What changes will happen to my body as I age?
October 29, 2004 3:00 AM   Subscribe

Balding - check. Hairy backness - check. What else does the aging process bring?

Now I knew the baldness thing was coming, by simple observation of older males in the family. The hairy shoulders thing was more of a surprise (as it was to anonymous). What other potential surprises await the ever aging MeFite?
posted by biffa to Health & Fitness (42 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
psoriasis, farsightedness, slower metabolism, mentat eyebrows, fading memory.
posted by plinth at 3:46 AM on October 29, 2004 [1 favorite]

psoriasis as consequence of aging???? fuck! are you sure?
posted by matteo at 4:10 AM on October 29, 2004

You lose your ability to go without sleep. You can't drink or take drugs as much as you used to. If you eat lots of crap, your body will feel bad and gain weight immediately. Minor injuries take longer to heal. Your muscles get stiffer. If you're a man, you have to wait longer after orgasm to have another go. Hair will start growing out of your ears.

Sounds horrible, right? Actually, there are a lot of compensating psychological things that happen. You stop being so self-conscious and taking things so seriously. You learn how to take better care of yourself, and discover that it's not that hard and it's very satisfying. You figure out what it is about your relationships that's important, and you start to focus on that more. You start concentrating on changing the world around you, where you can actually make a difference to people, rather than torturing yourself with big impossible ideals about changing politics and society.

I miss the feeling of physical indestructibility I had in my 20s. But overall, getting older isn't nearly as bad as it's made out to be. When I was younger, I was convinced that life was short and I had to be in a hurry to do things. Now, I'm starting to realize that life is actually very long, and that there are a billion little things that I can appreciate a lot more than the grandiose dreams I had before. It's not that hard to age without getting old, as long as you're not afraid of change.

On the other hand, it really pisses me off that I'm going to need reading glasses soon.
posted by fuzz at 4:15 AM on October 29, 2004

More general interest in rest but less ability to sleep well.

The cast-iron stomach begins to rust through.

The years of wearing headphones or going to concerts finally reward you with hearling loss.

Your hearing loss makes you impatient with people who don't speak loudly or clearly. You become your father: "Goddammit, speak up! Stop mumbling!"

Mr. Happy becomes inconsistently indifferent to bedroom sports.

Bedroom sports start happening with the same frequency as the Olympics. Drugs help, but sometimes all they do is put a permagrin on your penis rather than lust in your heart.

Fall down go boom more often.

Your tolerance for alcohol is higher but your hangovers last longer.

The stastics and picture on your driver's license now refer to somebody else. The birth date, however, remains steadfastly carved in stone.
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:17 AM on October 29, 2004

Statistics, of course.
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:18 AM on October 29, 2004

Your teeth shift position, allowing food to get stuck atop of some of your molars. Though suprising, it's a natural occurrance, and not a serious problem. The embarrassment you face in public, especially at semi-formal gatherings, prompts you to lie about watching your weight.
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:58 AM on October 29, 2004

So many "funny 'cos it's true" comments here. I can't really add to them, but fuzz and smart dalek - you guys are my soulmates now! (SD: The raspberry pips in my yoghurt are a continuing joy and dental work creation scheme, I find).
posted by dash_slot- at 5:17 AM on October 29, 2004

"How's it hangin'?" isn't funny anymore, for a whole variety of possible reasons.
posted by gimonca at 5:59 AM on October 29, 2004

your ear-hair and eyebrows grow longer.
posted by dabitch at 6:01 AM on October 29, 2004

The denomination of coins you'll stoop to pick up gets higher. I ignored a dime yesterday.

You keep surprising yourself at the advanced age of the women you find attractive. (Don't know what the dynamic is for the ladies.)

Many people find themselves becoming politically more conservative, although that hasn't been true for me.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:08 AM on October 29, 2004

Personally: a deeper sense of introspection, less and less tolerance for banal pop culture, appreciation of my real friendships, greater love for good food, way to much gray hair (everywhere).

The most notable thing is this weird condition of still feeling, in many ways, like I'm 16 - but with more wisdom. I'm sure everyone has this thought, but if I could time travel back to high school with my current brain, I'd kick ass big time.
posted by davebush at 6:11 AM on October 29, 2004

A friend of mine at work said "All my life I thought I was a republican, but as I get closer to retirement I realize I was a democrat all along."
posted by Eekacat at 6:33 AM on October 29, 2004

Financial security, wisdom, a stable work and family life.
posted by TedW at 6:37 AM on October 29, 2004

Your testicles begin dangling ever lower at the rate of about 1/2 inch per year. Soon mine'll be bouncing off my knees. You also have less patience with people's bullshit. Plus there's back pain and lots of it. Your teeth also start to go. And, as many have mentioned, your body just can't take the abuse it used to.

