I’ve found that lately I’ve been using the following terms:
“In my day…”
“That’s not how music sounds”
“Kids these days..”
“When I was that age..”
And it wasn’t until the other day that I realized I wasn’t joking around half the time I said these things. It became more apparent that I am, in fact, getting old, when I walked into a gas station and I found they were selling “retro handsets.” Yep, that’s right folks. The phone I grew up with is now “retro.” I guess when I think “retro” I think 50’s and 60’s. Nope, not anymore! The new retro is 90’s. What…the…
A few years ago I ran into a kid at Wal-Mart that thought that the Nintendo 64, released in 1997, was the first Nintendo ever. I obligingly stood there and explained to him that the NES, originally released in the mid 80’s was actually the first of Nintendos. I explained to him that the games were long cartridges that stuck in the top of console. He looked at me like I was an idiot. I gave up.
Last year, while substituting at the high school, I took the kids to their Independent Living class, on the second day of school. I walked into the classroom, and a football player looked me up and down. I shook my head and laughed silently as he attempted to woo me. He asked my name I told him he could call me Ms. Scherer. Later on, he discovered that I wasn’t a student and that I was a substitute. Disgusted he said “Wait! How old ARE you?” I replied that I was soon to be 24. “God! You’re like…OLD.” I laughed and said “Uh…thanks?” I wanted to say “Oh you’re not that much younger than me! What are you like 15? You’re not that far off.” Until I thought about it and realized that he was almost a decade younger than me. A DECADE.
I went into Office Max when we first moved here and this was the first time I saw the “retro handsets.” A kid working there approached me after he saw me eyeing them in contempt. “Yeah these are really cool! They’re made to look like those really old phones that they don’t make anymore!” I looked at him and said “yeah…I know what it is. I had one.” He was amazed. He explained he’d never seen one and had grown up with cordless phones and cell phones.
I passed a group of tweens in the mall talking about how they just LOVE listening to “oldies”. I waited to hear what they were going to say even though I knew I wouldn’t like it, and sure enough, they mentioned songs that were familiar to me. Songs that I can pin point exact moments in my life. Songs that were on the radio when I was in middle school.
I feel disgustingly old. I discovered my first white hair about 3 years ago. Not gray, white. Full on, snow white hair. Just one. Now….there’s more. I am only 25 years old (almost). I don’t need this crap!
I came home last night from my new friends house, and the hubby asked how it was visiting with her. I told him that we had a lot in common and actually found a lot to talk about. He asked what, I chuckled a little, and told him that the bulk of our conversation was about how kids these days suck. How when we were little (there I go again) we didn’t need fancy gadgets to keep us preoccupied. I told the hubby she was 31. We understood each other because we were pretty much the same generation. “What!? A 31 year old is not the same generation,” he said.
“oh yes, dear. She is the same generation. She was born in 81.”
His eyes got huge. I could see him thinking it over, and he said “Holy…fuck…She’s only 2 years older than me. That is the same generation! SHIT!”
“Oh. My. God. I’m almost 30.”
It’s strange for me to think of it like that. To think that in 5 years I’ll be turning 30. It’s not right. I can’t imagine how my parents feel. It just seemed so far away a year ago. 2 years ago, or 3 years ago, but it’s slowly creeping up on me. I have to enjoy the mundane bullshit of being an adult. I have to pay bills, cook, clean, work, and be broke. I don’t have a safety net to fall into. Mommy doesn’t kiss my owies anymore. If I’ve done something too much, I can feel it in my muscles. My wrist, ankle, and knee hurt when bad weather is coming. We’re planning on children. In my mindset, I’m still 21. Squandering my money, doing foolish things, except I’m really not. Somewhere along the line, I grew up. At some point, that all got put behind me. I somehow managed to grow up without even knowing it. It silently crept up on me and settled in before I could stop it.
I read a blog about transforming from girl to woman, and the woman that wrote it basically said the same thing that I am now. She didn’t know when this happened, or how. It just happened without her knowledge. I’d like to be able to pin point the exact moment that I became an adult, but I don’t know when it was. I slightly resent that I’ve grown up. I’m glad I’ve learned and that I have grown up, but it sucks. It genuinely sucks.
It’s little things that are telling me I’m an adult. I get annoyed with teenagers too easily. The hubby and I talk about children, finances, and do boring things. I have to have my glasses for everything now because I’ve realized that I can’t force myself to not wear my reading glasses when I know I’ll need them. I’ve learned to manage my money, and not spend it frivolously. I can’t stay up past midnight and most nights. I feel lazy if I sleep in until 10 am because I feel like the whole day is wasted. What happened to the carefree little girl I was?
That’s just it. She was a girl. She didn’t know any better. She was too reliant on other people to take care of her because she didn’t know how to take care of herself. She didn’t know how to care for someone else. Maybe it happened the moment I knew I was in love with the hubby. Maybe it happened when the words “I do” escaped my mouth. Maybe it happened well before that. All I know is, this sucks a little.
I can’t explain it. I don’t want to say “I wish I was ___ years old again” because that would revert me back to the immature state that I was in, but I can’t necessarily say that getting older is awesome. I’ve told you about my panic attacks and irrational fear of getting old. If I was nth years old again I wouldn’t have the life I do now. That girl I was had given up hope on finding love. She was headstrong and ridiculous. I may still be headstrong, but I don’t feel ridiculous. My children will probably thing I’m a lunatic, but sometimes I thought my parents were nuts. Its like that moment when you realize that half the shit your parents told you was absolutely correct. All of the “one day you’ll thank me for this” and “someday you’ll realize I’m right” bullshit is catching up to me.
Yes, being an adult is hard. It sucks. I hate working but I love working. I prefer to stay at home than to go to the bar because it’s cheaper, and one of my biggest decisions this year was which dining room table and furniture set to get. In the process of growing up, I learned to love and forgive. I learned that I’m not always right (even though I will fight to the death to prove I am). So, kids, enjoy your youth. Enjoy having your freedom. Enjoy your safety net. Don’t act spoiled. Don’t be materialistic, because one day, you wont’ have your parents to rely on. It’ll just be you and your decisions.
Pffffft…..I have to do the dishes….damn it.