How Not to Act Old Greatest Hits

From hair to food to Facebook: a hilarious cheat sheet.

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How Not to Act Old With Your Hair

Don’t chop it off. If you love short hair, fab, but too often Evil Young Hairdressers — and even Evil Not-So-Young Ones — try to make every woman over 40 cut off all her hair. It’s like they’re telling us we can no longer dare try to look sexy and feminine. Short hair does not make you look younger all by itself and in fact often does the opposite. Let it grow past your shoulders or curl wildly, sweep it up in an elegant chignon or wear it in a girlish braid down your back. The point: Let style and not age be your hair guide.

For more tips on how not to act old with your hair, click here.


How Not to Act Old on Facebook

Don’t screw up the picture. Do not use your professional headshot, the one the company paid to have taken back in ’02 that features you stiff and smiling against no-seam. Way too formal. Do not substitute pictures of your kids or, even worse, you as a kid. And please, I don’t want to friend your cat. Ironic pictures of toy robots or Glinda the Good Witch are permissible, but best is a simple, pretty, flattering, relaxed picture of you taken by someone who really loves you – like yourself. Instant facelift: Hold the camera over your head and look up when you shoot.


For more tips on how not to act old on Facebook, click here.


How Not to Act Old in Bed

Take off that nightgown (that tee shirt, those socks….) Yeah, I know it’s chilly in your bedroom. I realize that ever since you had the kids, you’ve gotten used to wearing actual nightwear. I know you think you look sexier when you’re covered from your collarbone to the middle of your calves. But remaining clothed except for the essential bits when you have sex kind of went out back in the 1840s, in a log cabin on the plains, in a snowstorm, when you likely had your grandmother and a wayfaring stranger snoring beside you.


For more tips on how not to act old in bed, click here.


How Not to Act Old on a Diet

Don’t be on a perennial diet. Always on a diet, yet never at the weight you want to be? Yup, that’s me, and I suspect it’s a lot of you too. But dieting for decades on end and never being thin thing isn’t just old, it’s depressing. Younger (and more cheering): Work hard to get to the weight you want to be. Then stay there. (Please note: I know this is excellent advice. I just can’t manage to follow it.)


For more tips on how not to act old on a diet, click here.


How Not to Act Old on Twitter

You long ago figured out the internets. Have gathered a couple hundred of your closest friends on Facebook. And now you’re tweeting, which makes you feel oh-so-young and groovy. Except… you’re tweeting old. How do I know? Because I’m following you. And every time you tweet that you’re cooking chicken for dinner, driving the kids to school, heading to the gym, cleaning a closet or planning a night out with your husband, you sound old old old. Why? Because Twitter, right now at least, is really a professional tool. It may ask you what you’re doing, but it doesn’t really want to know. And neither do we.


For more tips on how not to act old on Twitter, click here.

Illustration by: Wesley Bedrosian.

How Not to Act Old at the Beach

Don’t bring your entire house to the beach with you. Dragging four chairs, two umbrellas, the air- conditioner-sized cooler, towels, extra towels, suntan lotions in three different SPF levels, a few thousand pages of reading material, plus enough food and drink to sustain everyone on the sand through a hurricane will not only make you seem old, it will make you feel it.


For more tips on how not to act old at the beach, click here.


How Not to Act Old: Men’s Edition

No dad jeans. Mom jeans have a male equivalent: baggy, high-waisted, short-legged, purchased on sale for $19.99. Men, if you love jeans, buy yourself a decent modern version – or squeeze back into those authentically weathered Levis you wore to Woodstock.


For more tips on how not to act old: the men's edition, click here.


How Not to Act Old with Celebrities

Liam, George, Brad, Will, Bruce, Clive — oh God, Clive. They may look great to us, but younger women think they’re just crusty. So what’s the answer? To try and get turned on by Zac and . . . oh, I guess they’re all named Zac. Never mind. Just keep your old crushes to yourself.


For more tips on how not to act old with celebrities, click here.

Photo by Theodore Wood.

How Not to Act Old With a Younger Man

Stifle the advice. Listen we’re not even going to utter the M word. Just remember this guy is a fellow adult and resist the urge to offer unsolicited advice on everything from what appetizer he should order to how he should invest his money. Similarly, do not clean his kitchen, administer his cold medicine, or hang up his jacket.


For more tips on how not to act old with a younger man, click here.


How Not to Act Old with Emoticons

Emoticons are one of those things that, like Heidi Montag and rap music, I’ve been hoping would just disappear. But that I am starting to think will be here long after I’ve shriveled away. Yet despite their pervasiveness and staying power, I still can’t bring myself to actually use them. Why? Because I think they’re %-) and using them makes me feel like an XP (an idiot, as I just had to explain to my editor). Plus, learning to speak emoticon at this age is like learning to speak French, I mean French using all the proper tenses and nouns beyond croissant and bathroom. In other words, impossible.


For more tips on how not to act old with emoticons, click here.