The upside is, people pay less attention to you, so your freer to act as cantankerous as you want, and you get to complain about how much better things were back in your day. Plus there's Matlock.
posted by jonmc at 7:10 AM on October 29, 2004

Let's see, I've got the ear hair, enormously bushy eyebrows, gray hair, loss of high-frequency hearing, forgetfullness, slow healing and the farsightedness to go along with my nearsightedness.

Plus that overwhelming feeling that my life is half over and I'm stuck in a career I hate and the time to make changes is fast coming to an end. On the other hand, I'm now "over qualified" for a large number of jobs, so I have that going for me.
posted by tommasz at 7:16 AM on October 29, 2004


whuzzat? Can you speak up, please? My ears are clogged with wax!

I find myself growing more and more patient... except when I'm engaged in fora on the internets.

This patience also takes the form of refusing to be hurried by work-related headless chickening, so it's possible that I'm simply becoming slow.
posted by mwhybark at 8:00 AM on October 29, 2004

You keep surprising yourself at the advanced age of the women you find attractive.

This one just hit me this year (I'm 26, so maybe it has more to do with the fact that I moved to New York, I don't know).
posted by 4easypayments at 8:09 AM on October 29, 2004

If you live in England then you can look forward to lots of beige and pastel coloured clothing and an interest in a flat cap. Having a dog is also useful as is sitting in a public house for approximately 10 hours a day nursing a single pint of Old Speckled Hen and lamenting your wasted youth spent on websites instead of experiencing the world face to face.

/crystal ball reading for myself come 40 years...
posted by longbaugh at 8:18 AM on October 29, 2004

I'm horrified to discover that I am becoming a lot less open-minded. Certain words-- creationism, NRA, gangsta,-- and my eyes glaze over, my mind springs shut, and I think "I don't want to listen to this crap anymore."

Along the same lines I am slowly coming to realize that I am becoming contemptious of under-30's and their culture. Around age 40 it was like a mask fell from my eyes and I began to see clearly how completely self-absorbed (most) 20-somethings are.

Oh yeah, and the arthritis. I use my hands a lot, typing, knitting, gardening, and the idea of them eventually turning into twisted claws with unusable thumbs as happened to my grandmother and now my mother is a nightmare.

And sadly, about 2 years ago I realized I was never going back to college.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:25 AM on October 29, 2004

I complained about the closure efficacy of a male plumbing valve and my internist snarked, "Well what do you expect - you're well over forty, get used to it." Little Doogie Howser bastard.
posted by cairnish at 8:54 AM on October 29, 2004

What everyone else said, especially tommasz's thing about the time to make big changes running out.
posted by amberglow at 9:03 AM on October 29, 2004

Apparently, one of your eyelids will become slightly more droopy than the other one.

In my experience, you will also become obssessed by the most mundane details (how bad the traffic was, what alternate routes you took, how the traffic report on the radio was unhelpful) to the exclusion of reasonable conversation.
posted by mookieproof at 9:54 AM on October 29, 2004

And I had the same experience as cairnish except it wasn't Doogie Howser saying it, instead it was Nancy Drew, Penis Doctor.

And I'm with SLoG about being more close-minded and horrified by it.
posted by TimeFactor at 10:22 AM on October 29, 2004

And I start all my sentences with "And", apparently.
posted by TimeFactor at 10:24 AM on October 29, 2004

I'd kill myself now, except that I've really been looking forward to the mentat eyebrows. I've got a half-dozen inch-long hairs that I'm cultivating for that wild-n-woolly look, and I'm practicing my mumbling random speech as I windowshop downtown. Hate to let all that work go to waste.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:25 AM on October 29, 2004

Yeah, those hoary old urological chestnuts, 'dribbling' and 'decreased force of stream'. Those suck. And there's a hair in my ear that tickles me and it's too far in for my nose hair clipper to get it out.


Still, the frontal lobes aren't completely myelinated until age 32-34. Before that, it's like running your brain CPU without the wisdom coprocessor - or at least the wisdom coprocessor is on a really slow bus and can't always get the I/O working in time to prevent dumb things.
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:41 AM on October 29, 2004

Can a woman just peek in here for a second and say she feels great affection for all you funny and honest old coots?

No? Why so cranky -- had to take an alternate route to work due to highway construction? I know, I know.
posted by melissa may at 10:44 AM on October 29, 2004

Earlier this year I was getting a haircut and the stylist used the clippers to get hair in my ear, which had never happened before, and I felt older. I'm finding it more and more difficult to read the type in the alternative newspapers. And I really knew I was getting older when I found myself attracted to the moms on TV shows instead of their daughters.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:54 AM on October 29, 2004

Response by poster: Still, the frontal lobes aren't completely myelinated until age 32-34.

I'm 33 you evil fuck! I'm beginning to think this is the question I shouldn't have asked. I'm already slipping in to some of the things on the list, though thank god my ringpiece is holding up. There was quite a funny piece in the Observer a couple of weeks ago where Richard Dreyfuss said he was flirting with a pretty young make-up artist as he always had and he suddently realised he was a dirty old man. Has that happened to anyone here? I have to admit that as someone who works o a university campus there are moments where I feel like that is certainly happening to me.
posted by biffa at 11:05 AM on October 29, 2004

Ah, you young whippersnappers! If I didn't know better, I'd think my wife put you all up to this, as today's my big five oh birthday.

