“You’ll stop being shallow when you get older”

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Perfect truth here: I’m a wee bit on the sloshed side at the moment. But that’s nothing new. Also, I’m old as balls. But not so old that I wouldn’t still enjoy naturally living, breathing parents. I know, I’m a lucky gal that way: booze and parents. One thing though: apparently if your parents were kooky when you were young, they don’t cease to be kooky or cease to give out the weirdest life advice no matter how old you get. You’re old, they’re older. They’ll still treat you like a drunk 5 year old with a pea stuck up her nose.

So among the things my mom says, and I’ve heard other people parrot this, is “When you get old, the looks don’t matter”. Then they say “Monkeys were invented by the Devil, don’t look them in the eye” which is mostly not true but makes a good point since staring wild animals directly in the eyes in generally a bad idea. She also vehemently believes that I shouldn’t have too much sex or my box will fall out. Or something like that. I really haven’t asked her what she thinks might happen if I had “too much sex” since she often says “or too much fun” in the same sentence, so I’m pretty sure she just doesn’t like fun in general. Yeah. Can’t have people having too much fun in the middle of all these taxes. They might mistake life as something jolly.

As I said, I’m fucking ancient by drunk standards. The liquor keeps my skin fairly taut with all the water retention so it’s sometimes hard to tell, but trust me when I say The Golden Girls was a peer drama. I feel therefore that I have some authority on this idea of attractiveness not mattering thing. Also the sex thing. I have had it. My cookie jar is still in place. But more on that clam chowder some other time. “When you get old, the looks don’t matter”; true or false?

Erm, faaaaals-ish? Sorta true?  Look, I didn’t claim this was going to be a simple thing, did I? Right, so it’s kinda not true but it really depends on both the person and how you interpret things. Which is pretty much how life works anyway. Start with this: you remember when you were 10 and I don’t even know what godawful boy band was The Thing all you whippersnappers listened to. NKOTB? The Beatles? Something that had kids about 5-10 years older than you singing in it. Or you got the hots for Little Timmy on TV. Then about five years later you hit puberty and started questioning your crushes. Maybe they got married, or they got into drugs… life happens, you know. Point is, one day you looked at the pile of cassette tapes (just go with this. You can pretend we’re talking about CDs too) on the floor and the poster of George Michael and it dawned on you you didn’t really know why you had those things anymore. You hadn’t listened to the music in months. Where did the fervor go? And you flipped through your Teen People and though “Oh My Gee Willikers this was 5 years ago fuck I’m old! Also, these kids look soooo young”. See, right there. That’s what happened. Time passed, you grew, nay DEVELOPED, and your attractions adjusted. Your biology told you that if you wanted to mate with one of these people, it should probably be someone who was genitally developed enough to be larger in size than a particularly cute newt and would be roughly around your age so bonding for companionship could be made more easily. Those baby faces ceased to attract you. God willing. Or whatever you pray to. Or don’t. I’m not judging. Point is, you were not attracted to kids, because you were not a kid anymore. Similarly, when you get around 35, you stop being AAAAASSSS attracted to 18 year olds (I’m giving y’all some leeway here cuz man, teenagers sure are hairy and tall these days, but the mechanics of this are pretty sound) because they look like fetuses to you and you’re really looking for a bond. Also, if ya got yer wits about ya, you’ll probably consider how totally unprepared teenagers are for most realities of life so your primary reaction should be to protect and guide, not to shag silly.

Around this time, when you’re past your 30s and going into 40s, you’ll start fretting over on one hand wanting a solid meaningful relationship and on the other hand wanting to bang that hunky piece of meat cuz you’re getting older and you’re eventually gonna die. I’m not advocating calling people pieces of meat. But the word might pop into your head. Blame the media. Seriously, I should learn to stop using it. Ok, so you want to bang that extremely aesthetically pleasing 20-something young man/woman. This is what people commonly call having an age-related crisis. You’ll have several during your life. Also by this point your parents start giving you that “When you get older the looks don’t matter”-speech, if they haven’t already. And they’re fucking lying. They wouldn’t fuck someone who they didn’t find attractive. But they just don’t find the same physical features attractive anymore. They went past that. And now you and your kind look like fetuses to them. It’s not that you stop being attracted to attractive people, it’s just that your frame of reference as to who’s viable enough to be compatible changes and you’ll have learned a thing or two about personality traits that will make or break a relationshag for you. You also get more lenient towards personality failings, cuz pooky my love, you can’t change people. So by the time you get to your 50s and 60s, you’ll be all ready to take on someone with consistently hairy ears and drinking habit as long as the drinking habit is contained within family gatherings and week days. But you still wouldn’t fuck someone you didn’t find attractive. If you’re a lady like myself, by the time you get to your 70s and 80s, the dating scene is slim pickings. Guys die earlier. It’s kinda like the first day of school every year; you get new classmates and you have to pick which one you find attractive out of a pool of 5. That, only it’s a pool of 5 in your state.

Add to all of this people being wildly different in their romantic and sexual attractions. Some people don’t get the old wet spot for a fine booty. They just want to cuddle everyone. Some people have massive amounts of money so whatever they want they just buy and can remain floating in a wonderful bubble of self-deception that they’ve never grown older. “All that pouch and bald are just tricks of light. See? I can totally cover them up with a wad of cash! Why would I want companionship when I can just talk to my money? Money never grows old!”. And then you have people that were always more attracted to what the other person says than what their booty looks like. Booty is a nice word, isn’t it?

