Why no one over 40 cares what you think.

The difference between saying you don’t care what other people think when you’re 25 and saying you don’t care what other people think when you’re 40, is that when you’re 40, you actually mean it.

At 25 you say it because you want it to be true. At 40 it is true.

When you get older you get more confident in yourself and forming your own opinions and you just don’t care as much if they’re the same opinions held by everyone else.  Sometimes in fact, you’ll find what you think is the total opposite of what everyone else in the world seems to think.  And you don’t care.  Sometimes you’ll even voice these opinions of yours out loud.

And so it is with no regret at all that I tell you … I don’t like Hitler.  I really don’t.  I think he was a real asshole.

I also don’t like jabbing my eye with an infected needle, drought, monsters, really long lines at the grocery store or being stuck in traffic when I have to pee.

At this point you’re nodding your head up and down in validation.  YOU feel the same way about these things!  That’s because I tricked you.  You thought I was going to voice an opinion on something that was different than yours.  I didn’t.  But I’m going to now.

I don’t like Game of Thrones.  I not only don’t like it, I think it’s stupid and cheesy. And stupid.

NOW we’re getting somewhere.  Game of Thrones has gained cult-like status the likes of which haven’t been seen since somebody dropped a piece of chocolate in peanut butter.

And I don’t like it.  Game of Thrones I mean, I LOVE chocolate and peanut butter.

I also don’t like most desserts, porn, Shakespeare, chain restaurants or sunflowers.  And I don’t really like hockey unless it’s being played by 6-9 year olds.

I’m guessing you disagree with at least one of those things and you disagree STRONGLY.  But I don’t care.  I don’t like ’em even if they are wildly popular things.  And no, I’m not saying I don’t like them just because they’re wildly popular.  That’s a favourite position for some people to take as well.  Saying they don’t like something ONLY because everyone else likes it.  Oh really?  You love breathing?  I don’t like it, totally overrated.  I prefer an iron lung.  

And then there’s brussels sprouts.  I hate them.  Everyone knows I hate them.  I’ve mentioned many times on this site about how I hate them.  By this age I know what vegetables I like and which ones I don’t.  Yet … no matter what … any time I mention my hatred of brussels sprouts someone tries to change my mind.  I just haven’t cooked them right, haven’t used the right recipe, haven’t tried THEIR brussels sprouts.  I haven’t tried eating your hair either, but I can tell you right now I won’t like it any more than I like eating my hair.

I can’t really blame people, it’s what we do.  If a person doesn’t like something that we like, we automatically try to convince them it’s worth liking.  There’s a certain pride we feel after we’ve changed someone’s mind about something because it’s such a difficult thing to do.

Just try it this weekend. Try to change someone’s mind about something. Not even anything explosive or controversial like abortion or politics.  Just try to convince someone who doesn’t like John Travolta that they actually should like John Travolta.   That they could like John Travolta.  Betcha can’t do it.  If the person happens to be under the age of 20 you might have a shot (providing they know who John Travolta is) but you won’t be able to budge anyone over 40.

I have absolutely no idea where I’m going with this post or in fact if I’m going anywhere with it.  I guess there isn’t really a point to it.

And the beauty of being over 40?  I don’t care.


  1. Angela says:

    Sunflowers? What’s not to like about sunflowers?!!!

  2. Mary W says:

    All this time I thought Game of Thrones was a game you played on laptop. I have never seen it nor even seen the title on the TV select screen. I hate, hate, hate cilantro and don’t understand how anyone can say they do. Have learned that I am part of a minority that lacks or has some weird enzyme and it makes it taste like soap. So maybe all these likes and dislikes can be blamed on our tongue. I hate nose piercings and wonder why they don’t constantly try to pick it and tongue rings which would interfere with my tasting of non cilantrofied food.
    I hate the word blouse, people that don’t “fix” their pets, and all the time I spend on my laptop when I could be producing instead of consuming. I do love snakes. I’m leaving now to warm up my coffee and go on to the next blog – Karen first is my motto.

    • Pam says:

      Amen to the grossness of the evil soapy cilantro! UGH!!! I’d add slimy avocado, grassy alfalfa sprouts and ‘piney’ papaya to my hit list. Not so wild about brussel sprouts, but I’d take them over cauliflower any day. Though I wouldn’t take either of them if they were worm infested because I’m vegetarian. And this over 50 gal doesn’t give a flying fig if anyone agrees with her!

