Stupid Tuesday questions, Oil of Olay edition


Russell Saunders

Russell Saunders is the ridiculously flimsy pseudonym of a pediatrician in New England. He has a husband, three sons, daughter, cat and dog, though not in that order. He enjoys reading, running and cooking. He can be contacted at blindeddoc using his Gmail account. Twitter types can follow him @russellsaunder1.

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113 Responses

  1. Avatar Glyph says:

    Mine is that Operation: Get Back Into Those Pants, Dammit used to be a lot more fun, since once upon a time it referred to pants that didn’t belong to me.Report

  2. Avatar Kazzy says:

    I took some middle and high school students to a conference on Saturday. At the end, some of them had their cell phones out and were conspiring with some new friends to stay in touch.

    “Getting phone numbers?” I asked.
    “Phone number?”
    “Oh, yea. Of course. Facebook, right?”
    “Ugh. No. Instagram.”
    “Isn’t Instagram just for sharing pictures?”
    [slowly backing away]

    If you don’t watch “Parks & Rec”, check out last week’s episode on Hulu. Tom has a moment of his own.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Mine is more celebratory than complainy. My beard has been darkening with age since I was about 17 or 18 but now it’s turning blonde again! Yay!Report

  4. Avatar Sam says:

    Two things:

    -I was planning to write about my own sudden physical decline. I hope this post hasn’t made that redundant.

    -A young person referred to me as “sir” the other day. Which I didn’t mind, per se, but my goodness, the degree to which it got my attention.Report

    • Avatar Russell Saunders in reply to Sam says:

      Good Lord, the idea of anything being rendered redundant by one of my Stupid Tuesday posts is horrifying.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Sam says:

      sudden physical decline

      This is my concern – not that it’s happening, but that it’s happening rapidly all at once.

      I noticed sudden diagonal creases in my earlobes: Googled that, found “Frank’s Sign” and spent two days giving myself a heart attack that I was going to have a heart attack (never Google potential medical conditions late at night).

      Now, I have what I originally thought was a pimple under my eye, but appears to be some sort of new mole or something.

      So, off to the dermatologist, I guess?Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Glyph says:

        This is my concern – not that it’s happening, but that it’s happening rapidly all at once.

        Maybe noticing the first thing prompted you to look more closely for the other things?Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Glyph says:

        Nah… when it starts to go it’s like an avalanche. Seriously, up until the year I spoke of above, everyone was telling me I hadn’t changed a bit since high school. They don’t say that anymore.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Glyph says:


        Love the new handle, bro.Report

  5. Avatar Damon says:

    Sorry Russell, but with the widespread laws of “we card everyone”, you can still live the fantasy that you’re young, if only occasionally. 🙂

    I was 30ish when an old lady at a liquor store carded me. I was so delighted it made may whole day. You’d think a guy buying a pricey bottle of scotch would be a clue 🙂Report

  6. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    It’s hit recently me that I am on the verge of the dreaded male Blind-Date Cut-Off Milestone, which even though I won’t be going out on any blind dates is bothering me quite a bit.

    It’s uncharted territory for me, because I’ve never had an issue about aging prior to this.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Wait, what? There’s a Blind-Date Cut-Off Milestone?Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird says:

        No there isn’t. Our Tod is just making stuff up.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird says:

        @jaybird @burt-likko It’s a thing I decided exists as I approach 50. My reasoning is this:

        Imagine two women talking in an office somewhere, and one tells the other they have a friend the other should go out with. The second woman asks, “Well, how old is he?” I believe every decade has a certain response that goes along with that revelation.

        20s: “Well, that’s kind of young, but yeah, sure, if you think he’s a good fit.”

        30s: “Oh, ok.”

        40s: “Oh, ok.”

        50’s: “Ugh. Um, no thanks. That’s a little too old.”

