You're Only Old Once!

And now a question which will quickly become an OLD Ask E. Jean Classic:

Dear E. Jean:

I’m a woman on the wrong side of fifty-five who has just embarked upon an advanced degree. When I graduate, I will be a Master of Social Work and a sexagenarian.

If I’m to give any credence to Erikson’s eight stages of development (about which I’m studying in my psychosocial development class), I’m at that point where I should be “looking back” at my life. Part of the reason I’m sacrificing 40 hours a week to intense study, while working full-time at my marketing day job, is to look back with “satisfaction” rather than “despair.” With an MSW, I may finally be able to make a difference in this troubled world of ours.

I do enjoy school—the reading, research, writing, mind expansion. But I miss the concept of free time. And I’m also experiencing extreme social anxiety in this new graduate school environment. Am I putting myself through unnecessary hardship? Am I delusional, thinking that I can reshape a life that has already been lived? Should I just accept that despair is part of the human condition? Or should I push to be a better version of myself, even if that means friendships, hobbies, volunteering, and self-care are put on partial hold for the next three years?—A Conflicted Coed


Coed, My Conquistadora:

You’re only old once, Woman!

You’ve lived your first half-century capitulating to the twaddle laid down by men—this Danish dipshit, Erik Erickson with his hilarious “stages” is a splendid example—telling you that you should be “looking back.” Looking back? HAHAHAHAHAHA!! You’ve nearly won the title of Sexagenarian! Sexy-Gens don’t look back except to smack down babbling bozos trying to sell women on shame, guilt, and “despair.” Sexy-Gens look forward and say, “I may finally be able to make a difference in this troubled world of ours.”

What’s the point in growing old unless you can be a Sexagenarian?

Haven’t you accumulated enough spiritual, financial, genital, social, and political power to shrug at your “anxiety,” and sit in a goddamn class? Come on, Coed! Take ownership of your decision and win your MSW. America is in a grand struggle for survival. The dickheads, the greedhogs, the supremacists, and the Proud Boys are out there right now knocking on the House windows. Our destitute citizens, our homeless, our hungry kids need your guidance. They are why you sacrifice, Woman. They are why I salute you. They are why your life is just beginning!

Pop Quiz on Sexy-Gen Lecture

Just three questions, class.

Q 1. What is this old woman in the photo?

Circle one: A Sexagenarian, a Septuagenarian, a Octogenarian, a Nonagenarian, a Centenarian.

Q 2. Circle Any Combination of Vicenarian, Tricenarian, Quadragenarian, or Quinquagenarian, to EQUAL the power of the old Genarian in the first photo.

Q:3 At what age should we all stop wearing shorts?


Q1. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi is 81, an Octogenarian.

Q2. If you circled a combination of 1—3 people equaling the power of Nancy Pelosi, you are a numbskull. If you circled 4—6 people, you are a numbskull who believes Trump won the 2020 election. If you circled 7—8 people, you are a numbskull who is also a man.

Q3. We should NEVER stop wearing shorts.

The Conflab already has a MSW—Masters of Spectacular Wisdom

The Conflab is where we hash over the questions sent to Ask E. Jean—and where our boisterous community regularly rescues mankind. Last Friday we solved Ms. Stressed problem about taking the California Bar Exam. Today, we’re solving the problem of Ms. Coed who says she’s on “the wrong side of fifty-five,” wants to “make a difference in this troubled world,” has just embarked upon her Master of Social Work, and will be a sexagenarian when she graduates.

She wants to know—incredibly—if she should go on!

When this letter came in last week, it was all I could do not to harness the dog, mush into New York, bang on her door, and yell: Old women are the tits!

But I’m not sure my rah-rah advice will work in this case. This is a woman with a full time marketing job, friends and hobbies she misses, and high anxiety about sitting in a class of youngsters. She is aiming for “a better version” of herself, and wants to “reshape” her life. I doff my wig to Ms. Coed. She sees a world she wants to change, and, by Gawd! She sets out to change it! But it’s a tall order. It requires nothing less than superhuman planing, patience and endurance.

Conflabbians! Can you give Ms. Coed tips on how to get through the next three years of grad school and hold down a full-time job?

And as for her anxiety about going to class—it’s perfectly understandable, of course; and it will lessen, we know; but for right now . . . can you tell Ms. Coed how to take class in her stride and start enjoying it? Any ideas about how to make friends with her fellow students? Any tips for overcoming the trepidation of speaking up in class discussions? And what should she wear?

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Ask E. Jean’s Pet of the Day (a dog named Lolly Waffle who says “F- You Trump!”)

Belinda Prentice adds to her Lolly quote: “My husband and I were unable to have children of our own so we began fostering dogs nearly 5 years ago now. Then, a year ago, this girl came to us, starved and mistreated. My husband fell in love straight away. I was a firm “no” until I saw her with my mum. Mum is terrified of dogs and wouldn’t visit our house when we were fostering. I convinced her to come over and within 5 minutes, she was on the floor giving Lolly cuddles and now she has regular sleepovers at grandmas!”

What in Blazing Hell Is this Thing?

Was this email forwarded to you and you are now wondering what the heck it is? Ask E. Jean has been solving snafus since 1993. Now the Conflab is pitching in and we’re the #2 Health Substack in the United States. Click here.

You can get me on Twitter, or send me your questions by using the Voice Memo on your phone (I may run the recording on Ask E. Jean), or shoot a video question (again—I may put it on Ask E. Jean), or write to me about what’s driving you crazy: your career, your wardrobe, your love affairs, your lusts, your languishing, your politics, your finances… at 

P.S. I don’t know a single thing about finances. But I love your pet photos!

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And here’s the latest update on Carroll v Trump

Photo of Speaker Pilosi, Chip Somodevilla / Staff, Getty Images; photo of Senator Cruz,Liz Lynch / Stringer, Getty Images; photo of Senator Paul, Samuel Corum / Stringer, Getty Images; photo of Rep. Cawthorn, Handout / Handout, Getty Images; photo of Rep Greene, Sean Rayford / Stringer, Getty Images; photo of Senator Collins, Drew Angerer / Staff, Getty Images; photo of Rep. Boebert, Jerry McBride, Durango Herald: photo of Senator Hawley, a photographer who NEVER gets the credit, and here it is: Francis Chung, E&E News; Joshua Matz, E. Jean, and Robbie Kaplan walking into Federal Court: Jefferson Siegle for The New York Times