Please Stop Telling 30-Somethings What To Do (An Open Letter to Kallie Provencher at RantChic)

Today I read an article posted by a friend on Facebook. The article (and I use the term loosely, it was really more of a slideshow with a couple of fragmented mandates beneath each photo) was actually from late last year. I knew I had seen it before.

It was titled 24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30. It reminded me of another article I had seen posted on Facebook recently: 10 TV Shows Women Over 30 Need To Stop Watching.

Both made me equally nauseated, only worsened when I started looking into these  glad-handed slide shows to see they were both thrown together by the same person.

Kallie Provencher at RantChic.

24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30 was the one that really got to me. In it, she says we should all stop wearing graphic t-shirts, and trade old sneakers for upscale tennis clogs. In fact, she even goes on to say that if we can’t afford nicer things, we should all be evaluating our lives as 30 year olds.

Tell us more about this magical world where money grows on trees and everyone stops having a personality of their own, Kallie.

It doesn’t stop there. This leading authority on what women over 30 should be doing and, in most cases, not doing, has also recently written:

20 Pictures Women Over 30 Need To Stop Posting

15 Status Updates Women Over 30 Need To Stop Posting On Social Media

10 Games Women Over 30 Need To Stop Playing

There may be more, but I couldn’t stand to go past there.

Because I decided to write her a letter.

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Dear Kallie Provencher at RantChic,

You’ve garnered quite a bit of viral-ability lately. In recent months, perhaps because my peers and I are for the most part in our 30s, I’ve seen your posts on RantChic shared again and again. And again. Except when it’s shared, it’s typically with a comment like “this article makes me so mad!”

It’s a shame that your popularity is growing because people despise what you say so much.

I’m writing today to open a dialogue with you. That dialogue is about how you seem to think you are the authority on how people over 30 should behave.

I don’t know much about you. I don’t even know if you’re over 30 (wouldn’t that be ironic). And while I could make several assumptions based on the articles you’ve written, I’ll stick to just one: you seem to hate women in their 30s.

Let me see if I can break down that assumption for you vis-à-vis the Kallie Provencher School of Blog Writing…

3 Signs That Kallie Provencher At RantChic Hates Women In Their 30s

Living life to its fullest, relishing in the things you enjoy, and sharing with those you love are things Kallie Provencher at RantChic hates. Therefore, women in their 30s should stop doing all of that and just die already.

#3 Kallie Provencher Wants You To Be More Mature

So much so that every article Kallie writes about things women in their 30s should stop doing already start with a few sentences about maturity. Bask in her sage wisdom. Women should be eating at more mature places, shopping at more mature stores, and acting more mature in their relationships.

Move over Forever 21, graphic t-shirts, and old tennis shoes, Kallie Provencher insists we all shop at Dress Barn and Lane Bryant, and wear nothing but nice, floral, below-the-knee pinafores until the day we die.

#2 Kallie Provencher Wants You To Stop Enjoying Life

Stop watching television shows you enjoy, like Dancing With the Stars and Days Of Our Lives. Days Of Our Lives may be a soap opera, and soap operas are usually reserved for older women; but it’s immature to take pleasure in gossipy kind of stuff like that.

And we all know how Kallie Provencher feels about immaturity.

If you must go on living after you turn 30, for the love of God – don’t enjoy it and share it with others. DO NOT share vacation photos, and NEVER talk about how proud you are of your clean house or your pregnant belly.

Kallie Provencher doesn’t care. About any of it.

#1 Kallie Provencher Wants You To Come To Terms With The Fact That 30 Is The End

A lot of people have a more positive outlook on life. Like people that enjoy their lives well into their 80s and 90s; people that hold onto their youth as long as possible; and pretty much the general population regardless of their age or gender.

Except, of course, for Kallie Provencher.

Kallie understands that you used to play games, but you’d better cut that shit out now. You’re getting older. Holding out for the right man, or setting your standards high and playing a little hard to get is something 20 year olds do. Better to settle and start being easy in hopes it will land you a man before you become a crazy cat lady. It’s time to act desperate here, ladies.

At this stage in the game, Kallie doesn’t want to hear about your new milestones. She doesn’t want to see photographs of your new tattoos. She has no interest in your glitter make up tutorials. She does not want to know the size of your unborn fetus. And the only vacation she actually wants to hear about is your final one, to the funeral home. Which will surely be soon, because life is over. You’re 30 now.

If you’ve done any of this stuff – shared a photo of a delicious meal you are proud to have made, talked about heading out for a much-needed pedicure, or God-forbid, have worn overalls, it’s time to reevaluate your entire life. The only thing you should be focusing on is doing nothing, sharing nothing, and destroying all evidence of your existence prior to this point.

Especially those comfy pajamas you bought at the Victoria’s Secret Pink store on your 29th birthday.

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Sounds terrible when you throw all of it into one place like that, doesn’t it?

I suppose we all shouldn’t be too surprised by the content of your articles and slideshows. Each one is titled negatively. What women in their 30s should stop doing, stop wearing, stop posting. Stop, stop, stop. That seems to be all you want to do, Kallie Provencher: to tell people to stop living.

Well I have a request of something I would like you to stop doing. If you are in your 30s, it’ll fit well – since you seem to believe that at 30 life ceases and some un-effusive robot with no personality or joy for anything takes your place.

Please stop telling 30-somethings what to do. Please stop judging 30-somethings for the way they are.

