Tag Archives: lists

How to be 50: How to Send Your Kid to College



Your destination. Eventually.

As August drags on and college gets closer, remember that this is a transition for the whole family. But mostly, it’s a transition for you, and four years of Party Central for him. Here are some fresh new ways to tackle this age-old rite of passage.

  • Waste your money on a few last-minute motivational plaques that he will never look at.
keep calm

Vandals will soon replace the second verb anyway. 

  • Refer to move-in day as “Doomsday.” Include it on your calendar, preferably written in tear-stained black letters.
  • For extra drama, take up a few old-fashioned mourning rituals before your child leaves. Send all your friends black-edged photos of your kid. Wear a black armband. Better yet, put on sackcloth and ashes and stand in the town square rending them.
victorian mourning

Yep, that’s you. 

  • Film yourself blubbering incoherently and post on any social media that your child has a chance of seeing.
  • Use this time to reflect on what’s really important, i.e. knowing that the privilege of plastering your kid’s college decal on your car will cost you more than all the cars you’ve ever owned put together.
kent mom

That’s one expensive decal. 

  • Sneak a favorite sibling into your kid’s luggage as a quick pick-me-up when homesickness strikes.

Just like home. 

  • In the car, ask tearfully if he wants to play the license plate game, “one last time.”
  • On campus, be sympathetic to other parents going through a tough time. A good ice-breaker: “Isn’t it terrific that the college doesn’t hold felony convictions against freshmen?”
  • Adopt a spirit of friendly competition. Challenge the parents of your kid’s roommate to a series of zany activities, including competitive bed-making, clothes hanger bingo, and who can say, “Wow, this dorm is way cooler than anything we had,” more convincingly.

Ready, set, hang! 

  • When you hug your child goodbye, whisper “You’re dead to me” in his ear.
  • The second you get home, post 10,000 baby pictures on social media. It will be like he never left.

Because this is how you still see your college kid. 



Filed under college, mid-life, parenting, parents, Uncategorized

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:

Continue reading


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

How to be 50: How to Vacation

By Charlotte Latvala

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When you were younger, vacationing was easy. You tossed your flip-flops in the Datsun, rolled down your windows, and cranked up Tom Petty on the cassette player. You could drive all night to get to the beach at sunrise – then stay up all day and toss back shots till midnight.

At 50, however, such spontaneity takes a back seat to thoughts like “Is there an AARP discount?” and “I’m not going out in that heat.” But you can still enjoy a vacation at your advanced age. Simply… Continue reading


Filed under 50, humor, lists, mid-life, middle-aged, vacation

How to be 50: How to Accessorize

By Charlotte Latvala

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Just to be clear:  How to be 50 is not a fashion blog. Truth be told, we get a little anxious when talking about our appearance. We would rather be sitting down with a nice cold glass of Pinot Gris and reading Persuasion for the fifth time.

However, talk about it we must. Because at 50, certain changes occur. Waistlines expand while other body parts deflate. There’s a certain trick to dressing the ever-evolving middle-aged body.

That trick is called “accessories.”

Accessories exist for one purpose and one purpose only: To pull the eye away from wrinkly necks, lumpy backs, and cleavage that’s more matronly than eye-popping. Here are the basics: Continue reading


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

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: Continue reading


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