Survey Says: 40 Signs You’re Middle-Aged

It’s a question all of us who don’t DIY (that’s “die in youth,” not “do-it-yourself”) wind up asking at some point: Am I middle-aged yet? I mean, I know I’m not young—I just got my first pair of bifocals. (My God, they make reading so much easier.) But what’s the tipping point? Forty-five? Nah, that’s spring chicken. Fifty? Hmm … getting closer. Great Britain’s Beneden Health conducted a survey of 2,000 Brits and asked them: When are you middle-aged, and how do you know?

Some of the resultant “Top 40 Signs of Middle Age” are perplexingly Brit-centric: Taking a flask of tea on a day out? Listening to the Archers? But alas, all too many are universal. According to our overseas friends, the official onset of middle age is 53. And among the top 40 ways you’ll know it’s hit you? When …

You find you have no idea what young people are talking about.

You find you hate noisy pubs.

You obsessively garden or bird-feed. (Guilty of both!)

You take a keen interest in Antiques Roadshow.

You know the recycling collection dates.

You choose clothes and shoes for comfort rather than style.

You groan when you bend down.

You always carry a handy pack of tissues.

And my personal fave:

You know your alcohol limit.

True dat. The Washington Post, in a report on the study, notes that we Americans are a tad more youth-obsessed than the British Empire; a 2011 study showed we peg middle age as beginning at 44 and ending at 60. Which means that I, having just celebrated my 57th birthday, am …

Oh hell. Damn near old.