  3. Terry B. says:

    I live in Maryland. I hate crab. I mean totally hate. Tell that to people who consider a great time to be
    sitting around a table picking crab claws.

  4. Janet says:

    I hate peanut butter. Yeah, I said it.

  5. Jane S says:

    I don’t like Meryl Streep and won’t watch a movie if she’s in it.

  6. Sideroad 40 says:


  7. Su says:

    I love reading all the likes and hates here! Some of the reasons are hilarious! I’m not being snarky when I say I don’t care that much what others like or dislike….. and I’m sure no one cares that much about my preferences… and that’s ok! 🙂

  8. DanT says:

    I get it.

    I’m over 40, over 60 actually, and I don’t like green beans or televised sports.

    Never did like them.

  9. Rebecca says:

    I’ve got about a month until I’m 40, so I guess I’m a bit early, but here goes… I’m from Toronto and I don’t care about the Blue Jays. There. I said it. Also Game of Thrones is stupid and Brussels sprouts are disgusting.

  10. Catherine Manning says:

    I also don’t like Hitler. Or Harper.

  11. Lea says:

    Cilantro makes me angry, and I go bonkers when people scratch their plates with their knives and forks.

  12. Nancy says:

    I’m American, and I hate apple pie! Any pie for that matter as well as peas and any type of bean (except jelly beans!). I don’t like Scandal or The Walking Dead, so please don’t try to convince me how good they are. Maybe I’ll make a list of all the things I hate; it feels good to verbalize it!

  13. maggie van sickle says:

    I don’t know what the Game of Thrones is nor do I care (I am 70). I will not try and change your mind on Brussel sprouts but someone did change my mind and now I love them but only certain ways. Shaved in salads or lightly pan fried with garlic and lemon. John Travolta I don’t know him but he is not my favourite actor. The rest of the stuff in my opinion “I don’t care” . Just sayin Karen Bahaha. Have a great weekend . I am heading to the Bala Cranberry Festival with my Sistas. Do you care?

  14. Karin says:

    i agree it’s very liberating to go ahead and not give a hoot about what anybody else is doing/thinking. but what’s even more liberating to me is to be able to accept that other peeps don’t give a hoot bout what everyone else is doing/thinking. no one has to proof anyhing, no one has to waste energy convincing one another of their POV. live and life, that’s what i go by. that’s what maturity and serenity is to me.

    you don’t like brussels n GoT? cool, more for me . you can have all the licorice instead :0B

  15. Lynn says:

    Have to say Karen you are right on except for the sun flowers. 🙂 . Being over 50 an still having people try to push their food loves on to me , just really sucks!!!

  16. Ruth says:

    I actually like when folk don’t like some of the foods that I like… “Really? You don’t like coconut-ty stuff? You’re right… totally overrated… More fore me.”

    *Heads off to snack on a Bounty*

    How do I love thee, coconut, let me count the ways…

  17. Jody says:

    You are a woman, you made a typ-o,and you have contrary opinions. You must be hormonal or about to have a breakdown. Sheesh. Somebody needs to lighten up.

  18. Carol Hogan says:

    I’m over 40 – way over 40 – and I love Game of Thrones and I don’t care if you don’t like it. But I agree with you on the Brussel sprouts. I think the point is: like it, don’t like it, whatever. Don’t try to convince other people. Just live your life and let them be.

  19. This is hilarious…Agree..it seems the older one gets the more we can embrace the idea of really becoming who we want to be and to hell with what anyone thinks. What I especially enjoy as a 60+ girl now, is surprising people….like the time I almost arm wrestled an entitled teenager , with his Daddys Mercedes, to the ground at a gas station. He decided to be an arrogant little “p” and not back up his car a bit in order for me to gas up…He stood there aghast at the language that came out of this old ladys mouth…He and his Ralph Lauren wearing buddy slinked away and no doubt regaled the story about the crazy woman who let them have it…I was hoping it would show up on youtube…classic…woulda had a million hits 🙂

  20. Linda says:

    Well I HATE Pizza… and tons of other stuff as well, anyone want to stone me for that?? hahah I don’t care.

  21. leslie says:

    just wait till you’re 55. You’ll be spitting in people’s hair and laughing wildly!

