The 9 Most Annoying Things About The Middle-Aged

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Due to popular demand, the interests of fair play and in order not to disappoint my legion of fan (Hi Elliot), I guess I’d better finish the Annoying Series with us middle-aged folks.

Obviously, this is my category and the category that most of my friends fall into. Since the 30-Something group seems to have encompassed people from their late 20s through to their early 40s; the middle-aged category must then cover anyone from their mid-to-late 40’s to their mid-to-late 60s.

So, this is not only a big age range, but also the most annoying. Which is why I couldn’t stop at just 6 things:

  1. They’re know-it-alls. There is no experience, event, disaster, situation, occurrence, happenstance, incident or occasion for which every middle-aged person does not have an opinion, idea and/or sage advice . This is why blogging is so successful for this age group. They love sharing their infinite wisdom with all and sundry and then commenting on, adding to or maligning someone else’s obviously finite wisdom. They are insufferably supercilious.
  2. The parables. The advice never comes in the form of “why don’t you try such and such”. No, there is always a true story from the middle-ager’s life to accompany the situation. They’ve lived a long time and done a lot of stuff and have, unfortunately, not yet forgotten any of it. They have a true-life anecdote for every situation. And the story always ends with: “let that be a lesson to you”, or “I hope you will learn from my mistakes”, or “you’d better not let that happen to you”, or “follow my example, my young friend and you won’t go wrong”. 
  3. The cynical parenting. Their kids are more or less grown which usually means they’ve been through hell and back so now they will not allow the younger generation to enjoy their kids while they’re still enjoyable. They say stuff like, “Oh sure, it’s real cute when little Dakota smothers the kitty with hugs. Wait until she graduates to stringing the kitty up from the cherry tree out back or performs a vivisection on the neighbour’s poodle or starts locking small children in the root cellar. “
  4. They try too hard. They don’t get that they’re middle-aged. They think they’re still smooth hipsters. In fact, they delude themselves into believing they’re smoother and hipper than the younger generation. They are on a constant quest to be “groovy” “cool”  even if they were never groovy cool when they were young, because accepting they’re not groovy cool now also means accepting they are old. So they dress in bizarre combinations of their 1970s/1980s retro old clothes mixed with things they see young people wearing. They try desperately to keep up with technology to prove their hipness, cluttering up their middle-aged homes with stuff they have very little hope of mastering.  They have love/hate relationships with cars and either stubbornly cling to their 20-year old exhaust-spewing clunker or buy a really  flashy, mid-life crisis car and then drive it slowly around the suburbs. They frantically try to fill their schedules with cool-sounding stuff that they can’t even stay awake late enough to enjoy.  Sometimes they get divorced and search desperately for a new partner who will bring some spark and passion back into their lives which they then can’t stay awake long enough to enjoy. 
  5. They’re the worst employees. They were the wildly enthusiastic career go-getters in their 30s and now find themselves settled into a rut. They’re burned-out from working 60-hour weeks trying in vain to scramble up the corporate ladder. They never achieved half of what they thought they would and are tired and bitter. They just want to be left alone to get on with doing the bare minimum they need to do to collect their pay-cheques so they can finally pay off that damned mortgage. They’re counting the days until retirement. They’re not good for workplace morale.
  6. The bodily functions lectures. Middle-agers can’t seem to get past the fact that even though in their minds they’re still young and vital, in reality, their bodies are well on the steady decline toward death. They talk about their alien bodies constantly. Women relentlessly and graphically hold forth about their menopausal symptoms and every monthly aberration leading up to this never- before-heard-of-event. They wail in disbelief about the veins popping out all over their legs; their sagging chins, their wattley necks, their bunions;  their boobs which can now be tucked into their jeans (Hi Alison). They can carry on for days about the odd pockets of fat settling around their middles and hips that they can’t seem to shift no matter how many plans and diets and programs they undertake. Men, of course, are in complete denial about their aging bodies. All their pains, flaws, bulk and malfunctions are attributed to “old sports injuries”.  Can’t bend over any more? It’s not because they’re out of shape or because of the beer belly, it’s a back problem dating back to a football tackle back in high school. No hair left on their heads? It’s from having to wear ball caps for years out on the golf course.  Cardiac arrest? It’s from running too hard in track that day back in college.
  7. They were around for all the “important” events in history. Who has not experience two or more middle-agers waxing nostalgic about the day The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show? Or where they were on November 22nd, 1963. Or the awesome  wonder of watching Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon? Or Woodstock? ‘Nam? Watergate? The British Invasion? Betty Friedan? Kent State? Martin Luther King? Nevermind that most of them were infants when most of this happened. They were in the same world at the time and so have a god-given right to lord this over the younger generation who know nothing about anything. Everything important that ever happened in the world happened in the 1960s and 1970s and only the middle-aged were there. No one has ever been, nor will ever be that special again. 
  8. They can’t imagine how the younger or older generation could survive without them.  After everything the middle-aged have been through and all the wisdom they’ve accumulated, it is now their sad lot to have to take care of everyone else who is far less capable than they are. Kids today obviously know nothing at all and are totally incompetent to run their own lives, so the middle-agers have to do it for them. The old folks no longer know anything and have become totally incompetent to run their own lives, so the middle-agers have to do it for them. In the workplace, at home, on the roads, out in public, the middle-aged bully, intimidate, arrange, organize, push, manage, control, fix, coordinate everything and everyone. 
  9. They are the Boomers. Watch out. There are more of them than anyone else. They have all the money. They rule. The planet as we know it exists because of them. They invented feminism, civil rights, the environment, science, outer space, art, literature, peace, love and rock ‘n roll. They are afraid of what will happen to the world and to them when they get really old.

