If you thought the mom jeans skit on Saturday Night Live was funny, you’ll love the new book How Not to Act Old by Pamela Redmond Satran. After you finish cringing slash laughing at these nine pieces of advice, e-mail the link to your mom. Trust us, she’ll thank you. And more importantly, she’ll stop saying, “Let’s hook up later!”
Mom Tip #1
Beware the Accidental “Hookup”
Is it meeting for coffee? Kissing? Having sex? Watching television together? Getting engaged? The point is that you should avoid using the term if you’re not certain of its implications. As cool and casual as it may make you feel, it’s probably best not to suggest to your boss that you hook up later on this evening. Maybe not smart to ask someone whether he hooked up with any of his old friends last night. Might not be wise to say wistfully to your neighbor that you wish you could hook up more often.
Mom Tip #2
Don’t Have Black Friends, Gay Friends, Guy Friends, Jewish Friends, or Young Friends
Or white friends, straight friends, girl friends, Baptist friends, or old friends. No, you shouldn’t turn into a racist, homophobic, sexist, anti-Semitic, ageist freak. But calling your friends “my black friends” or “my gay friends” is evidence that you’re conscious of your friends as belonging to some special group, which is an outmoded way of looking at things. Friends are friends, and the modern way is to accept people as individuals and not identify them as anything other than “my friends.”
Mom Tip #3
Learn to Type with Your Thumbs
Classic old-people behavior: dialing and typing on a phone with your index finger. No, no, no. You’ve got to pretend that your index finger doesn’t even exist. Forget the middle, ring, and pinky fingers, too. The young way to dial your phone or to text or type on your BlackBerry or iPhone is with your thumbs. Yes, exclusively with your thumbs.
Mom Tip #4
No Bras the Size of Wyoming
Let’s just quickly run over the elements your bra cannot have: no elastic thick and strong enough to support a bungee jumper; no more than two — or, in extreme cases, three — hooks in back; no cups so capacious they totally rule out the possibility of cleavage; no quadriboob; no back fat.
Mom Tip #5
Don’t Facebook Old
Okay, so maybe you think you’re oh-so-cool because you’re on Facebook. But beware of this common mistake: formal portraits. Is your official Facebook picture the one your company’s HR department keeps on file? Is it the headshot from your book jacket, or maybe your official wedding picture? Using any kind of posed, professional picture as your main Facebook photo is old. Your Facebook picture should be slightly tilted, somewhat blurry, and should feature you smiling but not that you think anyone’s watching, designed to make the rest of the world envious of how totally awesome life can be, but only for you.
Mom Tip #6
Don’t Yell into Your Cell Phone
Old people talk into their cell phones as if the phone was a tin can attached to a string, and the string was so long that the person with his ear pressed to the other tin was in China. Although cell phones are extremely tiny and not connected to any wires, they’re really more efficient than that. You can speak in a normal voice — no, in a softer than normal voice — and the other person will hear you. We promise. Ssssh. That’s better.
Mom Tip #7
Don’t Fear the Thong
All right, you know you’re not supposed to wear granny panties. But bikinis won’t cut it either. Opt for the thong. Yeah, they make you feel completely exposed — like your hardly wearing any underwear at all. But listen, that’s the next step: going commando, a la Britney. So think of thong-wearing as a compromise in sexiness.
Mom Tip #8
Don’t Be Shocked by a Touch of Girl-On-Girl
Hold onto your knickers, Grandma: lots of girls kiss other girls these days, and I’m not talking air kisses. And I mean straight girls. I mean very straight girls, such as pledged virgins who are looking to explore boundaries of their sexuality without crossing over that thin pink line.
Mom Tip #9
When old people want to go on vacation to, say, Italy next summer, what do they do? They buy tickets. Book a hotel. Research restaurants and make reservations. If you want not to act old, you’ve got to be a little looser than that — nay, a lot looser. Decide what you’re going to do on the spur of the moment, depending on how you feel. Make travel arrangements on the fly. Throw out your calendars and datebooks. Be here now.
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA