4 Fun Facts about Fortysomething via In the Powder Room

4 Fun Facts About Forty-Something

When I was twenty, forty seemed a long way off (because it was). I envisioned polyester stretch pants and pantyhose with reinforced toes. Favorite accessory? That gizmo you wear around your neck that alerts 911 if you “fall and can’t get up.”

I’m happy to report most of my trousers still zip (they have zippers, anyway). I haven’t needed the emergency buzzer, the clapper or the grabber. However, there are some fun, semi-depressing facts about fortysomething life I’m sharing with twentysomethings everywhere. Yes, I’m totally trying to scare you. It gives me pleasure.

1. Comfort: your underwear’s most important feature.

I’m not saying there’s no place in your life and lingerie drawer for cute and sexy, but comfort is the front runner. Support is in second place. I might still let my freak flag fly on occasion but I have passed the point where I worry if hubs sees my granny panties. It is what it is.

2. Dark hair sprouts randomly on your face and body.

I don’t care if your God-given hair color is platinum blonde. Stray hairs are black. Always. Most often sighted on chins, they can sneak up in other regions. I have one that appears out of freaking nowhere on my neck. One day it’s not there, the next it’s gently blowing in the breeze. A male coworker once mistook it for string. Joke was on him—it was attached. And yes, he was cute. That’s a law of the universe.

PSA: rearview mirrors in natural light are optimum for spotting rogue hairs. Obviously, hair reconnaissance missions should happen when the car is not moving. And, plucking while stopped at a light is trashy. Just don’t.

3. Ever-present fear of sneeze-pee fusion.

If you’ve given birth, you might remember this one fondly. If you’ve never experienced pregnancy, you’re in for a treat, sisters. You’ll remember all the times you snickered at old ladies trying to discreetly toss Poise pads in their shopping cart. You’ll wonder if the sneeze-pee fusion is karmic ass-biting payback. The answer is yes.

4. Your high school anthem is a classic.

There is something depressing about hearing the background music to your high school make-out sessions on Q104 Classic Rock. I’m bracing myself for the day some snot-nosed fourteen-year-old DJ refers to “99 Luft Balloons”as an oldie. It’ll happen. Part of me will die a little bit.

While I might need comfier underwear and more tweezer time, life in the forty-zone is no pity party. I (usually) have enough energy to run after my kids, run a 5K and on a good day, run circles around my younger friends. Sometimes guys still check me out. They might be trying to decide if I need help crossing the street, but let’s not think about that. Most of my fortysomething friends list better sex and more wisdom as perks of being this age (I blame this on confidence and no longer giving a crap what people think).

It will happen to you, too. Katy Perry will be on the classic rock station. You will pick up that multi-pack of cotton undies and say “Hmmm, these look nice.” Wait and see. For now, better stock up on those Poise pads. You just never know.


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Jill writes about post-adoption life and other random stuff at Ripped Jeans and Bifocals with the goal of making you laugh or roll your eyes. She enjoys running, dry wine, swear words, and the Lily Pulitzer wrap dress (because it hides crap her kids spill and her imperfect abs). She has a college-age daughter and two preschool age boys and although she is aware of the large age gap between her first and second children, she loves it when people point that out. When she is not losing her mind or wasting time on Facebook and Twitter she works on her collection of adoption stories called “My Own” which you can read just as soon as she snags a publisher. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @JillinIL.

Keep the conversation going...



  1. says

    I am currently sporting a ‘wolfie’ as I nickname my pet rogue hairs. This one is in my eyebrow so I am brushing it down to see how long it gets. I am over 3cm and counting. Great thing is, my husband has got one happening too but he is winning. Good times.

      • says

        I have a large mole, that my mom insists I call a “beauty mark,” and I nearly died when hairs started growing out of it. I do an insane cackle as I pluck it to drown out my sobs…and I am only approaching 40. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  2. Lisa Hewitt says

    You forty somethings are just so cute! Funny also, by the way. Fifty is currently whipping my ass. Daily.

