Early yesterday, I stumbled across an article posted on Facebook that read, “Nothing Says Over 40 Like Two Spaces after a Period!” Its entire premise is that, when typing, it no longer is necessary to space twice at the end of a sentence after the period, question mark, or exclamation point. Now, I know that most of us took typing classes in high school and were taught to double-space, but with today’s proportional fonts, hitting the space bar twice after a period isn’t necessary. And, anyone who continues to do so is broadcasting his or her age and inflexibility.
Coincidentally, later in the day, I read a Harvard Business Review piece called, “Looking for a Job When You’re No Longer Young.” (Ouch!) It argues that the reality of competing with younger people in today’s business world requires taking an honest, critical look at the image one portrays and projects to others; especially in job interviews. One’s style of dress, general appearance, technological savvy, and use of language (like the examples you give or stories you tell) can identify the generation from which you hail. So, if you look or sound out-of-date, your probability of being hired over someone who is more contemporary is very low. We live in a youth-obsessed society and that’s just the way it is.
Why did I happen to stumble upon both of these articles in the same day? Is the universe trying to tell me something? Is being compared by a loved one to a finely aged, full-bodied bottle of expensive Cabernet Sauvignon a compliment or not? Can’t I just embrace and enjoy being a woman of a “certain age” with no apologies or excuses?
At this point in my life, after having proven myself in the world in which I live, I believe I’ve earned the right to not feel bad or guilty over:
- Loving disco and music from ‘70s, ‘80s, and 90s.
- Proudly remembering my days as an IBM Systems Engineer.
- Refusing to sell my 1992 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce.
- Drinking a glass of wine at dinner or taking a shot of Harvey’s Bristol Cream before bedtime.
- Spending an entire weekend indoors binging on Season 2 of Homeland (or any series I need to catch up on!)
- Refusing to sit next to a family with a bunch of noisy little kids at a restaurant.
- Lounging around the house in my pajamas on a Saturday and not showering until 4:00pm.
- Drinking right out of the bottle of lemonade in the refrigerator.
- Spending way too much money in Sephora.
- Getting monthly facials and massages.
- Buying the same pair of shoes in different colors.
- Opting for valet instead of self-parking.
- Working late.
- Heading out of town for long weekends.
- Taking all of my annual vacation days.
And that’s just my short list.
But, hey, I get it. An IBM Selectric typewriter is old school. Companies want cool, energetic, vibrant people representing them. Stay fresh and new is way better than being old and stodgy. I guess a few tips from my dermatologist, trainer, and kids on looking, feeling, and acting younger can’t hurt. Who knows…maybe i’ll need to revise my resume and look for a new job some day.