Hello! Welcome to middle age. You’re going to love it! Heh, heh. A little orientation humor there. No, the truth is that much of it is going to be uncomfortable and—well, there’s no point in soft-pedaling it—you’re going to be miserable. I’m here to give you a heads-up about some of the things you may expect in the next few years, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the last few minutes of self-delusion and naivety you have before you’re hit with the following inescapable and painful truths about aging. Any day now, you can expect:

1. All your references, expressions, and colloquialisms are going to become hopelessly archaic. Are they really? You’re dern tootin’ they are! You’re going to watch helplessly as everything you say becomes unintelligible to younger people. Words that were stylish back in your youth such as “far out,” “groovy,” or “watzup!” are now, at best, not going to be recognized or, at worst, going to cause you to be the object of scorn and ridicule, usually at the hands of your own kids while you stand there with a blank stare on your face, not knowing the social faux pas you just committed.

2. One day soon you will wake up and not understand how to operate any new-fangled electronic gadget. Remember when you snickered while your grandparents struggled to record a message on their answering machine? And then you finally broke down and had mercy on them, recording their out-going message for them while they looked on, smiling and marveling at your genius?

Well, that whole scene is about to be repeated in your life except this time, now you’re the old goober that doesn’t know how to find something on your cell phone. You’ll be forced to beg for help from someone whose diapers you used to change. They will take the gadget from your hands, poke around on it for about 10 seconds, and then hand it back to you with an annoying know-it-all smile on their face while they explain the outlandishly simple thing they did with one hand while they carried on a text conversation on their own phone with their other hand. If you’re really lucky, you will get the added bonus of them explaining exactly what they did to your phone in some incomprehensible techno gibberish that anyone 20 years younger than you knows how to speak. It will be your job during this explanation to smile back at them, pretending you know what the heck they’re talking about, while both of you are aware that you haven’t a clue.

Humiliating? Sure. Frustrating? Absolutely. The end of your middle-age misery? Not by a long shot.

3. The next thing that will happen is your body is going to get tired of showing up for duty. Some days, for no reason at all, you’ll have one of your knees decide not to work that day. It will likely throw some pain into the mix as well, for good measure.

The following day you’ll visit your optometrist and he will say scary words like reading glasses. But, you protest, I already wear contacts. You silly, silly person. You’re forgetting that the normal laws of the universe no longer apply to you. No, you will have to wear contacts AND drug store reading glasses. Don’t like that option? How about we slap some tri-focal glasses on you so that you can have fun navigating your way down the stairs at home with that trick knee of yours?

4. Any day now, you’ll find that you no longer have full use of… Oh, shoot. What’s that word? You know. When you’re talking? Dang! You know. It’s so easy. Um, it’s when you’re using words… Does anybody know what I mean? Vocabulary! That’s it! You’re going lose the use of your vocabulary.

Anything else? You bet! But I don’t want to overload you on your first day of getting old, so that’s enough for today. The organization would once again like to welcome you to our ranks. If you have any additional questions, just hand your phone to a teenager and have them text us.