Twice in two days I’ve had my age thrown at me. This sort of bothers me, though I know it probably shouldn’t. After all, it’s probably a sign of my blatant immaturity to complain about it.
But it does bother me. The first time it happened I was told that I didn’t understand something because of a generational difference. I sat back in my chair, sucked down some more plain tap water, and reconsidered the individual across the table from me. I was told I didn’t understand a movie because of a generational issue. The thing is, I do understand the movie. I just dislike it because it stirs up painful feelings for me, and those are things I like to avoid. I tried to explain that to the individual, but my explanation was sort of shrugged off. It’s easier to assume it’s simply an age difference rather than something messy like a person’s past and struggles.
I was also told the same thing again, that someone else’s life was young and carefree when they were my age. Does that mean I’m supposed to be young and carefree? I remember those days and they ended by sophomore year of college.
I don’t understand why people feel the need to exert their age difference over me. Jason once said I looked like a high schooler and that’s why I always get carded when we hang out in places that serve alcohol as opposed to everyone else that never gets checked to be above 21. I wanted to tell him that made him a creepy old man considering he was 32 and had dated someone who looked like they were in high school. But I was trying to be a nice ex-girlfriend so I just laughed uncomfortably and changed the subject.
It’s frustrating because I have always been friends with people older than myself. I have friends in their forties and they’re some of my favourites. People I miss most in Seattle include Dr. Davis and Maggie. Dr. Henry and Abby. I’m always going to coffee with Holly, free pie with Tammi and Mark, tea with Melissa. The youngest of those is 31 (I think). My girls in college (especially from my floor) called me mom or madre. My band kids tease me about being a mother hen.
I don’t see why the number of years a person lives determines something about them. Clearly, time marks a person by the things they see and experience. But I also think that people can be old souls; we used to call my friend David a 40 year old trapped in the body of an 18 year old. While I would hardly count myself as an “old soul”, I still find it frustrating when people throw their age (or my age) around as though it somehow defines us.
Though, I do suppose, I am young. I’m irresponsible sometimes, and I make rash decisions. But then again, so do my older friends. I at least have an excuse because of my age… do you?*
*said with a snarky grin