At 62, I’ve got three more years under the so-called “midlife” umbrella before I get kicked out to “senior citizen” territory. I make and live by my own labels, so I don’t care about someone else’s definition of what I am. But one label I can’t deny is “my mother,” as I’m clearly turning into her more and more every day.
Here are 7 warning signs that you, too, might be turning into your mother in midlife:
1. You keep a tissue rolled in your sleeve. Good god, when did I start doing this? Comes in handy, though, for my now constantly leaking nose and eyes. What the hell? Even worse is forgetting it’s there on laundry day.
2. You save a paper towel you just used to dry your freshly washed hands, because “it’s only clean water” that will dry and leave a perfectly good paper towel for reuse the next time a cloth towel isn’t handy.
3. You wash, smooth, dry, and save used foil for baking, roasting, or lining sheet pans. The first time I caught myself doing this I had to sit down with a glass of wine. I don’t bake, roast, or use sheet pans. I’ve since discovered used foil does make a handy air fryer liner, though.
4. You use tape and Sharpie markers to label food leftovers in the refrigerator even though the food is in clear glass containers. This is more disturbing in my case because I rarely have more than two containers in my refrigerator.
5. You wash and save empty food wrappers and bags to use when disposing of cooking scraps and food waste. OK…I put bottle corks in mine, or use them to conceal empty lube bottles, condom wrappers, or bladder leak product packaging in the trash. Whatever.
6. You wash all your groceries before putting them in the refrigerator or freezer. Milk cartons, juice bottles, produce, meat packages…everything. I have to admit this “mom” behavior has been going on since I was in elementary school. It’s what we always did in my family. I didn’t know it wasn’t “normal” until I was 18 and at a friend’s house helping unload groceries. I’d started soaping up the milk cartons in the sink when I noticed everyone was quiet and giving me the “WTF?” look. COVID protocol had nothing on me.
7. You talk to young people you don’t know, complaining about how much everything costs. You compare the costs to when you were their age. Then you offer unsolicited suggestions/advice on how and where to save a few bucks on purchases. Even amid inflation, the “WTF?” look you will get from a young stranger is a clue you’re doing this like-your-mother thing.
My goal is to get at least some of these metamorphic behaviors under control by the time I move to Portugal. New life, new me. At least temporarily. Eu nao quero ser minha mae ainda.
What about you? Have you started turning into your mother in midlife? What signs of metamorphosis have you noticed?
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