Jonathan Goldstein on why turning 40 sucks

Turning 40 totally sucks, guys (photo courtesy Jonathan Goldstein)
Jonathan Goldstein turned 40 three years ago, and it was so traumatizing, he’s still talking about it. I’ll Seize the Day Tomorrow, his brand-new, week-by-week literary account of turning the big 4-0, is being launched next week (come back and see us for Cult MTL’s review!). But, in the meantime, the local author and host of CBC Radio One’s WireTap let us know the top five reasons why getting old is one serious fucking buzzkill.

—Tracey Lindeman


1. Having to get acquainted with a whole new slew of pharmaceuticals
Like Preparation H, for instance. Makes you wonder what went wrong with preparations A through G. And the packaging looks like something that fell off a charlatan’s wagon in a Mark Twain novel. The design hasn’t changed since the stuff was used to cauterize bayonet wounds during the battle of Chickamauga. And then you have to ask yourself: If I decide not to recycle the boxes so my neighbours don’t find out my business, does that make me a bad man?

2. Skinny jeans make you look fat
You just can’t get pants that fit normally anymore. Skinny jeans feel like skin-tight spandex. I guess I could try a mid-career game changer. Start calling myself and the Wiretap team “Captain CBC and the Radio Production Spiders from Canada.” Show up to speaking events wearing platform boots and the skinniest of skinny jeans. I’ll combine the carpet-scented, chamomile-tepid drollery of CBC hosthood with the excesses of glam rock!

3. Always feeling cold
As I’ve gotten older, long johns have become more and more important to me. You can’t help getting old, but you can help having cold legs. As a child, my father warned me against them.

“You get used to wearing long underwear,” he said, “and then you can’t take them off. July comes around and you’ve still got them on under a pair of jean shorts. And then, by the time winter rolls around, you need to wear two pairs — and the next winter, three!”

For my father, long johns are much the same as heroin.

4. Losing your hair
If you go to a Caribbean resort and you’re bald, when they come around to bead your hair on the beach, you feel like you aren’t getting your vacation dollar’s worth. They might offer to hot glue beads onto your skull, but it wouldn’t be the same. You’d return home with your head looking like an old lady’s change purse.

5. No longer having your finger on the pulse of pop culture
You used to just get it. You were on the inside. You thought that wherever you were was where “it was at.” At 40, you come to see that where you are is where it is not, will never be, and perhaps never even really was. For all of this, there is at least the comfort of booze. 

Jonathan Goldstein launches his new book Tuesday, Oct. 9 at Sala Rossa, 7 p.m.

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