Girls Write Out
Thursday, August 10, 2006

The four of us have had our first fight. Okay maybe not the first but this one threatens to tear us apart from the inside. The girls have the audacity to tell me that they considered middle-age to be 40-50. Now I ask you, do I look middle aged? Of course not! Though I will concede I finally hit middle age at 50.

I looked it up and most people consider middle aged to be 40-60. Even when I was in my twenties, I never thought of 40 as middle aged. It was when someone was in their fifties, at least AFTER they hit 55 when they qualified for AARP.

So I ask you. What do YOU think of as middle aged?
Colleen, still young and hanging in there.
Colleen Coble  
posted at 7:49 AM  
  Comments (46)
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At 8:22 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

I turned 51 last week (please don't send black balloons). It's time to face, cold, hard facts. I'm caught in that limbo state, somewhere between middle-age and, gulp, senior citizens. Middle age to me is, well, middle age. If I live to be 102, I am now at middle age. To be honest, 102 isn't looking all that good. Picture eyelids hanging down to my knees.

Still, if you label me middle age, I'm okay with that. Call me a senior citizen and I might have to hurt you. ;-)

At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Robin said...

We qualify for AARP at 50. (Retired Persons at 50? How many of those do you know?) We qualify for some senior discounts on food at 55. (IHOPS anyone?) Seems society has us skip middle age and go directly to old codgers. {{grin}}

I guess I accepted the term middle-aged around 50. I certainly never thought of myself as middle-aged in my forties, despite becoming a grandmother twice when I was 43. I don't plan to be "old" until I reach my mother's age (92).


At 8:52 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Ha, see girls! Robin agrees with me. I am vindicated! Vindicated I tell you!

At 9:00 AM, Anonymous Tina said...

Oh goodness. I just turned thirty-five a couple of months ago. I hope middle-aged doesn't mean forty. Hmmm, this actually does bring up images of some of my friends. Ok, there are some who need to accept that at least a decade has gone by and they need to stop wearing that half shirt and give in to wearing grown up clothing, even if they still look cute in it. Ha ha. Seriously, middle age should not ever be acknowledged, unless you are celebrating yet another Stage God has created for you.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Have you ever seen such a case of denial? For heaven's sake, I'm 37 and I consider myself middle aged. Not happy about it, but there it is. Middle means middle, as in, middle of life. 60 yr olds who consider themselves middle age are deluding themselves.

And Colleen, I know you "looked it up", I'll bet the author was 60.

And average life expectancy in the US is somewhere in the 70s, depending on what year you were born. I looked it up.

At 9:07 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

You're so literal, D! Middle age doesn't mean the middle half of life expectancy to most people! LOL Sheesh. You'll notice Tina also agreed with me and she's only 35 so it's not a case of her being one of us middle agers. LOL

At 9:11 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

Sheesh, C! Tina only said "I hope middle aged doesn't mean 40". That is not the same as saying "Yes a 60 yr old is middle aged" and also goes to prove how much our "wishes" are carried over in terms of where SOME of us see the middle aged line!

At 9:27 AM, Anonymous Valerie Wheatley said...

It was when someone was in their fifties, at least AFTER they hit 55 when they qualified for AARP.

Well, I'm 35 and just got my unsolicited and unrequested application for AARP in the mail. How's that?

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

VALERIE!! I would KILL them! And NEVER join. LOL

At 9:39 AM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

LOLOLOL....sheesh, I don't visit blogs in a while and y'all start this HOT topic. Hmm, kinda correlates with my hot flashes, which Colleen and Camy can attest to since I think I froze them out of the hotel room at RWA. LOL But, I digress....middle age? Who cares what "age" it is? Really. It doesn't matter. It's just a number. Now, there ARE some things I can't do physically that I once was able to. I don't think it's age per se, but more that my body has finked out on me in certain areas. I'm shaped differently than I was in my 20s, so I can't do what I once did. But hey,'s JUST a number. I always have to look up my year of birth to figure out how old I am. Seriously. Last year, I was telling people I was 38 and my hubby finally asked me why I was messing with people. I was flabbergasted when he told me I was 37. I didn't believe him! Had to look on my drivers license. What a revelation--he was right. So, I turn 38 next weekend, when I'm hanging with Colleen and Diann. I think I'm gonna be in good company with those youngsters. Hope they don't wear me out! LOL

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

I love the interactive comments on this blog!