        I fully admit that all of these conversations go on in my head and not reality.Report

      • Avatar Miss Mary in reply to Jaybird says:

        I’ve been thinking about this. My online dating website keeps trying to hook me up with men in their late 40s and early 50s. You might be right about the 50s thing, but I’m sure that’s only because I’m in my late 20s. If I was 10 years older, it would be a different story, I think.Report

    • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      @tod-kelly — I’ll go out on a blind date with you.


  7. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Beard is now about half gray. Got sick of looking at all the gray whiskers and shaved it off.

    Knees and lumbar spine ache more often than they ever used to.

    I do believe that I am legally blind, or close to it, in one eye without the assistance of vision-corrective devices like glasses or contact lenses.

    More than half of my students in an MBA class are younger than me. It’s becoming more than “technically Constitutionally possible,” to think of someone my age being President, as a potential major party nominee was born less than a year before me.

    I can’t stand that damn music those young people listen to these days. And why do they all have tattoos and when oh when will they get off my lawn?Report

  8. Avatar Aaron david says:

    I have a son in college. How did that happen?Report

  9. Avatar Chris says:

    Until my hairline became animate, I was regularly carded well into my 30s. Now sometimes, if I’m wearing a hat, and the bottoms of my trousers aren’t rolled.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Chris says:

      This has been as good a place to put this as any. I have been working on the different things J. Alfred Prufrock might have said, had he noticed his aging in different eras.

      I grow hirsute, I grow hirsute. I shall wear pants parachute.
      I was egged, I was egged. I shall wear my trousers pegged.
      I am a goy, I am a goy. I shall wear pants courdoroy.
      I grow moss, I grow moss. I shall wear my pants backwards (like Kris Kross).
      I am frozen, I am frozen. I shall wear some lederhosen.
      I remember Battle of Saratoga chants, I remember Battle of Saratoga chants. I shall wear some yoga pants.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

      R is, well perpetually young is the best way to describe it. Not only does she look young for her age, but she likes to do young these. So we spend a lot of time at shows in which we are the oldest people, sometimes by a disturbingly wide margin. This makes her feel younger, and it makes me feel almost painfully older. Funny how that works.

      Anyway, I’m going to go listen to some dubstep, yo. Peace!Report

    • Avatar Kim in reply to Chris says:

      It’s one thing to be carded when you’re in your thirties.
      It’s another to be carded for “are you over 12” @ Costco…
      (and the lady on the airplane actually stood over me until
      I could prove I was over 16).Report

  10. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    The amount of time it takes me to recover from minor injuries has definitely gone up. I used to play in the world’s most casual Sunday afternoon soccer game, and found sometime in that period that if I hurt my knee one week, I still had to be careful of it the next. When I go out dancing, I bike home very slowly indeed, and my knees are still a bit sore for a day or two afterward.

    The drinking age in Canada is variously 18 and 19 (19 where I grew up, 18 where I live now), so the days of getting carded for drinks tend to wind down earlier here. At 17, I went to Germany, where the drinking age is 16, and I turned 18 there, so I was spared the indignity of overdoing it on my drinking-age birthday.

    I wore a beard during my undergrad years, shaved a few years after university, and suddenly started getting carded again. I regrew the beard a few years ago and reshaved it recently, but it didn’t work this time. The only places I get ID’d now use a system where if you’re booted from one subscribing club this fact will be shown to the bouncer at any other club you try to enter that night.Report

  11. Avatar dragonfrog says:

    Oh, and my neck and back recently got to hurting enough that I went for a massage for the first time. I couldn’t shoulder check properly, and it was taking an effort to open my jaw wide enough to brush my teeth in the morning.Report

  12. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    I just had surgery to remove a cataract from one eye.