That’s what kids do.

Your ageist judgments, and grandiose assumptions of what life is supposed to be like as you grow older mean absolutely nothing to anyone but you. If you don’t want to wear glitter make up, short skirts, or old Converse; and you have no interest in catching The Bachelor every night it’s on – then don’t. That’s your choice, just as it’s your choice to post on your social media anything you’d like to post, or to (in your case) not post.

But telling others what to do, and suggesting they are making poor value judgments because they chose to live a certain way at a particular age doesn’t do anything but make you an asshole. In fact, since I’ve turned 30, that’s the most important thing I’ve learned.

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Just When I Thought My 30s Could Not Get Any More Annoying, New Years Eve 2013 Rolled On In

1098401_184942645012006_2101961229_nHappy fucking New Years. Seriously. I hope you have a really nice fucking 2014. Eat a dick.

That was directed at my 30-something friends, 30-something bloggy people, and 30-something colleagues in this illustrious career of a pajama jeans-wearing, ass-wiping Stay At Home Mom. The rest of you can skip the dick eating. Unless of course that’s your thing (GROSS).

It was only recently that I became physically able to say that I am 31. I mean like a couple of weeks ago, and even then it was ugly because I couldn’t remember if I was 31 or 32. Pretty fucking hideous state of affairs, huh?

I’m already back to saying I’m 28.

As I see it, I’m a fucking war hero. I survived that phase when everyone was getting engaged and/or married. I mean every damn weekend someone was posting photos on Facebook of their engagement rings (ain’t nobody doin’ that no more). Engagement pics were up next, and then of course the wedding planning status updates and social media meltdowns leading up to the big event.

I didn’t get invited to many of the weddings, though to be fair I didn’t invite many to mine. The ones I did – where I actually attended – were equal parts intolerable and lessons in banality.

And the drum of growing up marched on with its beat. I held my head high as my husband and I have slowly, but surely, become two of the few people we know that does not own their own home. I smiled as suddenly everyone was becoming those people that go on cruises for every, single, fucking vacation they take.

Currently, I am navigating my way carefully through the early divorces, and the baby-belly pics. I’ve learned to “hide all” from friends that share their nude popped-belly-button photos. I’ve managed to avoid conversations about breastfeeding while out for dinner and drinks. Everyone does it, why the shit do we have to talk about it? That’s what Le Leche support groups are for, not fucking girl’s night at the local Applebees.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m definitely excited for all of the people I know that are going through these awesome stages of life. And for the parts that I am partaking, I am happy for myself too. This is what it means to be in our 30s – all these great things (new jobs, new lives, new families, new experiences) and more.

But do we have to fucking remind ourselves of this every step of the way? That we have moved on beyond those treasured years of our 20s, when we didn’t always need caffeine to get going in the morning? When we could go out and have a few drinks and dance without having to call the goddamned babysitter to see if anyone puked? Can’t we just allow ourselves to stay nestled in the security of feeling like we will be young forever, rather than reminding ourselves constantly that time has not paused, and will not ever stand still?

I hope you all can sense at this point that my 30s felt up until this point that they could not get any more annoying. I truly thought they wouldn’t. Then New Years Eve 2013 rolled on in and it got even fucking worse.

1501770_10151848041001395_1761194694_nI logged onto Facebook at some point today and what did my newsfeed unveil to me but post after MOTHERBITCHING POST about staying at home in pajamas. “I wonder if I’ll be able to stay awake to midnight!” was perhaps the most commonly said phrase by people I know in their 30s. Suddenly people that were posting shit-faced photographs of themselves in the bathtub on New Years Eve just a couple of years ago are wearing their goddamned matching flannel pajama sets and playing Scrabble in bed. SCRABBLE IN BED.

Now sure, I stayed home this year too. Quite frankly, it’s the best thing to do on the most dangerous night of the year. Also, I’m tired and fucking lazy, and while we did have plans to go to a family party we ended up staying home instead and just hanging out. Truth be told, I cleaned until about 45 minutes ago. But was I yucking it up left and right about how old I’ve become? “OMG we have become soooooo old we will have to sleep a week to make up for staying up past midnight!!!” How I have passed on through this right of passage that apparently says that to prove you’ve become some old piece of shit you have to suddenly tuck yourself in before 6 pm on a night you used to let last until 6 the following morning?

Ugh. Seriously. Eat a dick people.

I get it. We’re all getting older. We’re getting more tired. We have more responsibilities, like kids and shit. We are done with the nonsense and the games, and drinking and partying all night just isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. We’ve been around the block a couple of times.

But looming over all of this is an image of my future: a future New Years Eve that all this pajama-comfy-night-wonder-if-I’ll-make-it-to-midnight-Facebook-bullshit says is speeding towards me at an unprecedented rate. That image is of me as an old woman. An old woman sitting in my easy chair, hair in curlers. My New Years Eve will be spent not partying but watching the Perry Mason NYE marathon. I’ll sit there while my dog licks toe jam off my feet, eating frosting directly out of the can until I fall asleep around 9:45 only to drool all over myself until one of my seventeen cats wakes me up to go to bed. I get that this is what’s probably next. Who knows when it will strike, but if only my 30s could just slow the fuck down with all this getting-old bullshit and let me just enjoy my warm, naive ignorance for a little while longer.

Happy New Years. May 2014 be as full of denial as I clearly hope it will be.

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