Many people nowadays confuse being middle aged with being in the Middle Ages. They can be forgiven for a certain amount of confusion, since neither group of people had births recorded on iPhones and immediately posted on social media networks around the planet. Neither group grew up with Tickle Me Elmo and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Neither group attended Nicky Minaj concerts or sent anything via the postal service.
Some of the language is shared between the two groups. For example, “It’s sick!” is a statement known to most middle agers with children, as a positive affirmation of something. “It’s sick!” was a statement well known to most people in the Middle Ages, being used mostly during the time of the Black Death in response to the question, “How is your village?”
But there are some differences between the two groups. Middle Age is considered roughly to be the years between 40 and 60, whereas life expectancy in the Middle Ages was 40 something. So, in the Middle Ages, most people would have spent most of their middle age being deceased.
Middle agers nowadays have access to indoor plumbing and vibrating toothbrushes. They can clean as many body parts as they choose, as often as they choose to do so. In the Middle Ages, barrels were often used as baths, with entire families sharing the same bath water. Toothbrushes weren’t needed as much because many people’s teeth vacated the premises fairly early in adulthood.
In the Middle Ages, superstition and ignorance reigned. Pixies, trolls, and hobgoblins were thought to actually exist. Health was controlled by the stars, and affliction was a sign of impurity of the soul-a curse from God. In middle age, we scoff at such ignorance, unless we are followers of Rick Santorum.
Up until the twelfth century, most medieval manuscripts were written by monks living in monasteries. For this reason, nobody knew about menopause or overactive bladder syndrome. Middle aged people nowadays can educate themselves about middle age by reading books and staring at themselves naked in a full length mirror, something else people in the Middle Ages didn’t have.
Middle aged singles are just getting the party started. They have access to singles groups, online dating sites and Viagra. Older single women, especially, can take advantage of any number of lifestyles they choose: to stay single, to remarry, to be in a committed relationship without marrying. In the Middle Ages, women past childbearing age and without husbands also had many avenues to choose from, all of them involving becoming nuns.
All in all, we can see that it’s better to be middle aged than to have lived in the Middle Ages. So stop your complaining and take a bath.