Despite it all, I enjoy being middle-aged (sort of). I’m wise and superior and I can laugh at everyone else (for now). And that’s something no amount of money can buy.

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36 responses to “The 9 Most Annoying Things About The Middle-Aged

  1. I’m so glad I know that this ‘annoying series’ is all in fun or I would feel so sorry for us all. Can you imagine a world where all those things were true of everyone in those age ranges? *shudders*

  2. i think in number 4 you should have somehow incorporated the term Cougar.

    you pretty much described it.. but you left out the word.

    i love all this..

    do teens next. that list will be 20 points long.

  3. I can’t imagine why anyone would find middle agers annoying. As Ali said it ain’t bragging if you can do it.
    Since we do in fact possess the sum of all knowledge it would be sinful to not take every- single- solitary- possible chance to impart this knowledge to a waiting world.
    ANd of course you are trying to point out flaws but you overlooked the most admirable trait of middle agers, our overwhelming humbility. This is of course the near perfect mix of humility and ability for which we are rightly considered the peak age group of humanity.

  4. Being born in ’62, I sorta fall into an undefined zone at the intersection of the Boomer-dudes and the Gen XXXers.
    I guess that means I’m not only annoying as a middle-ager… but as a 30-something too!
    Woo-hoo! Trashy is struttin’!
    Oh, and Jobthingy is right. But you will need 40 or 50 posts at least to cover teens! Bless their evil little souls.
    Maybe you and I can each do an “Annoying Teens” series that may eventually find its way as a made-for-TV movie or an off-Broadway production! Great idea, eh?

  5. Debra – I think a lot of those things really ARE true in a broad general sense for a lot of people. It’s what makes us all fun, quirky humans

    Jobthingy – Someone mentioned on the old folks post that all the same things could be said about teenagers. I think they’re right, so I don’t really need to do a teenager thing.

    Bandobras – It really would be a sin to hide our light under a bushel, wouldn’t it?

    Trashee – Sure, okay. But as I said to Jobthingy a lot, if not all, of the teenager stuff is just like the old folks stuff, except that teenagers smell worse.

    Tom – Peace out, baby.

  6. First, teens do not smell as bad as seniors. Few teenagers smell like pee and have garlic breath.

    As for middle-agers point #4, it’s not trying to be cool or groovy, it’s having a youthful attitude.
    Don’t be dissin’ my elephant pants and leg warmers. Besides, no one can tell that my shades are bifocals, because they’re no-lines, okay?

  7. It was tough scrolling through this because of the crazy osteoarthritis in my thumb. I know! How silly is that for a 47-year-old? Now I need to check my recent internet order for my hip white Levi’s shorts and call my daughter to see what foolishness she’s up to now. And Mom, I need to make sure her sinuses have cleared up.

  8. XUP! Priceless 🙂

    There are entire books, blogs, websites and various other media about the generational differences in organizational behaviour and psychology –

    All effortlessly penned in a few wee little posts!

    @trashee I am ’64 – so the real trailing edge of the boomer category too!

    @Bandobras – you ain’t met my father in law – sharp as a whip & figgers’ he has forgotten more than us whippersnappers will ever know (I would not challenge him to an arm-wrestling match either!)

    And what is truly sad – I am a computer guy – but it pisses the hellout me when I have to change the G-D time on the stove or the micro-wave – I hate trying to figure it out ….