One of the things my doc announced that I have to look forward to this year is a camera up my ass to take pictures of my innards. I've got a mind to turn it into a pay-per-view webcast and make a few bucks for the inconvenience.
posted by SteveInMaine at 11:32 AM on October 29, 2004

Forgetfullness. I am only 33 and it is already the bane of my existence. Sometimes I feel like I am 60.

It's to see that even though I am now double the age of those years, I still get a pimple at least twice a year, but they are not as big as those days.
posted by internal at 11:52 AM on October 29, 2004

Don't forget about your noses getting a bit puffier if you drink. Also, your earlobes will continue to get bigger.

I know this doesn't make sense in one way, but... I advocate men allowing themselves to go bald. However, I totally oppose allowing those eyebrows to form. They're creepy. Maybe I just like a "sleek" look. Hairy is scary.

Don't get me wrong here. I love my husband dearly. I love his round, balding head. I've grown used to the hair filling in his back. It wasn't there a few years ago. It wasn't this thick even last year. I also greatly appreciate the effort he puts into keeping his nose-, ear- and eyebrow hair nicely trimmed up.

From a woman's POV: Our breasts and butts start to sag. If we've had children then our bellies may be shot too. (Hello, my herd of stretch marks.) So, our curves change and get a bit softer. Hopefully, you find them pleasing and comfortable. Cause, honey, few of us can (re)achieve that bikini model physique (if we ever had it).

And yes, older men are becomming more and more attractive. While guys in their late teens and twenties are quite yummy to look at; they'd just be a toy to play with until we broke them. ;D
posted by onhazier at 12:18 PM on October 29, 2004

Oh, I forgot: you'll get a growing realization that popular culture is not for you anymore. For the most part you won't care, but still, it's a little weird.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:35 PM on October 29, 2004

short term whatchmacallit loss...
posted by y2karl at 1:15 PM on October 29, 2004

For me at 34 I notice I'm a lot more aggressive than I used to be. I think it's a combination of no longer being a pencilneck, more hormones, and fatherhood. I'm not enjoying it, it's made me do some potentially stupid things in the last couple of years. (On the other hand, who knew I could be so intimidating?)

On the upside, I find I care less and and less about what other people think, which is quite liberating. I still have self-doubt, but it's about more fundamental things than whether to wear a particular shirt or not. No longer feeling upset about whether I enjoy the respect of people I don't care for anyway is fantastic.

My digestion is no longer thoroughly reliable. I wake up in the night for no reason. I cannot sleep in any more. I worry about suspicious bumps, lumps and moles.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:18 PM on October 29, 2004

(and also, one day you realise you know your triglyceride levels).
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:19 PM on October 29, 2004

Can a woman just peek in here for a second and say she feels great affection for all you funny and honest old coots?

*bangs walker on floor, pops dentures out in approval

I left out the unexpected bouts of crippling back pain, my bad, yo.
posted by mwhybark at 3:16 PM on October 29, 2004

Forgetfullness. I am only 33 and it is already the bane of my existence.

It's very depressing to watch a movie you've seen before and be surprised by the plot twists. Or to have forgotten your next-to-last phone number even though it was only four years ago. Or to not be able to remember where you parked your car, even though you were there when you parked it. Or to get into an argument over a fact you remember perfectly clearly and to turn out to be wrong. That's probably the most devastating thing that's happened to me.

Joints that make sounds when you walk are no fun either.
posted by kindall at 4:29 PM on October 29, 2004

joe, one of these years you'll get aggressive, suddenly realize it could have been deadly to you, and decide to mellow out.

I'm 37 (?) and a few years back I was one for slamming on the brakes when some fucktard was tailgating me. One rear-ender later, with the bastard escaping, I realized that perhaps this wasn't the best way of dealing with the problem. Now I repress the urge to kill, and merely pull over...
posted by five fresh fish at 2:35 PM on October 30, 2004

a few years back I was one for slamming on the brakes when some fucktard was tailgating me

No, no, the correct technique is to goose the gas and tap the brakes at the same time, so you don't actually slow down, your brake lights just come on.

Did this to one particularly bad tailgater, watched the nose of her car dip savagely as she slammed on her own brakes, and she gave me a wide berth thereafter.
posted by kindall at 2:53 PM on October 30, 2004

I usually just tap the emergency flashers. Something about having the back end of the car light up seems to freak tailgaters out and they drop off about 95% of the time. Some day I may install a strobe to clue in the remaining 5%. :-)
posted by five fresh fish at 6:00 PM on October 30, 2004

Potato can be used as a verb, meaning "to become potatolike." I've been steadily potatoeing since 30. Those who don't potato may apple or pear.
posted by squirrel at 8:41 PM on October 31, 2004

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