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Signs you're getting older

You know you’re getting old when your phone doesn’t recognize your facial ID log-in.


The other night I put on a headband, scrubbed my face and slathered on Retin-A. Moments later, I picked up my phone and held it up to my face to log on. I swear it actually flinched in my hand. If phones could gasp, this one had the vapors.

I waved it around my face again. Still nothing. Furious, I zoomed in so close Siri could see my nose hairs. Nada. Deeply offended, I jabbed in my keypad ID.

When I set up the facial ID feature, I had my hair in a ponytail and wore blush and pink lipstick. Apparently, this phone doesn’t want to know me without makeup.

Now, I’ll start an Apple chat over the smallest thing: “Hello, Genius bar? Siri was a bit snippy with me this morning. Could you speak with her about that?” But not this time. “Hello, young whippersnapper. I’m so old my phone doesn’t recognize me anymore. Can you help?”

There are other signs of growing older, of course. And let me just say right now that I’m grateful for every year, because some people are unfortunate enough to die young. My goal is to live so long that when I die people will say, “Wait — she was still alive?”

It’s funny… once you hit 60, some — not all — younger folks assume you watch Lawrence Welk re-runs and eat dinner at four o’clock. And who can blame them when we use words like “folks”?

Other signs we’re growing older:

  • You think a graphic novel is something written by Jaqueline Susann.
  • Herbal tea replaces hot coffee because if you even glance at a can of Folger's, you're up 'til 2 a.m.
  • Happiness is a nap after breakfast. Bliss is a nice long walk after the nap.
  • You are very, very grateful for your real teeth.
  • The difference between manga and anime isn’t on your radar.
  • You become livid when they change the layout of your favorite grocery store. Speaking of which, you will drive by two other grocery stores to get to your favorite. We are the last generation to do that, I predict. The young’uns are all about Instacart.
  • The hair on your head is getting thinner, but those long chin hairs just don't give up, do they?
  • You join a book club, and wonder why you didn't do it 20 years ago. (Because you were working, raising kids and racing up and down the road every day, that's why.)
  • Ath-leisure wear is your jam — in yoga pants and a track jacket, you can go anywhere.
  • You buy a bird feeder. Pretty soon, you and your spouse have named your feathered friends and created a backstory for each one.
  • You accept the fact that heartburn is real and you cannot eat pizza after 8 p.m.
  • Family holidays are always at your house now, and you love it.
  • You leave the house without lipstick, and realize you don't care.
  • You own 1,276 pairs of reading glasses.
  • After years of wishing and dreaming, you stop wishing and dreaming and get on a plane to Europe.
  • A great Saturday night means getting home by 9 p.m., jumping into jammies and watching the "NCIS" episode you recorded last week.
  • You're too tired to house-break a puppy, so you adopt a grown dog.
  • Dinner is whatever the heck you want it to be: Cereal? Wine and pork skins? Go for it. Also....
  • If you want to eat dinner at 11 p.m., it's nobody's business.

Julie R. Smith, who now gets heartburn from water, can be reached at