I'm with Diann: "If you label me middle age, I'm okay with that. Call me a senior citizen and I might have to hurt you. ;-)"

I'm glad I was an oops baby...which made my mother older than most...which made my grandmother older than most...which meant I hung out with older people...which meant I've always loved older people...which also meant I never looked at them as old...because they always acted so young...which I intend to always do.

Kristy, who turned 55 (last week yikes! I can hardly bear to say it).

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

BTW, I intend to be around a long time. My great aunt Eva Connors passed away at 108 a few years ago. She advocated eating an apple a day, and when she died, she could still do her unusual exercise: while standing, she could kick her bottom with the sole of her foot. She was a feisty soul. For her 100th birthday, President Clinton sent her a birthday letter. She hung it on the wall...over the commode!!

For a unique experience, visit You'll see her riding a camel at age 99.

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Heather Diane Tipton said...

LOL I think as a 27 year old... I shall stay out of this conversation. :o)

At 10:43 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Oh my goodness, this is cracking me up!!!

You are a wise woman, Heather! LOL

And Kristy if your grandmother died at 108, you ARE middle-aged, girlfriend!!! Whooohoooo!!!

Whether we're middle-agers or seniors, we're having a BLAST!!!!

At 10:54 AM, Blogger Heather Diane Tipton said...

But if I was to give my opinion... (Yeah, Diann, guess I'm not so wise...)

Middle age to me is definitely not in the forties. Later fifties maybe...

To me middle age doesn't equate with being old though. You're not old til you're dead! :o)

At 10:56 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

That's exactly the way I thought when I was in my twenties too, Heather! I've got an aunt I adore and I never thought of her as middle aged. My aunt Edith is really only maybe hitting middle age now that she's retired. LOL

At 11:28 AM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

LOL.....middle age is a mindset, not a number!

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous tina said...

Colleen, When my husband first saw your picture he thought you were only about forty, so there. :)

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Oooo, I like that, Robin. Course, if that's the case, I'm still a teenager. ;-)

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

Thank you, Diann....even though Colleen thought I should agree with her! LOLOLOLOL

I'm SO looking forward to hanging out with you *young* gals next weekend! :)

At 11:45 AM, Blogger eileen said...

Helloooooooo, I am 58 and worked HARD to get here! Y'all can call me middle aged, OLD ONE, or whatever. This roly poly gal's inner self is ageless. But when they offer me discounts b/c of gray hair, I take 'em and smile (with my own teeth).

At 12:10 PM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Middle aged to me means middle. 50 to 60, means you think you're living until 100 or 120! What are you, Cher? I think the average age for dying these days is like between 73 and 78! Anyway, I'm literal, and I'm happy to be middle-aged, thank you very much. And when you qualify for the senior menu at Denny's, I'm thinking you're past middle aged. Not that you don't look good for slightly older than middle, but hey, that's the truth as I see it. LOL

At 12:36 PM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

LOL...I wondered when Ms. Billerbeck would pop in! LOL Well, one of my grandmothers lived to be 97.....the other is still kicking at 85, so I guess that would make middle age in my family around 50ish. LOL Sorry, C.... :)

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

A man was telling his neighbour, "I just bought a new hearing aid.
It cost me four thousand dollars, but it's state of the art. It's

"Really," answered the neighbor. "What kind is it?"

"Twelve thirty."

An elderly couple had dinner at another couple' s house, and after eating,
the wives left the table and went into the kitchen. The two gentlemen
were talking, and one said, "Last night we went out to a new restaurant
and it was really great. I would recommend it very highly.

The other man said, "What is the name of the restaurant?"