  3. says

    All too accurate. It’s nice not to care as much though. “99 Luftballoons” was one of the first 45’s I purchased. Just saying that made me older.

  4. says

    I love this!! I’m only 39 (a spring chicken), so I’m not all in yet, but I expect the ones that have not happened yet will soon. I am already down with #1 and #4. I had c-sections (holla!), so I think I am okay on #3, and #2 will probably happen next, though I am like a hairless chiuaua on arms, legs, face and armpits, so I might be clear there for a while too, sadly my head hair also takes forever to grow, so it isn’t that much of a benefit.. My undies are huge and comfy though — aaahhhhh. Glad ITPR is back in biz!

  5. says

    Yeah. That HS anthem thing is right.

    I was singing it with the radio the other day and the year ’87 scrolled across the radio screen thing and my kid said, “Whoa. I wasn’t even alive then and you know all the words.”

    Kill me.

  6. Tracey Reid says

    The 40’s have been FULL of surprises for me…for example, I was at the doctor’s office with my shiny Groupon to get my Old Lady Carnival Beard layered off my face when the pre-op form showed me late on my period…..5 minutes and 1 pee stick later, I left with my Carnival beard, pre-natal vitamins and a due date three months after my 42nd Birthday…..Good times! Lol!

    • Tracey Reid says

      **lazered…not layerd….poor eyesight is, apparently, ALSO a gift of my 40’s! Lol!

    • says

      Wow, what a great story! I am soon-to-be 48 and have 2 four-year olds. I feel ya! LOL @ the carnival lady beard (I feel ya on that, too!)

  7. says

    I’d laugh but I’m worried I might pee in my undies. To call them panties would be bestowing a dignity on them they do not deserve. I’m not sure how I arrived in my forties with four children under ten. Karma for those debauched twenties and thirties I suspect.

  8. Steph says

    So, the reason I can’t cough, sneeze, jump, run, or laugh without peeing is because I’m old? I’ve been blaming my daughter for the past seven years.

  9. says

    I didn’t mean to scare the thirtysomethings with the prospect of fortydom (well, not very much, anyway.) My forties have really been kick ass. I’m tired, but they’ve been really good. The worst really is my high school music being labeled as classic rock though. That really does make me wanna cry. Thank goodness for chocolate, wine and stuff with cheese sauce.

  10. says

    Aww shit. I also went from 33 to 40 in just a few minutes. I have the sneeze-pee, love comfy cotton undies and have dark hair randomly sprouting every so often.

    Aging is so much fun! *sarcasm*

    • says

      I tell people I’m only 42 but my kids are starting to rat me out. My forties have been pretty good to me. I am looking forward to my fifties…they are coming. Might as well be positive, right?

  11. DragonflyLady says

    I’m 36 for another month but I hear ya on the rogue hairs… There’s a couple under my chin that keep coming back. I wish they’d get the message they’re not wanted…
    I’ve only ever worn cotton undies! So I was really pissed off when I came back from 5 months in France to find that my favourite undies weren’t being made anymore. I don’t have the funds or the patience to spend $12 on ONE pair of undies that might not fit me properly!!

    Re the bladder thing, try duo balls, they work. And they can be a lot of fun too…

    OMG 99 Luft Balloons… Learned that song in German class in high school…

    • says

      My chin hairs made their first appearance during pregnancy when I was 25. They’ve been a minor annoyance most of my life but they’ve always been in the same place so I know to look for them. Until about 45…it’s a freakin’ free for all on my face. And the neck hair is really the worst. I look for him (because it has to be a guy, right?) at least once a day, just to be sure.

      Hmmm.. duo balls? I’ll have to Google that.

  12. says

    Jill, MARVELOUS! I just posted about what you may not be expecting after 40, so when I saw this I wondered if we had the same stuff: NOPE! If you want MORE worries, check out my post too. I’ll RT this & Tweet you my version of unsettling sadness. LOL BRAVO!


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