If we all had a dollar for every time we heard an age-related cliché or quote, none of us would be sitting at work on a beautiful Friday (personally, I’d be holed up in a Tuscan café, rich with the scent of espresso and dreams). However, most of these quotes and pieces of “knowledge” are typically geared toward aging women and their fears attached to losing youth.
I currently reside in between the young and old category. I’m slightly too old for the young adult label and I have experienced too much to saddle up with the young group. In other words, my life is filled with adult responsibilities, but restrained by the “growing years” of youth.
Despite sitting awkwardly in the late-twenties but not-quite-thirty category, I spend most days being treated, viewed, and addressed as a youngster. While this can do wonders for my physical self-esteem, it also can result in endless bouts of frustration through being belittled, undermined, or overlooked.
It’s more than time to address some of these in-betweener approaches, whether they are coming from your toothless convenience store clerk or from the hen-house you work in. Or is that just me? Anyone…?
1. “Are you really [input number] years old?”
Yes, convenience store lady, I am really that age. As much fun as it sounds to create a fake ID well past the age of 21, I can’t say that’s what I did. And yes, when you scan the ID for one millionth time this year, it will verify it’s my correct date of birth. Add a moment of hesitation for me to awkwardly smile in response to your overly repeated statement, “Well then! I wouldn’t put you a day past 22.” You and Taylor Swift both, lady.
2. “You can’t understand at your age, but you will with more life experience.”
I’m about to drop a shocking secret about age. Prepare yourself for the utter horror you are about to read! Understanding and wisdom don’t have a damn thing to do with your biological years. Shocking, right?! Let’s be honest, here. No one in society has ever met an immature asshole rounding in at 50 years old. And clearly, no one under the age of 40 has anything important to contribute to the world… they can’t even understand it.
3. “You have your whole life ahead of you to do [insert goal]. What about me? I’m ancient and haven’t…”
My favorite line of them all, embedded with the skill of seeing the future found so often in folks older than you. Someone should alert medical doctors and hospitals to calm the fuck down. You only pass away and run out of opportunities when you’re old! (How did so many of us miss this newsflash?!) It’s not like life is completely patternless, running in circles of nonsense and confusion. No one dies before it’s “their time” and no one ever loses an opportunity before a certain age marker. Right?
4. “When are you going to get married/buy a house/have babies/say goodbye to freedom?”
Ahh, I’m catching on to the game now! I’m old enough to bring another living human being into this world, I just am not old enough to understand anything about the world I’m bringing them into. Now I get it!