Saturday, March 1, 2008

Thoughts on Adulthood

Being an adult sucks.

Today my parents had to have the family dog, Coco, put to sleep. He was 19 years old. He first came to live with us when I was in college. He was young and spritely, and, at times, and absolute terror. We got along perfectly. In his final days Coco was deaf, blind, didn't want to eat, smelled horrible, and often fell over. I am not quite to that point, but I am definitely older. I pay bills, I go to work, I have a husband, and every day I notice something else that shows me I am not 25 any more. And that pisses me off.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to be a kid again. People who remember high school fondly freak me out. And I would rather attend a Carrot Top show with an audience of full of snakes than be in my 20's again. I don't want to have to go through all the learning experiences again, I just don't want to feel old now that I've figured them all out.

Like last night, I was really thinking how nice it would be to go to a bar and have a drink with a friend. You know, just one, to relax. In my 20's I would have had ten and then called in sick to work the next day because of a hang over, but now, I know not to do that. However, now all of my friends have mates, and some have kids, and most just want to have a quiet glass of wine at home. Hell, that's what I want to do most of the time. If we do go out we have dinner and drinks, and make an evening of it. The people we know who do hang out in bars after work are our friends are trying to avoid something that we pity. Still, the idea sounded nice, until I remembered it is an idea relegated to the land of the young people.

Another thing that made me feel old this weekend was the search to find something to wear to a wedding. There was NOTHING out there. Now, yes, I know that it is between seasons and new stuff will be coming in soon, but it seemed like everything out there fell into two categories: prom or mother of the bride. There was also the large selection of dresses I will just call ugly, but those just made me sad. I finally thought maybe I should just wear something I already have, but then I remembered that while fancy clothes I own still fit, thanks to the ten pounds I have gained in the past year all of them just look lumpy and highlight my back fat. That led me to consider something up until now unthinkable -- I almost bought a girdle. Not control top pantyhose, not Spanx, but an honest to God, one piece, old lady, suck it all in girdle. I was actually in line at the cash register when I convinced myself it's not to late to do crunches and save myself from serious foundation undergarments -- at least for the next five years.

I think that what really gets me though is the fact that I don't feel any different since I was young. I mean, I'm smarter -- I don't drink
J├Ągermeister mixed with orange juice, and I don't sleep with men just because they pay me a compliment -- but other than that I feel the exact same way I did when I was in college. The only thing that has changed is how people view me. Now, I am the older producer, the senior alumni, and the school administrator's wife. I will never be considered a prodigy, or be talked to about my "amazing potential" again. I use Oil of Olay, but my main concern is still breaking out. I am in a good place financially, but there is still a part of me that wants to spend an inordinate amount on cute picture frames and kitschy home decor at Ikea and Archie McPhee.

Okay, I know I am sounding like I am having a crisis, mid-life or otherwise. I don't think that's it though, or if it is I can totally understand why such crises are not that uncommon. Why are the first 30 years of our lives considered the only good ones? Why if anyone achieves anything over that age does it require a human interest piece on their "amazing endurance"? Why can't potential be boundless and appreciated honestly no matter what the age of the person? Why should anyone have everything in their life figured out before 35 without the disdain of the general public?

Yeah, I'm nuts. I'm talking like someone on The View. Luckily, I have adult health insurance in case I go off the deep end. So, if you see me walking down the street wearing clothes from Wet Seal and telling people how hip I am because I have a blog just like the other young people -- please call my responsible husband and have him guide me back in to Eddie Bauer. I'll be just fine.