By Charlotte Latvala
By Charlotte Latvala
By 50, you’ve figured out who you are, where you’re going, and how to get there.
Except that you haven’t. (Don’t feel bad. We at “How to be 50” are experts at being middle-aged and clueless.)
However, even if you have an empty checking account, a comatose career, and no discernible talent or ambition, you can still fake success with the best of them.
Don’t believe us? Try this:
- Name drop. It’s a well-known fact: Celebrities only hang around with successful people. Local newscasters, third-string quarterbacks, and lawyers with cheesy TV ads count. If you’ve ever breathed the same air as one of these gods, make it known!
- ID a couple trendy restaurants in your city and imply that you’re a regular. (“The smoked Filipino eggplant is to die for!”) A few Yelp reviews will give you all the information you need.
- Use the word “my” as often as you can. My shrink. My hairdresser. My financial planner. It doesn’t matter if your shrink is Dr. Phil, your hairdresser Great Clips, and your money maven a Suze Orman DVD you never opened.
- Sound sophisticated by saying you “do tapas” for lunch once a week. Just don’t mention that by “tapas” you mean “samples at Costco.”
- Nod in a knowing way. Phrases like “Tell me about it,” and “I feel your pain” are invaluable when the talk turns to mutual funds, admissions at selective colleges, and the best salon to get your roots retouched in a way that doesn’t look trashy.
- Become a travel expert. No, you don’t have the funds for Fiji or Iceland, but here are two words to help: Travel Channel.
- Spend your annual clothing budget on one designer outfit. Wear it everywhere, every day, until it falls apart. At 50, no one notices repeats. (It’s not high school.) You’ll just seem incredibly pulled together all the time. Or…
- …use the word “thrift” as a verb, which implies that shopping at Goodwill is an amusing hobby rather than a necessity.
- Apologize that your other car is “in the shop” anytime you give someone a ride. (And no, your 15-year-old Honda Civic is neither old nor odd enough for you to get away with the “I drive this ancient beast because I’m delightfully eccentric” excuse.)
- Tip big when anyone else is watching.
- Stand tall.
- Act confident.
- Keep them guessing.