  22. angie s says:

    Great post and totally true. I pretty much agree with every single thing you listed. Wanna talking about convincing people of whatever? I’m vegan so I’m pretty much having “convincing conversations” with people every time they learn that about me… yes, I get enough protein, blah, blah, blah….

  23. Seriously, Game of Thrones is such a bore. And there has never been a good brussel sprout recipe, I guarantee it.

    But I am a hockey fan. And sunflowers – really?!

  24. Jennifer says:

    I LOVE your post! (Even though I like Game of Thrones) I totally get what you’re saying — maybe because I’m over 40 — and I totally agree that it just doesn’t matter what people think about what you like and dislike. Beets and kale chips taste like dirt and I don’t care WHAT you put on them, they still taste like glorified dirt.

    Keep up the good work because every time I read your blog, I feel like I’ve talked with a friend. (I apologize it’s not ALL the time — there are times when my eyes glaze over a little when you talk about gardening but that’s only because I am death to plants even though I would love it to be different.)

  25. Gail says:

    My daughter says I’ve become a crotchety woman! Really?

    • Kim from Montana says:

      I totally agree. The older I’ve gotten the less I care what others think about what I do and how I do it but I do still care about what people think of me. I surely would hate to be thought of as cruel or angry. On the flip side. Don’t ask my opinion of something and then get ticked off because my opinion doesn’t jibe with yours or may even be based on some truth you had never even considered.

      I HATE garden hoses! Annoying kinky stupid things! I also hate Lima beans and have since childhood. Black licorice. Body piercing. Flies and cold wind top out my list.

      What I love is The Art of Doing Stuff. Thanks so much for your hard work. Keep it up!

  26. Christie says:

    Wow… Very strong feelings about so many things. I also HATE brussels sprouts – even though BFF tried to convince me that sautéing them with bacon was yummy. The bacon was good, but the brussel sprouts still tasted like stinky socks… I Love Game of Thrones – and loved the books – but it’s also a bonding thing with my older son…

    I am now over 50 and I care even less what other people think – it’s very freeing!!!

  27. zoraida says:

    You’re a very funny lady. Like this post…a lot. Not caring about the opinion of others is part of getting older and more confident. It only grows stronger with age. It creeps up on you. Try it after 60 🙂

  28. dede says:

    Karen, it just gets better and better. At 61, I’m at the top of my “I don’t care” game. Man, I can cause some blood to boil now. If I say “I don’t like Jesus,” at least one of you would come and stand next to me. But when I say “I don’t like dogs,” people are personally violated and will either suck all the air out of the room telling me how wrong I am, or they just start shrieking and throwing shit at me. It’s hilarious! I don’t like dogs and if you do, you’re just wrong and I don’t care.

    • IRS says:

      Dede, I absolutely adore dogs (far more than people in fact), but I respect your right to not share my passion for them. Since you know you don’t care for them, it’s good that you don’t have one. Kind of like me and kids. As long as you are never mean to a dog, you and I are good.

  29. Lauren says:

    Having just turned 30, my impression has been that it carries a free license to not give a damn- good to know that that licence gets even broader after 40!

    For the record, I love brussels sprouts and always have, however every time I mention I don’t like sloppy Joes (and never have) everyone loses their minds.

  30. Shirley Walker says:

    I have a 13 year old daughter. I might try to get her to change her mind about wearing yoga pants to school this weekend and see what happens. I HATE yoga pants – unless I am in a yoga class. It will be a pointless fight but may as well try……I should leave her alone as she likes brussel sprouts. The grocery store was totally sold out of them last night. Not sure what the scoop with that is. Lots of farting going on in Windsor, NS this weekend I expect!!

  31. Karen Too says:

    Just wait till you’re 80. Then you really just don’t give a shite! I feel the same about GofT for the record so you’re not the only one.
    PS. I am not 80 yet but looking forward to not giving a shite!

  32. LeAnne Osburne says:

    I did discuss John Travolta with a twenty-something and told her she should watch “Urban Cowboy”.S he wasn’t moved. PS–I love “Game of Thrones”. Did Jon Snow really die?

    • Ann Brookens says:

      So I’ve been told; I don’t watch GofT but I like Peter Dinklage and understood that he was one of the best characters on the show. Until they killed him off.

  33. Marcy says:

    Karen, I like you and no one better ever try to get me to change my mind or even slightly disagree with me. I, too, don’t like hockey, Shakespeare, Game of Thrones, chain restaurants, most desserts, porn, sunflowers and Hitler. I do like brussels sprouts, in fact, I love them. John Travolta–no one could ever convince me to like him. But, even you could ever convince me not to like Karen’s The Art of Doing Stuff, it is my lifeline to a laugh a day.

