How to be 50: How to Make Excuses

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By Charlotte Latvala

You’re 50 and you haven’t scaled the heights of anything – you’re not a CEO, your kids don’t attend Ivy League colleges, and your novel is still languishing as a half-hearted Word document in the depths of a folder labeled “Future projects?”

Sure, you could own up to your failings. You should have worked harder, and smarter, and been a more focused human being. But why do that when you can make terrific (and honestly, more interesting) excuses? Here are a few to get you started:

  • Like David Byrne, you grew up in a house with the television always on. No, you’re not climbing the corporate ladder. But you have at least a dozen quotes from MASH at your instant recall.
  • As a child, you ate nothing but canned green beans, Cap’n Crunch, and Tang. (We don’t know how the astronauts survived, either.)
  • Your bare thighs got stuck on a hot metal slide at the school playground and you never recovered from the trauma.
  • You spent your teenage years listening to the Ramones and guzzling 3.2% beer, and now even the slightest whiff of cheap alcohol or the opening chords to “Sheena is a Punk Rocker” makes you twitch compulsively.
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  • You lost half your brain cells during pregnancy. 
  • You lost the other half during the toddler years.
  • Your maternity leave was too short. Or too long. Or too frequent. (Fifteen years of “Mom Brain” is a super excuse for just about anything.)
  • You married the wrong guy. Repeatedly.
  • You never had a mentor like Lou Grant.
  • You didn’t have any decent female role models, other than Charlie’s Angels. And you still haven’t been able to find a job as a gun-wielding detective with feathered hair and a 22-inch waist.
  • You ignored dental hygiene and deadened your taste buds during your Now-and-Laters addiction.
  • Your ideal life partner is Han Solo.
  • You still think of life as one big Cosmo quiz.
  • You lost half your hearing during your punk rock days, when you were trying to prove you were as tough as the guys and slam-danced right next to the speaker.
  • There weren’t as many opportunities for female athletes back in the day. No, you’re not exactly an athlete (unless binge-watching Game of Thrones counts) but that’s not the point. The point is, you did not reach your potential through no fault of your own. That’s your story, and you’re sticking to it.

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8 Comments

Filed under 1970s, 50, humor, lists, mid-life, middle-aged, satire

8 responses to “How to be 50: How to Make Excuses

  1. Can I use these as my excuses even though I’m only 42?! Funny!

  2. HaHa! I’m 52…thanks for the trip!!! :)))

  3. ditriesanchez

    This is fantastic.

  4. omg i just think i met my best friend..are you me..are we doppleganger twins lol…can so relate to your writing and you have an economy of style but full punch value that shows me you are a true writer..want to keep in touch😃

    • Charlotte Latvala

      Thank you, thank you, thank you! You just made my day and probably my week! Yes, let’s definitely keep in touch — esp. about turning blogs into books…yay!

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