5 Things You Should Never Say to a Woman Over 40

Written by a woman over 40 who knows…..

  1. When meeting her and her sister for the first time, do not ask:  “So, who is the oldest?”  While my sister would likely disagree with me, as she IS the older sister, and thus, this is a huge compliment for her, I must insist, this is definitely, a no-no.  As the younger sister, who used to actually look like the younger sister, but alas, not so much anymore, I can attest that this question sends the woman into a downhill spiral that takes at least 3 glasses of wine to get over.  It also sends her running to her bathroom mirror pulling up her cheeks and forehead, contemplating an emergency phone call to the nearest plastic surgeon.  Or a little less drastic and painful procedure like being stuck with tiny needles in her forehead.  Anything to help reduce those lines that scream “Yes, I was born before Apollo 11 made its historic landing”.  Even though, truth be told, she thought only insecure, vain women went to such lengths to sustain their youth, and swore to herself she would NEVER do that.  Yes, she WOULD do that she now realizes.  So trust me.  Avoid this question at all costs.
  2. “You look good for your age”.  While this statement may, on its surface, appear as an innocent remark and even a compliment, this is definitely not a compliment.  If the woman were 90, she might take it as a compliment, but in her 40’s such a remark will surely deflate her.  For although the woman doesn’t mind getting older, she doesn’t want to look old.  To say “You look good for your age” is like saying “You’re smarter than you look” which begs the question:  Do I look stupid?”   So, remember, just keep it simple and say “You look good” or “You look great”, but skip the whole “For your age” part.  She’ll feel great, and you’ll have a new BFF.
  3. “Have you lost weight?”  Like number 2 above, this one appears to be a compliment.  “How can this be harmful”, you ask?  Let me explain.  When the woman says, no, she has not lost weight and the inquisitive person follows up with, “Are you sure?  You’re much thinner than you were in that picture I saw of you posted on Facebook last week.”  What is effectively being said is “Wow, you looked really fat in that picture on Facebook, but, gosh, you’re not such a whale after all”.  Now, I realize the latter wasn’t actually said, but nonetheless, the woman will wonder if having her jaw wired shut for a couple of months could be that bad.  And she will likely respond, “I have a fat face”, or “I’m not very photogenic”.  Well, maybe she’ll respond that way, I don’t really know for sure, but that’s just a guess.  I think you can now agree with me, that this question should also be avoided.
  4. “Have you always had that/those __________________?”  You fill in the blank:  bump on your nose, lines in your forehead, extra skin around your eyes, third chin.  While I could write a paragraph on the drawbacks of each one of these questions, I am just going to ask you to trust me here – they are all equally harmful.  The woman realizes that her body is changing, her skin is drier and looser; gravity has taken its toll, and things are not in the same place that they used to be.  However, unless she succumbs to the knife (and risks morphing into something only an alien could love) she is going to have to learn to love her older, softer, saggier self.  (Side note:  when searching for saggier in Websters online dictionary, I could find no such word.  Soggier, baggier, and shaggier are all listed; saggier is not.  Why I find this particularly interesting, I do not know.  I think it is further proof that the dictionary was written by a man.  Just thought you might want to know that.  I’m full of useless information sometimes.  Okay, back to the list.)  So, questions that scream “Your younger, youthful, perkier self has left the building”, don’t help the woman.  They do help the vintners.  Look it up.
  5. And the last thing you should never say to a woman in her 40’s is “So, what did you like better, your 40’s or your 50’s?”  I think this one is obvious.

Happy Thanksgiving…..and yes, except for number 5, I’ve heard them all.

Me and my sister (she's on the left)

Me and my sister (she’s on the left)