  9. Huh. What does it say about me that I fit better into this category than the one that corresponds to my age? I gotta go, my back hurts and it’s a nice day to drive my flashy car around with the top down.

  10. My mother when she was 52 said:Now that I am middle aged…and I said: Really how many people do you know that live to be a 104?

    I blacked out soon there after from something…i don’t remember what.

  11. Jazz- Teens are too obvious. They’re just annoying. Period. The rest of us have a few redeeming features.

    Bob – Teens can have some pretty nasty smells. Come sniff my place whena gang of them have been over. I have to open all the doors and windows for hours. I beg my cat to have a poop, just to freshen the air.

    Geewits – Nice to see you getting into the spirit of things. And, white Levi shorts? Rrrrrrrrroooowwwww.

    Elliot – If you’re like the old computer guys at my work they have a very narrow, specific area of the computer machine that they’re experts in — the rest of technology is pretty much beyond them. Compared to the young computer guys who are all over the whole computer world and every other techo-gadget available. So, if you’re 64 – that can’t be a recent picture of you in your avatar, right?

    Charlene – You just want to be part of this category because it’s the most rockinest, right? We’re hip.

    Cedar – And now here you are… middle-aged. And yes, lots of people are living to 104, so it’s cool. (I realized after that I completely forgot that we’d invented sex, dag-nabbit)

    dguzman – You are an open book. It’s kind of comforting, too though isn’t it? No more secrets? No more hiding?

  12. I’m like trashee and Elliot. Born in 64…I kind of fall between the cracks.

    I’m not a 30-something. I”m not a senior. I”m sort of (but not quite) middle aged. But not really a boomer.

    (Phew). I seem to have escaped your lists (for the time being).

    Another thing about middle agers/boomers. They’ve bought all the best houses when they were cheap. They’ve filled out all the best jobs, and are using up all the best pensions.

    …all while driving this country into a huge DEBT…leaving all the Gen Xers and Gen Y’s to pay for their excesses.

  13. Hey Friar – thinking a mutually beneficial workshop/bitch session is in the offing n’est-ce pas?
    XUP? U game?
    Ow! My back just seized up!!

  14. Friar – Oh please… “falling between the cracks”… you’re middle-aged, dude. You’re almost 50, so unless you’re planning to live to be like 140 then you’re MIDDLE-AGED!!! Get used to it.

    Elliot – OH! Shucks, I was going to ask you for your secret elixer.

    Trashee – Friar’s still in denial. We’ll have to wait for him to catch up.

    Pinklea – No reason why it can’t be a gorgeous shoe though, now is there?

  15. @XUP

    Yeah, I’m theoretically middle aged. But not the same as the boomers.

    That whole Beatles on Ed Sullivan, or Kennedy being shot….before my time.

    And Woodstock, Kent State, Martin Luther King…well. yeahhhh….I sort of vaguely remember hearing OF them…I was 5-6 years old at the time. I was more interested in Mr. Dressup and the Friendly Giant.

    I’d say I was more of a “Junior Middle-Ager”.

    Hey, maybe that’s another category of annoying people for you to write about.

  16. I am sensing a pattern of wisdom superiority here. Heh. 😉

    This whole post makes me laugh so hard (my favorite line being, I’ve decided (NOT AN EASY DECISION MIND YOU), “…in their minds they’re still young and vital, in reality, their bodies are well on the steady decline toward death.” HAHA!

    And while I know this is all tongue and cheek and hee hee and ho ho OMG THE MENOPAUSE PART IS SO TRUE. I know several woman going through menopause right now and I have but one thing to say to you all: SHADDUP!

    Help me.

  17. I’m with Friar (Mr Dressup and the Friendly Giant ROCKED!) — we junior middle agers don’t really fall into the Middle Aged group or in the 30-somethings. You’ve left us out. 😦

    Actually, I don’t seem to fall into any of them so I’m feeling really neglected. Where’s the representation for the childless, savingsless, unemployed middle ager? What’s that? That’s the “The 25 Most Annoying Things About Losers of All Ages” post you have planned for tomorrow? Awesome — I look forward to it.

    😉

  18. Friar – Okee-doh-kee. You’re a junior middle-ager.

    Lesley – Your pattern-sensing skills are second to none. And the best part is that years and years and years from now when you start to approach middle-age, this post will become even more relevant to you.