Illustration by Wesley Bedrosian

How Not to Act Old on YouPorn

The first thing you have to know is: Do NOT go to As you sign yourself into the home page by attesting that you turned 18 back in the Carter administration, you’re walloped by explicit hardcore action, graphic and in 25 different variations. No coy come-ons, no requests for a credit card number before you can check out the goodies, just lots of xxx-rated videos front and center. I’m pretty sure that not all the actors and actresses are amateurs, but all are welcome to upload their own bedroom films. And that’s what I’m here to tell you, as if you weren’t old enough to make this wise decision on your own: Don’t.


For more tips on how not to act old on YouPorn, click here.


How Not to Act Old: Hot Flash Special

Stop talking about menopause already! it seems to me the only thing more boring and unseemly than discussing getting your period is discussing not getting your period. Some of you might say my position on this issue is old, and that the modern stance is to be openly affirmational about the feminine circle of life. Well, I can get all woman-y with the best of them, girlfriend, and I get that public is the new private. But I still say keep the whole blood-in-your-cooter thing to yourself. 


For more tips on how not to act old with hot flashes, click here.


How Not to Act Old: Nostalgia Edition

So, you were at Woodstock? Ate mushrooms with Kesey, chanted with Ram Dass, wrote poetry naked with Ginsberg? I’m sure that was all mind-blowingly groovy, but I have news for you, Grandpa (and Grandma): reminiscing about the sixties now is like recalling Prohibition was when we were young. The sixties are ancient history and not of great interest to anyone who wasn’t actually there. So too the seventies: we really don’t need to know who did what to whom that night you went to Plato’s Retreat (ewwww, you did?) or what you snorted with whom at Studio 54. Even the eighties, which I basically missed thanks to the joys of parenthood, are getting kind of antique.


For more tips on how not to act old by being nostalgic, click here. 


How Not to Act Old on Valentine’s Day

Don’t skip celebrating. Trust us, giving the holiday a total pass can make you feel distressingly over the hill. Say no to canned sentiment. Letting someone else express your feelings (i.e., a greeting card) screams old. Stick it to the industry by making your own hand-glittered card or hand-writing a love letter (which is retro, not old). Or show some 21st-century soul with an individualized tumblog (look it up) or a sweet tweet: 140 affection-filled characters. Avoid avoiding lingerie. Trotting around in a lacy underthing is one tradition no generation should be quick to scrap. You do, however, want to beat him to the purchasing punch-or risk receiving something too scanty, too sheer or too ridiculous to actually wear. While you’re at the store, pick him up a pair of silk bikinis, or boxers with hearts and kisses on them. Why should you be the only one lookin’ silly for love?


For more tips on how not to act old on Valentine's Day, click here.


How Not to Die Like an Old Person

7 Cool Ways to Die (If You Must)

1. Crash your motorcycle off cliff

2. Get trampled by mob of crazed fans

3. Be eaten by shark while surfing world’s most treacherous wave

4. Have heart attack while having sex with 23-year-old twin bullfighters

5. Be thrown by wild steer in rodeo competition

6. Get shot in neck by poisoned dart while functioning as double agent

7. Throw self in front of bus to save innocent orphan


7 Uncool Ways to Die

1. Have heart attack while having sex with a prostitute

2. Get hit by bus while rooting through bag to find your cell phone

3. Smothered in your sleep by your overweight, blind cat

4. Have aneurysm while berating your spouse

5. Overdose on anticholesterol meds

6. Your life becomes so boring that your heart loses interest in beating

7. Start to cross street and forget to make it to the other side 


For more tips on how not to die like an old person, click here.

Photo by iStock.

How Not to Act Old at Work

Don’t arrive at the crack of dawn and make everybody feel guilty for not being there as early as you. If you’re bushy-tailed and at your desk by 6:35, at least have the good grace to keep your mouth shut about it. Don’t bring the donuts. You don’t need to be Mommy or Daddy. Stifle the self-aggrandizing anecdotes. Reminiscing about the year you almost won the Pulitzer or that time you saved the company a million dollars won’t convince people you’re cooler than they already think you are. No long-range planning. Looking too far ahead, wanting firm commitments on times and places far (i.e., more than a day or two) into the future, is definitely an old thing. If you simply must plan (I know I must), do it in secret and be flexible if things change.

For more tips on how not to act old at work, click here.

Want more How Not to Act Old? Click below! . . .

How Not to Act Old With Your Hair

How Not to Act Old at Work

How Not to Weekend Old

How Not to Act Old in Bed

How Not to Act Old On a Diet

How Not to Act Old at the Beach

How Not to Act Old With Celebrities

How Not to Act Old On Facebook

How Not to Act Old On Twitter

How Not to Act Old: Hot-Flash Special

How Not to Act Old With Emoticons

How Not to Act Old: Nostalgia Edition

How Not to Act Old: Men's Edition

How Not to Act Old with a Younger Man

Does This Cocktail Make Me Look Old?

How Not to Act Old On YouPorn

How Not to Act Old: Dying--So Not Cool!

How Not to Act Old On Valentine's Day

How Not to Phone Old

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