So is “looks don’t matter when you get older” true? Depends on your perspective and how you interpret  it. It’s just as true as “how are you going to love someone if you don’t even love yourself”, that is, condensing life into slogans rarely works. The context of it matters. Words change their meaning depending on the person and their situation. Just don’t take slogans at face value, they will fucking let you down. (FYI: you CAN and do love people even if you don’t love yourself, but you WILL put the burden of your self-acceptance and well-being entirely on the person you love and fucking wear them out. No bueno. Don’t do that. It’s a dick move.)

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On not living fearlessly

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Tonight’s shot (or possibly two) of vodka reminded me of this myth I see often perpetuated on the Great World Wide Webby; the myth of fearlessness. It’s everywhere. Every eMagazine and mood board and “inspirational quote” on that there Pinterest thingy is tooting about fearlessness. And let me tell ya… it’s all bunk.

Yes. Your Old Aunt Floozy is here to tell you why fearlessness a big ole pile of unattainable bull crap and why trying to be fearless is what’s making you miserable and your life full of fail. So read further only if you want to be happier in your life AND get what’s yours. Because getting the things you want out of life has nothing to do with fearlessness.

So. You still here? Here’s why fearlessness is crock: you need fear. Being fearless would mean somehow magically getting rid of fear, an entire human emotion, a physical reaction that is the base of a lot if not ALL of our actions (don’t quote me on this. I might be a floozy, but I’m not a medical professional). It sounds cool, right? “Fearless”. Like you’ve somehow attained a higher level of existence and now Have No Weaknesses (TM). It’s not cool though. Experiencing fear is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of being alive. Suppressing your emotions to the point where you think you’re not experiencing fear anymore is all kinds of messed up. And it robs you of a very valuable learning tool. And you do want to learn, right? I mean, that’s kind of like a basic thing moving through life. Fire burns, you learn. Water is wet, you learn. Not breathing you pass out, you learn. Besides learning to fear the obvious things so as to stay alive (like, tigers and falling from high places and guns), fear also teaches you to act in other ways. If you don’t move to get food, you will die. If you don’t work, you will not have money nor opportunities. If you don’t teach your kids how to cook and clean for themselves, THEY might die buried under a pile of discarded fast food packages. If you don’t turn in that paper today, you will fail the course. If you don’t talk to your boss now, you will not get the job. Fear is an important catalyst and it’s a natural and inherent reaction in all living things. You physically cannot remove it and striving to remove it you will fail and you will get discouraged and blame yourself and feel like shit…. all because you were trying to get rid of something that’s as much an integral part of you as your circulatory system. Moments of absolutely no fear can be experienced every now and then. Mostly when you’re lying on your back and on vacation.

By this point I can see you raising your hand and going “But Aunt Floozy, when I think about scary stuff I just freeze! Like fuck, zombie tigers are terrifying!”. You are absolutely right, my little monkey butt. There are several different ways people react to fear: sometimes you’re the opossum and fear makes you freeze and look really really dead. You’re probably not though. Stop freaking your parents out with that. It’s not funny. Also don’t poke dead looking opossums with a stick. They’re probably just faking it. Sometimes you’ll be like an ostrich and you run away and hide when you’re afraid… though I’m pretty sure it’s already been proven ostriches don’t really do that. And sometimes you’re like frightened cat in a corner and you lash out and eat someone’s face when you’re scared enough. I’d also suggest you don’t do this. It’s just rude. As you can see, none of these options are good in the long run. How should you deal with fear then, if you’re not allowed to strive for fearlessness?

By being brave. You can’t get rid of fear. You can’t avoid things that scare you. In fact, some of the best things in life will fucking terrify you! Not zombie tigers. I mean like, being in love or starting a new career or some shit. That’s scary AF. You will feel fear. But you can do the thing anyway. Cultivate being brave. Feel the fear. Let it wash over you like a bukake party. Breathe deep and and tell yourself “Well this shit is goddamn scary and it’s making me feel uncomfortable” and you’ll notice your brain might ask you “Dude, my buddy, what’s scary about it?”. Talking to yourself inside your head is actually totally therapeutic and everyone does it so this bit is cool and good. Then you think about the specific things that scare you and best and worst case scenarios. Like if you’re in love with someone and you’re thinking about telling them it might go like this: worst case = you tell them and spontaneously combust on the spot going up like Chinese firework factory. Best case = they totez love you back and immediately splurt out a gallon of roe and you spawn some weird hybrid human-fish race together that takes over the world with the power of your love. At this point your brain’s gonna tell you that both of those things are probably not going to happen and what’s likely to go down is somewhere in the middle. Yeah, you might get really hurt, but unless they pull a gun on you, you’re not going to die even if they don’t love you back. Taking your fear apart like this, being honest to yourself that yeah, you’re scared, somehow through the magic of zen psychology makes the initial sharp edge of the fear pass quicker. It’ll also give you some perspective on how terrified you really should be, let you move on from being paralyzed by fear quicker and get on with Doing the Thing sooner. And the sooner you Do The Thing, the sooner you Get What’s Yours.

Be Brave. Fuck fearlessness. Don’t be an emotionally stunted human wreck. And don’t drink to be brave. Drink after you Do The Thing to celebrate your bravery.