Why 40 doesn’t suck (if you’re a man)

A friend sped me to a post called “40 reasons 40 doesn’t suck“, ostensibly written by a professional writer/journalist. I say “ostensibly”, because I cannot remember the last time I saw such a load of tosh trying to pass itself off as serious journalism. Her “40 reasons” included such pabulum as knee socks, cussing, crying, complaining about the cold, and calling husband “perverted” for daring to want what he wants. And to top it all off, her list of “40” things ends with #32, and she somehow manages to pass this innumeracy off as a good thing.

I have no personal axe to grind here — she’s written some good stuff – but this particular one looks like it was written to a headline and a deadline and it came across as the ramblings of a crotchety old man. Still, her blog, her rules… which is probably why her post did not invite commentary. Strange, that.

But it got me to thinking… does 40 really suck? I have to say “no”. Partly because I was a late developer, but mostly because I am a man.

By and large, women bloom early and fade early; Mother Nature blesses them with the gift of attraction (aka Fertility) at about the age of sixteen, but Father Time takes it away again about twelve years later, which explains the crowd of late-twenties-early-thirties women who are surprised that Mister Exciting is no longer returning their texts. So for a woman, 40 is the death knell of physical attraction that stops men in their tracks and makes them cross the room to introduce themselves, to the annoyance if many harpies-in-training. And if you are offended by this, don’t worry dear, you’re one of the rare exceptions. Honest.

Men, on the other hand, tend to bloom later. The jocks bloom in their twenties, and the geeks – like yours truly – bloom in their thirties. So for them, 40 is the sweet spot in the middle of “The Zone” (for women, this occurs at about age 22-24). You can argue about this if you want, but this is not the place for it – I have blogged about it before.

So here are my reasons that 40 doesn’t suck… if you’re a man.

  1. You finally get some dress sense. When you’re a kid, you can wear any old rubbish and get away with it. As you get older, you realize that style is timeless. Unlike the ladies, you can make do with a handful of outfits and don’t need enough accessories to fill a small warehouse.
  2. You stop caring what others think. You have grown out of needing approval, and doing what you want. Congratulations on finally becoming a grown-up. For some reason, women find this somewhat winsome.
  3. You know who you are: By 40, you should know what you want to do with your life, and you don’t need anyone else to give you direction, validation or encouragement.
  4. You’ve got money. One would hope that by the age of 40 you have a little money put by for your old age. For some reason, women find this exceedingly attractive.
  5. You begin to understand masculinity and the laws of attraction. You begin to realize why you fared so badly with the fairer sex in your younger years; some of your behavior was cringe-worthy.
  6. You realize that time is on your side. A single man at 40 who is in good shape can easily date a girl in her twenties. A single woman at 40 has far fewer options and will find it difficult to catch the eye of any men under 50. I have seen this happen several times.
  7. You have all the power. As you mature, you get wisdom, which allows you to separate the wheat from the chaff more easily – and there is a *lot* of chaff out there. Twelve years of incredible power over men can go to a woman’s head – and often does.
  8. You don’t need 40 reasons for anything. You only need one. Because you want to.

Full disclosure: 40 is a vanishingly small smudge in my rear-view mirror. And I’ve still got my foot to the floor.

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