  34. Ev Wilcox says:

    Nothing wrong with opinions, if expressed as such. Trying to convince is a whole ‘nother animal, which I try to not do! My only beef with G o T’s is that I do not get it here-Damn! And I really like Brussels sprouts, but so what? Whether anyone else does or not means nothing to me! I would say that I HAVE NEVER found worms in sprouts, but I won’t, ’cause the Garden Gods will fix that right up. And, my grown children seem to not want to hear any opinion from me on pretty much any subject. I am expected, and do, listen to theirs. Some times life just sucks, ya know?

  35. Kelli says:

    Oooh, and just wait till you’re in your 50s, you won’t give a rat’s arse about anything! LOL. Or maybe that’s just me. I don’t care.

  36. Lifesart says:

    Just wait til you’re 65! Then you really won’t care what other people think! And you still won’t like Brussel Sprouts! (husband tried to make cole slaw outta them, ‘they’re just baby cabbages!’ No they ARE NOT! Still YUCKY!!!)

  37. Vicky says:

    My husband hates apple pie. Everyone tells him that their’s is different. Now, hand him a whole apple that is ripe and he’ll chomp the hell out of it.

    I get what you are saying here.

  38. Vicky says:

    Plus I’m 59 so I haven’t given a shit about other people’s opinions for a long, long time.

  39. I can’t stand brussel sprouts or leeks. I think Hitler was an asshat. I’m meh about Game of Thrones, and really didn’t like the newer Battlestar Gallactica. AT ALL. Hated it, in fact.

    And yeah, you’re right. I’m over 40 and it honestly doesn’t bug me if people disagree with me. I feel how I feel. If I don’t want to wear pink, I won’t wear it. If I think my teenagers look stupid the newest fad of clothing, I’ll tell them. They won’t agree with me, but then they’re teenagers and have to deal with the kids at school where everyone wants to be liked by everyone.

    So yup. You are spot on. 🙂

  40. jainegayer says:

    Very refreshing comments. I’m 66 and never worry about what other people think of me, never have. But I did worry that maybe something was wrong with me because I didn’t care. So happy to know that other people are content just being themselves. I loathe brussels sprouts. I gag if I even smell them cooking. Vile vegetable.

    Thank you for the laughs, Karen.

  41. Rachel says:

    I turned 43 yesterday. I live in the tropics and celebrate Halloween in an overtly Religious country with negative feelings about it. I constantly wonder about Fall, orange and red trees and what people mean when they say the air is getting cooler and crisper. My own countrymen constantly berate me for not loving endless sunshine and sitting around drinking rum all year long. My son is Autistic and because I am a teacher of Shakespeare, he’s been reciting quotes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream since he was 5, ( and Robert Frost poetry). I love GOT because it IS cheesy and it reminds me of the guilty pleasure shows of the eighties I grew up watching with my mom who died from cancer, except now, those shows are just pleasures. She would have agreed with me that Sansa was a recycled Lucy from Dallas and Jon Snow’s death was “who shot J.R.” all over again! Then we would watch Mad Men’s finale and sob like babies. I love life’s contrasts. My kid taught me that no matter how much the people in my world refuse to give something else a try, or try to see something in a different light, that there IS an “art to doing stuff” and I should always be open to changing my mind no matter how old I get, because I may find a diamond in what I thought was garbage. Your beautiful Thankgiving centrepiece looks like something from a scene in an Oscar award winning Shakespeare production, by the way, and it made me insanely happy! Thank you so much Karen. Can’t wait to piss off my neighbours with your DIY spider web I plan to hang in my front window along with a barrage of offensive Halloween decor! I love all your articles.

    • Ann Brookens says:

      Rachel, have a lovely Halloween! Sorry I can’t send you some of our “crisp” air; there was frost on my car this morning!

