The article has been making its rounds in my social circles, mainly because we’re all turning 40, just turned 40 or are in the early 40s- ‘How To Survive Your 40s’ written by Pamela Druckerman, published in The New York Times on May 4, 2018. I refused to read it for several days. There’re so many of these essays and books going around. It’s like, congratulations, you’ve made it this far in one piece. Now what? Is turning 40 such a big deal?
I subscribe to the NYT, so there isn’t a limit of monthly articles read that I have to be conscious about. I wouldn’t be ‘wasting’ the quota of free articles. It just didn’t sound like what I would want read. Yet this article clearly reasonated with many girlfriends, even though they know there’ll another similar article next year, and a ton of them from the precious years since paper was invented. Is it because it’s this particular year? This moment in time? I wanted to know why. Anyway, late one night, after a seventh friend texted me this same link and went on about it for twenty messages, curiosity won. I sighed and opened the link. Reading it wouldn’t kill me. 🤷🏻♀️
In this article, the writer is clearly writing from a position of privilege, and imho, readers who identify with her thoughts would likely share a similar background and current situation in life and living. I read it in a minute, and rolled eyes for the next four minutes. I have so much to say. But you know what, I reserve all comments beyond these lines. Read the article if you deem it worth your five minutes.
It’s an op-ed. 🙄 AN OP-ED. I leave you with the opening few paragraphs from the article.
On one hand, I’m intrigued by this transition. Do these waiters gather after work for Sancerre and a slide show to decide which female customers to downgrade? (Irritatingly, men are “monsieur” forever.)
The worst part is that they’re trying to be polite. They believe I’m old enough that the title can’t possibly wound.
I realize that something has permanently shifted when I walk past a woman begging for money.
“Bonjour, mademoiselle,” she calls out to the young woman in a miniskirt a few steps ahead of me.
“Bonjour, madame,” she says when I pass.
This has all happened too quickly for me to digest. I still have most of the clothes that I wore as a mademoiselle. There are mademoiselle-era cans of food in my pantry.
But the world keeps telling me that I’ve entered a new stage. While studying my face in a well-lit elevator, my daughter describes it bluntly: “Mommy, you’re not old, but you’re definitely not young.”