Ask Babe: Aging and Arbitrary Celebrations


Birthdays. Chic or not chic? Please preach. I am but your humble follower.




Madeline Ashton,

Age is terrifying, yes, fine, I agree. What’s even more terrifying, is the unnatural tradition of celebrating our inevitable loss of youth and our fall from grace (Kelly) to grace (Coddington). Love you Grace, no offense, mean it.

I hadn’t planned to dwell on the general darkness of aging this morning, but I guess I’ll go there with you. Let’s do this.

We could look on the bright side and feel hopeful about the subject, given examples like Carine Roitfeld, Susan Sarandon, and Catherine Deneuve. Or we could be honest with ourselves and accept the fact that:


That being said, let’s examine the ways to make it through life’s arbitrary celebrations, without constantly feeling like our glory day was yesterday. Because, frankly, I’m sick of wasting therapy sessions crying into my therapist’s lap because she said I look tired or that I’m maturing.

Birthdays: Keep them small. Invite only immediate family, current boyfriends/girlfriends, and shamans. People you can trust who won’t instagram you blowing out candles on something carby and toxic. 

Graduations: Celebrate, inwardly. Yes, being smarter means being chicer, but no one cares besides you and your dad.

Engagement Party: Go all the fuck out for this. Invite every guy or girl that you’ve ever dated, including those that you wanted to date but couldn’t because you were at rehab or they were at rehab. Engagement parties represent aging as an adventure in love and take the focus away from your physical deterioration. Wear something sheer.

Promotions: Please, you didn’t get a promotion. 

Rehab Release: This is your moment to shine and since rehabs are all-ages institutions (my cousin went to rehab when she was 8 for a Lip Smacker’s addiction), no one has to know how old you are. All they need to know is that you look, feel, and smell fresh and soberer. Getting out of rehab is always youthful, even if you’re Jeremy London.

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