The first man thought and thought and finally said, "What is the name of
that flower you give to someone you love? You know... the one that's red
and has thorns."

"Do you mean a rose?"

"Yes, that's the one," replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen
and yelled, "Rose, what's the name of that restaurant we went to last

At 12:42 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

I totally agree that 50 is middle age, Robin! My peeps say it's over at 50 and then we're OLD. They are WRONG! LOL

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

We never said that. We said that 40 to 50 was middle aged, and that there was no term for where you guys are, that's what we said folks. I won't be railroaded! My Grandpa is 90. He's old -- and proud of it!

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

No, no, no, I did not say you're old! I just think there's a stage between middle aged and old. We just haven't named it yet. :-)

At 12:55 PM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

LOL.....I think of OLD and picture tombstones. I don't see ANY of you in that way. So, here's to "middle-agers" everywhere....salut!

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Okay, I'm here to settle this once and for all! I am NOT old. I'll admit to middle aged, but that was only last year. And ladies, I will turn 60 in January. But inside, I'm still 39 ... and holding.

So Diann and Colleen, you've just begun the middle years. Haven't the rest of y'all heard that 50 is the new 30? I'm claimin' that!!!

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Kayla said...

Middle age? 50 at the very least. Senior citizen? Eh....65?

I'm 18, but I'm surrounded by extremely spry elderly people :)

At 6:51 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

Ok - I'm turning 30 next week and have yet to have my first child. So, in my eyes, I'm just barely getting started here, which must put middle age somewhere around 60. My husband is still in college (he's 32) and we're moving to a DORMITORY of all things ... party time, right? I have middle schoolers calling me nightly to say "hey" and "Hang" over the phone ... middle aged people have no attraction to middle schoolers right? THerefore, I can't be remotely nearing middle age ...

I'm babbling now ... it's just ... nearing middle aged people don't ride their Mountain Bikes over 3' rock ledges do they ("ride" being a relative term - "catapult while screaming" being more accurate)?

Can you tell I'm totally at ease with turning 30? The way I figure it, the more years you add on, the further out middle age goes!

At 8:27 PM, Anonymous tina said...

In my novel, I have characters representing several generations. I must say that my favorite character is a woman who is somewhere close to sixty. I guess she is middle age, but she doesn't act like it. In fact, she acts exactly how she wants to.

By the way, this is Tina Forkner. I wasn't trying to post anonymously, I just haven't figured out the Blogger thing yet. LOL.

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Do young and a little past that, you have all pretty much vindicated me. LOL No one thinks 50s is PAST middle aged as my esteemed peeps seem to think. Thank you, thank you.

At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, I've enjoyed this blog and have laughed and chuckled. Here's my two cents (sense) worth! :-)

I'm in my mid 20's (26) and you guys exhaust ME with the amount you seem to do. I'm just a little bit in awe! You travel to multiple conferences, cross the country on book tours, blog daily, not to mention all the family, friends and church commitments. You stay constant and updated in eachother's lives, take fun, exotic vacations (didn't one of you just get back from Europe?) and find the time to answer tons and tons of fan mail as well!! Oh, and let's not forget that other little thing - that in there somewhere you manage to squeeze off a brilliant story for readers like me! WOW!! So I say stop thinking "middle age" and look at it as "20's take two" or "A 20's Do-Over with more wisdom". Kick up your heels and HAVE FUN. Embrace it! Because middle age or not, You guys ROCK! Besides, a funky pair of shoes will do wonders for you!

At 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops, forgot to leave my signature at the end of that last post. I hit that "Login and publish" button a little too soon. :-) I think I need another coffee! :-)


At 8:03 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Wow, Shauna, with comments like that, we'll hogtie you so you never leave us! LOL

And ooh Rachelle, do you feel dead? I just killed someone in my new book names Rachelle. Now you've made me feel guilty! I might have to change the poor girl's name! LOL

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Wow, Shauna, your comment made me want to throw a party! Break out the "I Am Woman Hear Me Roar" and chocolate truffles! :-)

Thanks for the encouragement. I have no idea if I'm middle-aged or just plain old, but the truth is I'm having a ball at whatever stage this is! :-)

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Carol Collett said...