  42. IRS says:

    Conversations about personal likes and dislikes can be highly entertaining, as long as no one gets pushy about insisting that they are right. No sane or intelligent person could actually be upset that another person refuses to eat a food that they themselves adore. Conversations about less trivial things are a different matter. While it is sadly true that most people babble on about things that are stupid and unimportant, it is a good idea to keep one ear open for the occasional idea that floats by that is actually of interest. I have had conversations with people who held opposite opinions to mine, that really made me think. On a few occasions, the conversation actually led to me gathering more information, and ultimately changing or modifying my opinion. You don’t have to eat something you don’t like, or do something in a way you don’t like, just because someone else is trying to strong arm you, but it is good to be open to new ideas. Use critical thought to evaluate them, and if you conclude that they are not for you, cheerfully move on. Life is a buffet; pick and choose what YOU like.

  43. Now, I’ve got a confession to make. I don’t like Elvis Presley. I’m way over 40 and was there when Elvis hit the scene. I didn’t like him then and never learned to.
    There. I’ve said it.

  44. tiffany says:

    we call them “poison balls” in my family.

  45. Stacey says:

    So Karen, are you still even reading the replies? ‘Cus baseball is on. To be honest I didn’t read too far in, but I am annoyed with the GOT show only because I have read the books and they are taking waaaaay too many liberties for my liking. The books are much better. I like sunflowers and Brussel sprouts, but absolutely WILL NOT eat turnip , or rutabaga or whatever way you would like to disguise this vegetable. My name is Stacey, and I am over 40.

  46. yvonne says:

    Got my hubby (who is early 50’s…shush…don’t tell him I told you) to admit that Tom Cruise is a pretty decent actor. Do you know how long that took? Every TC movie on Netflix, every TC movie on tv, even Redbox. How long did it take? About a year. Was it worth it? Possibly. Now working on his ambivalence to John Travolta (come on…how could you not like him in Pulp Fiction, From Paris with Love and Wild Hogs?). I think I should have been in politics, behind the scenes, lol.

    • IRS says:

      I have never considered John Travolta to be much of an actor, but I admit that him being a Scientologist is a large part of his creepiness factor. But Scientology aside, as he has aged, he really has become a creepy old man. Did you see the way he caressed the face of that young singer at the Oscars? It was straight out of “Silence of the Lambs”. *shudders* And yes, I know that Tom Cruise also drinks the Scientology Koolaid, which also dampens my enthusiasm for him. At least he is better looking, and a much better actor IMHO than JT, and I must admit I love the Mission Impossible movies. And we finally get a new James Bond movie in a few weeks. Yay! But no more Daniel Craig after this one, because he has turned into a petulant little shit, who doesn’t want to do them any more.

  47. Fruity pies are pretty gross… and mayo on French fries? Eww! Who started that? Mayo is just a white glob of nasty! Someone made me a cheesecake once and I forced myself to eat it. Yuck! Sunflowers, though? I love sunflowers.

  48. Debbe Van Ness says:

    Question regarding formatting of the replies. In the upper left hand corner, there’s a number. I always thought it was for the number of the reply, but the numbers are all over the place, sometimes duplicated. Is it just a glitch? I could say I don’t care if anyone thinks I’m an idiot that is missing the obvious, but gotta say I do care. :::sigh:::

    • IRS says:

      Individual comments are numbered 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 etc, but if you reply to a comment, as I just did to yours, it is numbered 1, if you are the first. If another person replies to the same comment, they are number 2. If someone replies to a reply to a comment, the numbers start all over again. It is sort of like a folder within a folder within……..well, you get the idea. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. The gray and white backgrounds to the printed comments also help to organize where everything belongs. But yes, it gets confusing sometimes, especially when someone comments in the wrong spot, as I have sometimes done. And of course you’re not an idiot. Asking a question to learn something should never be something you should feel bad about. If someone tries to put you down for it, just employ my favourite phrase. All together now: “F*** off!”

    • Ann Brookens says:

      I would have answered your question but IRS took care of that. Now, you see the 2 in the upper left corner? ‘Cause I am the second reply to your post!

  49. Merrilee says:

    I quite enjoy disliking John Travolta, and his weird “talk through the teeth” thing. I also don’t care for Phil Collins, or Bruce Springsteen, or those stupid shoes called crocs. I’m also not going to try to convince anyone to like what I like, because I care equally less about what they like! But just in case anyone else cares….I like Tom Petty, Susan Tedeschi, Vincent Perez (you’ve gotta see Indochine), and Jenny Doan (a quilter who has quite the series of youtube tutorials). And avocados.

  50. Mel says:

    Amen sister! I don’t like hockey either and it is a very unpopular opinion to have as a Canadian! Being 33 with two small kids I don’t care either.

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