Remember the ‘60s and ‘70s when all anyone ever wanted to be was original? So how did we all wind up the same? We’ll skip the low-hanging fruit of men buying red Corvettes or dating women younger than their daughters and just offer up these 11 ways to know if you are a middle-aged cliche:
1. Your retirement plans include a kiln.
You have always wanted a potter’s wheel and a backyard shed in which to use it. You envision yourself as Lily Tomlin’s character in “Grace & Frankie.” It doesn’t matter that you haven’t worked with clay since college; you always meant to get back to it.
2. You now believe that cruises are a great way to travel.
You were always a traveler, not a tourist. Cruises take the adventure out of adventuring, you always used to say. Now the idea of unpacking just once and not having to figure out all the logistics yourself are appealing.
3. You want a walking pole for Christmas.
Of course you still love to hike! It’s just that your right knee and those downhill stretches aren’t seeing eye-to-eye. Lately you’ve taken to bringing a ski pole along on your hikes. Then you saw this and added a trekking pole to your letter to Santa.
4. Eating dinner past 6:30 p.m. feels late.
No, you would never dream of an early-bird special at 4:30 p.m. But can we just admit it: Those Happy Hours where drinks and small dishes are cheap are pretty much the new early-bird specials. And yes, they suffice as a nice weeknight dinner.
5. You need a really good reason to stay awake past 10 p.m.
There are nights when you and Netflix are in bed together by 8 p.m.
6. You haven’t used your good china in a decade.
None of your kids want it either, but you still can’t bring yourself to dropping it off at the charity thrift store where it will sit on the shelf with everyone else’s good china.
7. You have an orange Le Creuset Dutch Oven that you got on sale.
It may be orange, but you got it on sale. ‘Nuff said.
8. Whenever you pass an RV on the road, you look inside to see if the driver is older than you.
You aren’t sure why you do this, but you do. You are still swearing that you will never own an RV, just not as loudly as you once did.
9. You keep buying the same clothes.
No, you can never have enough black tops. Haters hate. Ignore them.
10. When the phone rings after 9 p.m., you are immediately certain it’s something bad.
And who wouldn’t be relieved when it turns out to be a wrong number?
11. You immediately want to know the cause of death for anyone younger than you.
You play the obituary game. You clench your teeth when you hear about the death, but relax when it turns out to be an accident.