 20 percent lotion.
They go to bed at bizarrely early hours.
If you’re under 30, you probably don’t consider 9:30pm late. Even on a weeknight. You might still be at dinner, or socializing with friends. But by 40, once the clock hits 9, all bets are off. If they’re not asleep already, they’re at least doing exaggerated yawns so everybody around them knows it’s imminent.
They’re quicker to forgive.
Maybe this isn’t especially hilarious. But it is remarkable to anybody young enough to think holding a grudge is the only way to deal with the jerks in their lives. When you’re 40, being angry just takes too much needless energy.
They sing along with the elevator music.
It may sound like a lame piano tune to your ears, but the 40-plus year old immediately recognizes the melody as OutKast’s “Hey Ya,” and they’re more than happy to fill in the lyrics.
They water their lawn with a hose.
This one is sincerely confounding. You never see a 20- or 30-year-old just standing on their front lawn with a hose. But by the time they reach 40, everybody decides, “That lawn ain’t gonna water itself. I better get out there.”
Their favorite habit is romanticizing the past.
Remember rotary phones? Or when you could only watch cartoons on Saturday mornings? If you don’t, a 40 year old will be happy to fill you in.
They don’t care as much what other people think.
Things that used to be important, like “being cool” and “the admiration of strangers,” drop down several levels on their life list of priorities.
They don’t understand how anybody “has time” for social media.
It’s not really that difficult or time consuming, if you’re doing it right, but don’t try telling that to a 40-year-old. Just say “I know, it’s such an addiction” and let the subject drop. And for reasons why you should log out of Twitter, stat, for good, check out the 20 Ways Social Media Stresses Us Out.
They take a lots of afternoon naps.
Sometimes in a bed, sometimes in a chair while in the middle of a conversation. Hey, they’re not picky. A nap is happening, and if a pillow can’t be involved, so be it.
They actually send money to PBS.
And they’ve got the Sesame Street tote bag to prove it!
They sometimes answer questions with “Because I said so!”
And sometimes the people they’re talking to are children. Sometimes.
They walk into a room and then can’t remember why they went in there.
And they’re not leaving till they crack the case. Does it have anything to do with this toothbrush in their hand? No, that’s not it. Wait, they’re wearing a raincoat. Could that be a clue? Hmm.
They think LOL is an acronym for “Lots Of Love”.
It’s probably best not to tell them otherwise.
They are incapable of losing weight easily anymore.
People in their 20s can decide “I’m going to lose six pounds,” and with the right combination of diet and exercise, they’ll drop the extra weight within a week or two. But when somebody in their 40s or above decides to lose six pounds, it can take literally years, and it may not even work then. And if you need some help of your own shedding extra pounds, don’t miss these 100 Motivational Weight-Loss Tips for Summer.
They’re enthusiastic about estate sales.
Because there’s no better way to spend a Saturday morning than to be the first person at an estate sale that starts at 8am? Are they worried that somebody else will buy all the creepy furniture and Don McLean vinyl records?
They get easily confused by technology.
What is it about turning 40 and suddenly being very perplexed about how to use electronics? When you’re younger, a new phone or computer is an opportunity to challenge yourself and venture into unfamiliar territory. At 40, every user’s manual might as well be written in hieroglyphics. And if your tech slang is out of date, check out the 40 Everyday Slang Words That Didn’t Exist Before the Internet.
If a ball or frisbee lands in their lawn, they keep it.
“That’ll teach those darn kids! Their frisbee is technically trespassing on my property, and I have every right to OH MY GOD, WHO HAVE I BECOME?”
They call anybody under 40 “kids”.
As in “I just don’t get kids today. What is wrong with them?” Never mind that the “kids” might be just five years younger than them.
They use atlases.
Um, we hope we’re not the first ones to point this out to them, but if they’ve got a phone, it’s probably capable of giving them directions. There’s this thing called GPS, which is short for… oh never mind, just use the Rand McNally.
They need to rest their eyes.
No, no, they’re not sleeping. They’re just… closing their eyelids for a minute. Keep talking, they’re still listening.
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