I have this really great new excuse for cutting myself some slack: I turned 42 last month.
I had a similar excuse around this time last year. It was called “I turned 41 last month”.
If you’re older than 42, you’re thinking, “Shut up, skank. Talk to me when you’re 70.” I totally, totally get that because:
1. I am actually a skank, so kudos on your spot-on assessment.
2. In the grand scheme of things, 42 is still young.
I realize that there are plenty of people who still scale Mt. Kilimanjaro who are also on Medicare, but let’s pretend they don’t exist for the length of this blog, if for no other reason than those people make all of us look bad by comparison. They’re blowing the curve with their “active senior lifestyles”, which I think is pretty selfish of them. Did you go skydiving for your 90th birthday? I don’t want to hear about it. At least not while I’m googling padded toilet seats, anyway.
The problem is that I cannot be trusted with any amount of slack. I just can’t. If you give me an inch of slack, I won’t even take a mile. Instead, I’ll call someone up from the couch and say, “Hey, can you go pick up this mile of slack for me? Some fool trusted me to just take an inch. No, no I can’t go get it myself. I’m busy. Just leave it by my front door. Thanks.”
Then I’ll return to watching Major League for the 150th time and wondering aloud at what age, as the spawn of Martin Sheen, one would have to decide whether to go by “Sheen” or “Estevez” professionally, and then wax philosophical as to the various pros and cons for choosing one over the other, because that is literally the kind of bullshit I spend time wondering aloud. How Bobby keeps from smothering me with a throw pillow is completely beyond me. The man is a saint.
And I would choose Estevez, for obvious reasons. Perhaps I’ll write a post that details those exact reasons in somewhere around the 1,200 word mark, and then you will finally give up on me for good. You can do better, people.
I especially like to use age as an excuse to cut myself some slack when I’m too lazy to push myself to work out. Cutting myself some slack with regard to exercise, by the way, means I tell myself that I don’t have to exercise at all. Usually something along the lines of, “I should probably cut myself some slack today. I don’t want to be one of those people who works out so hard that they need knee replacements before they’re 50!”
Then I breathe a sigh of relief, sit down on the couch with a Ziploc bag of loose chocolate chips, and start watching The Golden Girls, thankful that I’ve saved myself from all the potential joint damage. Not working out? That’s about staying safe!
Luckily/unluckily, when I was 35, I discovered this wonderful form of exercise called “Pilates”, so it’s difficult for me to make excuses and still be able to look myself in the mirror. Never in my life did I dream I would find an exercise regimen so perfectly tailored to me, but there it was: An exercise regimen that requires you to LIE ON THE FLOOR to do it.
Pilates were invented by blah blah blah…you had me at “lie on the floor”.
Is it hard? Absolutely. I would dare any Crossfitter in those weird toe-shoes to attempt a Pilates core-workout and not start crying and shaking uncontrollably even two minutes into it. Pilates workouts are horrific, awful, torturous things. They feel like a sorority has been unleashed inside your torso swinging pillowcases full of soap bars. Pilates are brutal with a capital “I fucking hate this”.
I can withstand them not because I have abs of steel, but because I am doing an exercise that allows me to lie on the floor. My mental and physical toughness increase exponentially in any situation if I know I get to lie on the floor the whole time. No matter how bad it gets, I just say, “You could be standing doing this exercise right now. Standing!” and that’s enough motivation for me to keep going.
Every now and then I get an annoying little bee in my huuuuge bonnet about needing to add cardio to my workouts, usually right around the time that I can’t pull my skinny suit-pants on Monday morning without using a shoehorn. Then I remember all the hot pretzel-eating from the night before and go, “Ahh.” That’s because the night before, while looking at the hot pretzels on the menu I said, “You turned 42 last month! You’ve earned the right to eat hot pretzels whenever you goddamned feel like it!”
This is all fine, a hot pretzel isn’t exactly a whole birthday cake or anything, but when your excuse is “I turned 42 last month”, it can end up being one hell of a slippery slope. Before you know it you’re doing MILF porn in a van parked outside a Denny’s in exchange for an order of Moons Over My Hammy because “I turned 42 last month.”
Also, I aged out of the possibility of MILF porn on the day I turned, like, 25. At 42 I’d be in the Old Lady Circus Freak category. Now I’m concerned that typing the words “MILF porn” into this blog entry this many times is going to bring a whole new readership to the blog that I will regret for the rest of my life. C’est la MILF.
Seemingly well-intended types can get super pissed when they see you not cutting yourself slack and will go to great lengths to encourage you to stuff a pie into your face, or have that fourth drink, or lie around on the couch all day. I assume it’s because those are the things they actually want to do and they don’t want to be the lone loser in your circle of friends. They saw what being the lone loser did to Ross Gellar on Friends and they don’t think they can handle it. And they can’t. If Friends had happened in reality, Ross would have been tossed off the top of a skyscraper decades ago. By me.
I might be willing to actually cut myself some slack if I hadn’t spent ten years between the ages of 25 and 35 where my entire life consisted of cutting myself slack, which means I ate like a wild hog with a gland problem, chain-smoked cigarettes, drank lakes of well liquor, never slept, never worked out, packed on forty pounds, and felt like crap all the time.
Trust me – I’ve had plenty of years of my life where I was a slug who stuffed bacon cheeseburgers and pie into my mouth like they were on that candy factory conveyor belt on I Love Lucy. Plenty of years where I spent upwards of 100 hours a week watching television. Plenty of years where I was too lazy to shower for weeks on-end. Trust me – I am not suffering for lack of slack in my previous life, so don’t tell me that everyone needs to cut themselves some slack on occasion. I’ve cut enough for twenty lifetimes. Don’t encourage me.
The only way to keep myself from ending up living in the ditch outside a Hardee’s wearing a trash bag as a muu-muu and eating old garbage french fries out of an upside down road cone is if I allow myself zero slack. I know that I can’t start the slack engine without immediately crashing the slack car.
Now I have to go write this goddamned Sheen vs. Estevez thing even though I was planning on doing nothing today. I hope you’re happy with yourselves.