On the very day last week that I was having a full blown shallow-breath panic attack about the economy (yet another magazine that was supposedly doing just dandy bit the big one) my friend from college, Rachel, happened to send me an email. It said that she overheard two teenage girls talking the other day.
“One told the other, ‘My mom said that the best terrorist would be a woman over 40 because no one pays attention to a woman over 40.’ Then they laughed,” Rachel wrote. “I didn’t so much. Well, at least if the economy continues like this, I know I have career options.”
I thought she made an excellent point. That’s just the kind of plucky attitude of optimism and good ol’ American bootstrap up-pulling that I think we could all learn from in these challenging times. When life gives lemons (all together now…) make lemonade! When life gives you invisibility, strap an explosive device to your chest and…!
Wait a minute…she may have been joking. Still, I decided it couldn’t hurt to think about how my skills might be applied to some other line of work, lest people stop reading altogether or for whatever reason I need to make some extra green fast. Here are some jobs Formerlies are uniquely qualified for, and ones (for the record, unlike terrorist) that I’d be willing to give a try.
1. A “before” model. They will always need “before” models for those plastic surgery ads, or how else would they sell plastic surgery, right? I hereby volunteer my slightly pleated, often puffy and somewhat jowly face to be on the “before” side of the picture, to show what a tired, sun-damaged no-longer-young person looks like without makeup. Soon so many people will be having cosmetic surgery that no one will know what’s normal, so I will be able to charge exorbitant rates for my exotic (translation: formerly normal) aging visage. I am even willing to forgo sleep and eat a lot of MSG the night before the shoot so I look especially shitty.
2. Lowest Common Denominator. Granted, I’ve been terrible at all things tech since I got my first bright yellow Toot-a-Loop radio in 1974 and couldn’t figure out how to make it twirl on my arm like a bracelet like they did in the commercials, so this is not only about being a Formerly. But as has been said a quadrillion times, those of us who are over 35 are on the whole less comfortable with the world of technology. I don’t see why people shouldn’t give us money for that! I will be in any focus group any social networking site (note to Facebook–stop fu&*^&*ng with us!!), any gizmo manufacturer, any software maker wants to sell to my demographic, and I will vouch for whether the LCD will get I and/or want to buy it. Because I am the LCD.
3. I can’t think of one more. Mattress tester? Yes, that’s it, but for sleep only (totally different kind of mattress tester than that other kind.) Maybe tomorrow. But in the meantime, if you do, please let me know.