How to be 50: 25 Things You Won’t Miss

By Charlotte Latvala

Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1981.

Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1981.

It’s tempting, now that you’re 50, to wax nostalgic about the good old days. After all, back in the 1980s your metabolism was 10 times faster, you could remember all the members of The Smiths (not just Morrissey and Johnny Marr), and you were blithely unaware of the hazards of genetically modified foods.

All that, and you could function amazingly well on four hours of sleep.

But was the past actually better? Well, do you really want to go back to the days when you had to carry your mobile phone in a sack as big as a diaper bag? What about schlepping a diaper bag, period? And how about these other not-so-good memories? Such as:

  • Cassette tapes.
Who wants to rewind?

Who wants to rewind?

  • Cassette tapes you hated that somehow ended up in your collection. (We’re looking at you, Doobie Brothers.)
  • Bands with “brothers” in the name.
  • Worrying that you’re pregnant.
Looks like a maybe!

Looks like a maybe!

  • Worrying that you’re not pregnant.
  • Childbirth.
  • The theme song from The Rockford Files.
  • Eating fast food five times a week, oblivious to its long-term effects on your health.
  • Terrible AOR radio.
  • Volunteering at your kid’s pre-school.
  • Being reasonably certain you don’t have anything in common with the other volunteer moms.
  • Being hungover on a regular basis.
  • Locking your keys in the car.
  • Getting into your locked car with a coat hanger.
Who remembers how to do this?

Who remembers how to do this?

  • Racking up easily obtained credit card debt.
  • Meeting your significant other’s family for the first time.
  • Trying to decide if your face is round or square in order to pick flattering eyeglasses, then realizing that no glasses will look good with those awful bangs.

Saying “everyone had them” doesn’t make it right.

  • Horrible 1980s crime rates.
  • Menstrual cramps.
  • Clogs.
No. Just no.

No. Just no.

  • MTV, which wasn’t all that great even when it played videos 24/7. (How often did you really need to see Whitesnake and that girl on the car?)
  • Leaded gasoline.
  • Giant computers.
  • Canned coffee.
  • The dawning realization that the theme from The Rockford Files, like cockroaches and student loan debt, will outlast nuclear devastation, and that someday, it would be the soundtrack to your good old days.


Filed under 1970s, 1980s, humor, lists, mid-life

9 responses to “How to be 50: 25 Things You Won’t Miss

  1. Volunteering at my kid’s preschool … *shudder*
    Yes, definitely good to be past that! As well as play dates, reading times and T-ball practice!

  2. I actually liked my clogs–wore them all through college then had them re-soled, LOL! Glad they morphed into Danskos. Great post full of nostalgia and silliness!

  3. Magnum PI theme reminds me of 80’s. Hair bands, and pagers.

    • Charlotte Latvala

      Yikes! Pagers – do they still make them? Thanks (?) for reminding me of all these things — also those horrid banana hair clips that tore half your scalp out….

  4. Oh, the pregnancy tests!! Bye bye!!
    Most of the others too!
    But what do you mean missing locking the keys in the car? I just did that not long ago! Lol

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