    The rest of you, get off my lawn.Report

  13. Avatar North says:

    Physically I haven’t noticed much yet but mentally I can tell I am getting older. Specifically it is because I have caught myself musing on the past. If I had only known then what I know now, the mantra goes.
    I think I read the phrase “If youth could only know; if age could only do” when I was in my teens. Suddenly it has a poingniancy and bitter profundity that I suspect will only deepen with time. That’s how I know I’m advancing into full on adulthood and eventual middle age.Report

  14. Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

    1. If I am tired, I don’t care if I am turning off the lights at 9:30 at night.

    2. The whole concept of staying up all night is more exhausting than exhilarating.

    3. Drinking too late will give me a dull headache until sometime the following afternoon.

    4. Lots of gray hair.

    5. Insomnia how I know thee.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      Alka-Seltzer. Seriously.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to Jaybird says:

        Is that for the insomnia or the hangovers?

        I usually use a depth charge for a hangover cure. Dark coffee with a shot or two of espresso. Followed by lots of water.Report

      • Avatar Glyph in reply to Jaybird says:

        I find for hangover avoidance/minimization,

        1.). Switch back to clear liquors, primarily vodka. Beer jacks my sinuses all up, unfortunately. Which makes me sleep really poorly and feel hungover, regardless of number of beers consumed.

        2.). Drink a 5-hour Energy beforehand. This seems to really head off the hangover, I suspect because it’s comprised of like a kabillion B-vitamins, which get depleted with alcohol consumption. I imagine it might work nearly as well after the fact, but trying to down one of those foul things if you are already nauseated could be problematic.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jaybird says:

        The hangovers. Our ancestors knew a thing or two about recovering from overdoing it.

        The problem is that they aren’t really going to benefit from pointing out all of the codewords they used so they’re just keeping mum.

        I am here to tell you this: Alka-seltzer is a hangover jagerbomb. Proverbially.Report

      • Avatar zic in reply to Jaybird says:

        To cure a hangover, you need the 3B’s: bitters, bacon, and bananas.Report

      • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to Jaybird says:


        I interestingly never liked the clear alcohols except gin and then only in gin and tonics.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Jaybird says:

        Someday I should talk about the effects of different hormone levels on alcohol tolerance. Not to mention that I take a diuretic to manage androgen levels.

        Anyway, I get sloshy, stumbly drunk lightning fast these days. (Although I can still dance in heels!)Report

      • Avatar Reformed Republican in reply to Jaybird says:

        I prefer to stem off hangovers by chugging a lot of gatorade after doing a lot of drinking. Hydration is your friend.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      Hangover is largely dehydration. Drink two big glasses of water before you go to sleep.Report

    • Avatar Miss Mary in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

      Oh my goodness, at lunch my boss told me that I was the youngest 65 year old she knows because I don’t like to stay up past 9:00 pm. “When did that happen???” I wish I could say. Having kids makes you old before your time :(. My niece spending the weekend at my house is now considered birth control.Report

  15. Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

    I am envious when friends are buying property and brag about bourgeois things on facebook because I am still renting, at the start of my career, and happened to graduate into le bad economy.Report

  16. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    BTW I’m McLovin the feature photo.Report

  17. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    Unsolicited mailings from AARP.

    My baby girl is graduating from college in May.

    In a single year I gained twenty pounds, my hair started turning grey and getting thin on top, and my eye doctor prescribed bifocals. This was fifteen years ago.

    If I try to drink to console myself the hangover lasts at least two days. Just shoot me.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Road Scholar says:

      Congratulations to your daughter!Report

      • Avatar Road Scholar in reply to Chris says:

        Thanks! Yeah, Dad’s proud. A sort of double degree in geography and psychology. She’s looking at a master’s to go full-on scientist/academic. She wants to map archaeological sites using GIS. Following her bliss but the fall-backs aren’t half-bad either.Report

  18. Avatar Sam Wilkinson says:


    If it makes you feel better, I haven’t been carded in more than seven years, and I’m younger than you. 🙁Report

  19. Avatar Maribou says:

    Well, for a while there I had some of those.

    But then I went back to school and I started getting carded (and forgetting my ID) and pulling all-nighters and driving to New Mexico on a whim and taking trains halfway across the world and sitting out drinking on the porch on Friday nights, again.