I'll be 42 on Sept 16 and did not consider myself middle aged until yesterday when I found that I will require my first root canal and crown on Monday!!! BooHooo..
Honestly, I don't feel what I always thought was middle aged. I vote for 60 as the start of MA.

At 1:51 PM, Blogger Megan DiMaria said...

Does it really matter? I was working with a woman in her late 80s one day, and she called me a young lady. When I told her I was 51, she said, "Oh, you gals in your 50s now-a-days are so beautiful."

FYI - I work in a photography studio and was helping this couple pick out an image for their 60th anniversary. They couldn't decide on one image. Further questioning revealed they were each picking the image where they thought the other looked most beautiful or most handsome. Ahhh. :)

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colleen, you guys will never get rid of me. LOL! I feel bonded to you guys through chocolate and caffeine....ha,ha....not to mention all the laughter and fun this blog gives me. :-) And Diann, "ROOOOAAAR!" Now where's those chocolate truffles? :-)

I raise my (coffee) cup to you!

At 11:53 PM, Blogger R.G. said...

Okay girls, I know what you've all been waiting for is a Gloria Steinem quote, via Nora Ephron. So here it is, from "I Feel Bad About My Neck."


Many years ago, when Gloria Steinem turned forty, someone complimented her on how remarkably young she looked, and she replied, "This is what forty looks like." It was a great line and I wish I'd said it. "This is what forty looks like" led, inevitably, to its most significant corollary, "Forty is the new thirty," which led to many other corollaries: "Fifty is the new forty." "Sixty is the new fifty," and even, "Restaurants are the new theater," "Focaccia is the new quiche," et cetera.


Now, if you're ready to stop arguing about being (or not being) middle aged, and start laughing about it instead, go get this book!

At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Le Ellis said...

This is a hap-hap-happening place! Just found y'all and...slam on the brakes...I'm middle age??? What? I frankly should just move on but I was laughing at all of your comments. Not laughing at you, with you. And no, I'm sorry but 40 is not middle age. My mother might have been middle age at 40 but I'm NOT! :) Enjoyed the laughs...I'll be back...and I've definitely put this book on my Amazon to buy list asap. Sounds great!

At 12:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are countries in the world whose life expectancy is around 37 years old...half of what ours is. We should probably be grateful that we can debate whether 40, 50, or 60 is middle-age when many are on their death beds well before that. Not to bring down the room but maybe we have it all wrong and we should celebrate each year we get older. :)

At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had lunch yesterday at an anonymous restaurant. It's one of those restaurants where you order your food, pay for it, and it is served to you. The senior discount begins at age 60 at this restaurant.

My friends ordered ahead of me. We all ordered the salad bar--so I knew the cost before I paid. But my meal was cheaper than my friends'. When I questioned the cashier, he said, "Oh, you get the senior discount." Much as I argued with him, I couldn't convince him that I'm *not* 60 (or older).

Of course, my younger friends roared with laughter.

Judy, who aged five years in one day

At 2:11 PM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

Judy, my mother was fully gray at 30 and she got senior discounts very early. I, on the other hand, buy stock in Clairol and fight it tooth and nail. Still, a discount is a discount. I'll bet you my husband (who looks young) will fight to prove he IS a senior, while they ask if they can give his mother (me) a discount.

Anonymous is so right about being grateful to debate the issue. I was reading in "Natural Health" magazine how we could really take some lessons from other countries about slowing life down and enjoying each moment. That's going to be my new goal. Though, that kind of defeats the point, I suppose.

At 10:08 AM, Anonymous swilder said...

As a 38-year-old who is watching her own parents have the time of their lives (at 62 and 64) I have to say that today's "older" generation are much more active and involved than, say, my grandparents ever were at that age.

I think, in general, that while we may technically be labeled "middle-age" at 45-50, the reality is that life is at it's best beginning somewhere right about those ages.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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