    Laura – Really? You’re in Mexico, eh? Why don’t you tell us about it over and over and over and over and over and over again? Eh? Why dontcha? Because we’re so happy for you and everything we’d like to hear about it a lot.

    Louise – Hey all of you are perfectly free to fill in the gaps in my series. It would have to be a person by person series then and that would just get really tedious.

    Linda – Never said there was. We rock the most.

  19. Certainly one of the most annoying things about them is all the 40 and 50 yr olds who don’t think they’re middle aged yet.
    Jeez people check out some life expectancy charts and get a clue. You aint young, you aint young middle age, you’re old and on the way to the grave. Your not going to accomplish anything significant from here on in. so I hope you’ve already got some laurels to rest on.
    You are going to need more and more rest.

  20. I am so happy to see that I am middle age. And, all this time I thought that 61 was, well, beyond middle age.

    I would comment on the rest of the post, including the fact that I was NOT a child when someone landed on the moon (in fact I remember just exactly what I was doing sitting on the couch with my husband – well, he was sitting on the couch) However, I cannot remember the rest of the list.

    So, am I still middle aged?

  21. Bandobras – Exactly! Who do these “junior middle-agers” think they’re kidding? It’s all over except the big red bow. Sheesh. They’re not about to set the world on fire. They’re not on any road to anything. They’ve been to the top and are on their way down. Too bad if they didn’t recognize the top when it smacked them in the forehead.

    Helen – What? Your in-laws are middle-aged now?

    SaVanVleck – Yes, you’re still middle-aged. Toward the end of that decade you can start thinking “senior” and/or whenever you are able to get a discount because of your age. Personally, I think people in their 60s lived through some of the most exciting times ever.

  22. @Bandobras and XUP

    Oh, that’s a GREAT outlook you guys have. We’re not going to accomplish anything significant…we’re on our way to the grave…might as well rest on our laurels.

    Sheesh. I”m a cynical guy…but that’s pretty negative, even for ME.

    Geezus, if that’s the case, why don’t we forty-somethings just all kill ourselves right now, and be done with it? Life’s basically over..what’s the point?

  23. Friar – Well, now you’re just being a drama queen (a “junior” middle-aged drama queen of course). But hell’s bell’s I reckon whatever age you are, if you still spring out of bed every morning ready to take on the world and believe there’s something amazing just around the corner for you, then more power to ya. Bandobras chooses to be less enthusiastic. BUT, whatever your approach, 45 is middle-aged. Not junior or cusp or mini or peri or pre or early-middle … just middle-aged. You are more or less in the middle of your life (if you’re lucky enough to make it to 90 otherwise you’re already way past middle-aged). And, yes, the term middle-aged carries certain limitations. There are things you can be pretty sure you’re never going to do with your life which you may still have thought possible 20 years ago both in your personal and professional life. That’s not negative, that’s just reality. But that’s okay, because middle-age also brings its own rewards — all the 9 things that make us annoying and then some. So, swhile ome aspects of “life” may be over, as you say, there is still a hell of a lot for us to get up to and wreak havoc with and create and build and experience and enjoy.

  24. George Bernard Shaw once famously said: “Youth is such a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.”

    When I was young, I thought I knew everything. I scoffed at the advice of all the middle-aged people. I look back at that now, and I am embarrassed. Life is a journey and we reach certain milestones along the way. In many other cultures, age is respected and revered. Being older is — in and of itself — “cool”. Only in North America are the younger generation smug about being young.

    I know a woman who got her PhD at the age of 65 and now at the tender age of 75 she is the CEO of a very large non-profit organization. She doesn’t label herself as middle-aged, therefore she is not inside a box. Is she cool? Well, she goes to the gym three times a week and lifts weights.

    I think each generation has something to learn from the other generations — younger and older — especially as we move into the 21st Century.

    And as far as supercilious? Nothing can beat a 16 year-old in that department. Just ask me. 🙂

  25. Jo – Well, I’m glad I’m the age that I am. I would not like to be a young person again, especially not these days. I would, however, like to find a way to stop by body from deteriorating. That part kind of sucks. Whenever I hear the GBS quote I always think that’s what he meant. That when you’re young and healthy and firm and sharp as a tack, you never take full advantage of it and even waste it. It isn’t until you’re older and wiser that you could really use a quick brain and a fully cooperative body. Oh well. As a wise woman once used to say, “C’est la vie”

  26. Pingback: The 9 Most Annoying Things About The Middle Aged XUP | Menopause Relief

  27. I think youngsters are far more annoying than middle aged people. And also, projecting is a hell of a thing.