1) When the only people sending you mail now are bill collectors. One of my favorite things about going away from home for any period of time is coming back to a mailbox full of surprises — handwritten letters with hearts on them, paychecks from freelance jobs, stuff I ordered on ASOS. Now when I get back home there’s only past due notices from Sallie Mae.
2) You just don’t understand today’s music. Back when you were younger, like when 98 Degrees, Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears were at their hottest, music was soooo good. You know you’re not as young as you used to be if you say that the music is just not as good as it used to be. Justin Be-i-ber? Who is that?
3) Foods you used to love now make you sick to your stomach. I used to love fast food. Well not “love,” but you know what I mean. I don’t know what it is, but now I just can’t eat it. And that’s a shame because there is nothing better on this Earth than a 12-piece Chick-Fil-A nugget meal with extra large waffle fries and a lemonade.
4) You can’t stay up past 11pm. I used to stay up every night until 2/3 in the morning, easily. Not really doing anything in particular, just sort of wasting time. Now? It’s hard to stay up past midnight during the week.
5) The people you’re attracted to keep getting younger and younger. Within reason, obviously!
6) If you think it’s mind boggling that people born after 1998 are TEENAGERS now. Sometimes I can’t bear the thought that people were actually born after the 80s. I mean, are people born after the 2000s even still people?
7) You can’t go out anymore without taking a disco nap. Granted, I used to take disco naps all the time when I was 18 because I wanted to be out until 6 or 7 in the morning. But now I can’t make it much past 3 MAYBE 4 without some kind of disco nap.
8) You can’t stay out late anymore. Not just because you need a disco nap, but because when you get older, you have responsibilities, meetings, things to do, projects to complete, dishes to wash. When your friends ask you to stay out for “one more drink,” you take a look at your watch and what you see is not how late it is, but how much work you have to do tomorrow.
9) When those grey hairs start showing up. I usually keep the sides of my head shaved, but not too long ago I noticed some grey hairs and I freaked out. My life is over. Grey hair could be a sign you’re too stressed or maybe that you’re getting old. Whatever — just get out that Dark & Lovely or whatever you use!
10) It’s hard for you to sleep until 1 in the afternoon like you used to. Either because you just can’t do it anymore or because you know how much work you have to do. And if you do manage to sleep until the crack of noon, you wake up, see that it’s 1:30 and panic.
11) Clothes just don’t fit anymore. Maybe you’ve gained some weight or maybe this spot is kind of pudgier than this spot. You put on a shirt from a few years ago that you felt like The Hotness in, then a shirt you just got and realize, ugh oh, things just don’t hang like they used to!
12) When you suddenly realize that you can no longer shop at Rainbow/Delia’s/Wet Seal. I mean you can, it’s just that people are going to talk about it.
13) You’re always talking about the way things were. Remember when there were those two cylindrical things called “batteries” that everybody used to use to keep their electronics on? Like you would go on a long trip and bring a 24-pack of Duracell batteries for your CD player and cam-ur-ah?
14) You have no clue who the teen stars are anymore. When I was a wee-gay I read J-14 like it was the gospel. It had everything — photos of teen heartthrobs tastefully drenched in water. And then there were all those quotes by boys like Justin Timberlake. He’d say things like, “I don’t have a girlfriend yet, but when I do I want to sweep her off her feet,” and I’d melt be absolutely convinced he was waiting for meeee. I never won any of the contests to meet him, though. I saw a J-14 at the bookstore yesterday and I didn’t know who ANY of the people were. Selena Gomez? I don’t know what that is.