    You’d think that feeling this beat up would make me look and act older, but apparently not.

    I’m actually looking forward to acting like an old person again. “It’s 9:30! Think I’ll go to bed!” *looks wistful*Report

  20. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    Seeing people I know from high school getting married and having kids while I’m still trying to get into a romantic relationship. I feel that I’ve missed out on a lot when it comes to romance and I’m not going to have any chance to experience what I did not get to experience at the appropriate age. My hair is rapidly greying.Report

    • Avatar aaron david in reply to LeeEsq says:

      Are you and your brother greying at different rates?Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to LeeEsq says:

      You shouldn’t feel like you missed out. You still have plenty of time.

      Get thee to a club.Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Chris says:

        Thanks but my personality type would probably not do well in club environment.Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Chris says:

        Pick smaller clubs with cool scenes, like in the queer-artsy part of town. Avoid the “club”-clubs, you know, the places with VIP rooms and PUAs. So, anyway, get tapped into local music and food. You’ll find cool people.

        If you’re ever in Boston I’ll take you to some clubs. 🙂Report

      • Avatar veronica dire in reply to Chris says:

        Oh and you can totally dye your hair.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        @leeesq Nonsense! There are as many different types of clubs as there are types of people, and most of them will have just about every personality type short of shut-in. If you can go to a museum, you can go to a club. And the only rule for meeting people is talk to people. Hell, if you spend enough time at the bar, people will talk to you. It’s inevitable.

        Better still, find a bar/pub/club that you like, and become a regular. You’ll meet everyone.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Chris says:

        The solution is y’all should just move to Austin. R. and I will take you out, and with R. you will have met every man and woman in the room within an hour.

        Seriously, there is extroversion and then there’s R. I don’t know if you’ve seen Kevin Smith’s bit about his time with Prince, and how Prince’s manager told him that you can’t say no to Prince, because Prince doesn’t live in our world, he lives in Prince world, and Prince world bends to Prince’s will? R. is like that.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to LeeEsq says:

      @leeesq I was really relieved to be past that point in my life. I never had what one would call a spectacular (or great or even competent) romantic life prior to meeting my wife. I actually used to wonder if my luck would have been different in a place like NYC or DC where I know some people who turned their luck around.

      You can get around premature gray hair, though. Easier to color gray hair than it is to replace hair that should be there but isn’t. (I didn’t have either of those problems, thankfully, but had others that were harder to tackle than hair coloring.)Report

      • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to Will Truman says:

        Big cities and metro areas tend to be tough markets. The sheer number of people leads to a lot of pickiness because of all the options available. Apparently, somebody did a study in 2013 that established that short men have a one in hundred chance of getting a reply back on an online dating site if they live in Manhattan or Brooklyn. Its a bit better in the other boroughs and suburbs but even in the past place in the New York City area its only 7.6 chance of getting a reply.Report

      • Interesting. Makes sense, though, I guess. I associate the advantage of density being an increased likelihood of meeting people. But that wouldn’t carry to online.Report

    • Avatar Miss Mary in reply to LeeEsq says:

      A single woman’s perspective? I’d rather meet a guy online then in a club. It totally sends a different message; I prefer the “I’m so busy I can’t just sit around at a club/bar, so I’m online” thing. Times have changed. Embrace it.Report

  21. Avatar zic says:

    Oh, to count the ways.

    1. Menopause
    2. Turkey neck.
    3. Gray hair.
    4. Longer to heal.
    5. Quicker to ache.
    6. Harder to remember.
    7. Children are older than I was when they were born.
    8. Movie stars are children’ age.
    9. President is younger then me (Go Hillary!).
    10. Getting offered the senior discount on Tuesdays at Dunkin Donuts.

    And bonus answer 11: Beyond age for the recommended colonoscopy.Report

    • Avatar El Muneco in reply to zic says:

      That reminds me of something I once heard from a comedian about the stages of aging:
      1. You’re older than professional athletes
      2. You’re older than /any/ professional athlete.
      3. You’re older than your doctor.
      4. You’re older than /any/ doctor.

      I don’t think there’s a #5.Report

  22. Avatar Maria says:

    Being pregnant, over 40, and perusing the birth boards full of 20 something (and younger!) moms-to-be makes one feel old pretty quickly. I just backed away and returned to my normal online reading where people know how to spell and use grammar correctly.Report

  23. Avatar Snarky McSnarkSnark says:

    Well, I no longer listen to pop music released after 1995…Report

  24. Avatar KenB says:

    Just got my first pair of progressive lenses last month (though my optometrist has been recommending to me for years).

    The first time I heard songs from my high school days being played on an “oldies” station was a bitter pill, but that’s a few years behind me now. And my younger child is graduating from college next month.

    But really, I’ve accepted the loss of my youth now, after a rather serious struggle in my early forties. Though I’m not quite ready to give up the pleasant delusion that the cute young barista is giving me a smile that’s a bit more significant than what her other customers get.Report

    • Avatar Saul DeGraw in reply to KenB says:

      I’m only 33 and I hear songs from my high school and college days played on the classic rock stations.Report

      • The other day at the grocery, Jethro Tull’s Locomotive Breath was the background music on the PA. The original, not some Muzak version. I would have given long odds against ever experiencing that, for various reasons.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Saul DeGraw says:

        Whoever programmed it probably had no idea who LB was, or that that half of the album is pure atheism.Report

      • I remember telling the wife what a really weird day for background music that day was. Led Zeppelin at the blood donation center, Bachman Turner Overdrive at the burger place at lunch, and then Jethro Tull at the grocery. Like all the people who were doing the programming had been going through the long shelf of old vinyl down in my basement…Report

  25. Avatar veronica dire says:

    So tonight I’m standing outside a Cambridge club with a collection of lovely queers, and the subject of age came up — immediately following the obligatory conversation about astrology (which although utterly false is a great way to chat up strangers). Anyway, we went around and said our ages. When it was my turn, I said, “Just guess.”

    The highest guess was ten years shy of my real age. Needless to say I was pleased.Report

  26. Avatar Boegiboe says:

    I had my spring haircut where all my winter growth gets hacked off. The barber had draped me with a black smock, and this year, there was a huge amount of white hair falling on it. It’s weird that it doesn’t show on my head, so it was quite a shock to me.

    On the other hand, at a bar at Disneyworld last month, a bartender looked really hard at my license for awhile, handed it back and said “Good on you, sir!” Maybe he was just fishing for tips, like Tod said, but I choose to believe otherwise.Report

  27. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    I try to enjoy being carded while I still can. Going out with my friends who are firmly in their 40s helps with that, but does not help with our friendship, I have found.

    As bikini season quickly approaches, I again realize that I should have enjoyed the body I had before my pregnancy. I’m back at the weight I was when playing tennis in high school, the baby weight wasn’t a problem to dispatch, but things just don’t look the same… it’s not as tight as it use to be :(. Perhaps I should pull out my free weights and yoga mat as well. As I get older I have to switch from calling it “bikini season” and get comfortable with “bathing suit season”. Vintage bathing suits, from the 1950s perhaps.Report

  28. Avatar Mia says:

    First time the grocery clerk called me “ma’am” was not good. But first time someone offered me her subway seat was the real shock. You guys are all still young (as my mother at 85 said to her cousin who was turning 70).Report

  29. Avatar Major Zed says:

    The total at the grocery store was less than I expected. Got home and my CFO (wife) audited the receipt and informed me the cashier had granted me the senior discount! And I’m many years away from qualifying, thank you very much.Report

  30. Avatar Darwy says:

    I’m happy to say that I got carded last summer when I was out to buy alcohol at the local packy.

    Funnily enough, I had my daughter with me, and they didn’t card her. I had a good laugh over that, and she was more or less, “DAFUQ?”Report