Thursday, January 20, 2011

What's My Age Again?

I believe in dressing in an age-appropriate fashion when it's appropriate.  I take my legwarmers off when I get to work on cold mornings.  I don't always like wearing tights, but I need to not freeze in the car.  Maybe on the weekends, I don't take them off.  So what?

So I still own a number of fun t-shirts, including the one to the left?  So what?  I know not to wear them to work.  I know not to wear sweats to a formal dinner.  I know not to flash too much cleavage when meeting a company bigwig or somebody's family.  I know the appropriate times to wear glitter eyeliner and pin-up girl red lipstick.  I'm a bonafide grownup with a quirky sense of style, but I'm not stupid.  I'm also not What Not to Wear material.

Look, I'm almost 29.  There's less than a month to go.  I am not really excited about all the remarks I will hear for the next year about being "almost 30".  It's really odd to me, because I don't feel like I'm almost 30.  Some of my friends are settling down and having kids/adopting dogs.  That's fine, but that's just not me right now.  My friend Alana and I were talking the other week about one of her best pals from college.  He doesn't return her calls and never wants to get together now that he has a kid. 

He says things are so different now, he just doesn't know.  Alana has been with the same guy for a couple of years, and they have a house and a cat.  She's the successful assistant manager of a Hot Topic store, and she's very active in her local roller derby.  At the very core, these are all stable, adult things to do--falling in love, buildng a family, working a fulfilling job, belonging to a club you feel passionate about.  She said she'd love to meet her friend's little munchkin, but he seems to be afraid of someone who isn't a "real" grown-up yet.  I dunno.  She sounds pretty real to me.

The more I think about it, the more the timeline of aging seems arbitrary.  Sure, I'm not going to dress the same at 40 as I did at 21.  I might not even dress the same way I do now.  Yet, I don't see that I'm ever going to stop feeling energized by a really good concert.  I don't picture myself ever getting really into smooth jazz or adult contemporary soft pop.  I don't think I'm ever going to say, "I'm too old to read comic books."  I don't see these choices as an inevitability, the way some people seem to expect us all to.  Just because I still want to get a tattoo, because I go to basement shows, because I still like purchasing clothing in bright colors--none of that makes me an irresponsible, immature adult!

I don't see why I have to stop doing the things I like just because someone thinks I'm "too old".  In fact, here's a list of things that I really like that some folks would say I'm nearly past my prime for:
  • Going to rock concerts
  • Watching cartoons
  • Wearing the occasional novelty t-shirt
  • Striped knee-high socks 
  • Leggings (I do not wear them with Uggs--they are inappropriate at every age.  Why do people wear them out of their houses?!  So schlumpy!)
  • Daydreaming
  • Having a strong imagination
Sometimes I find it very hard to accept that I don't feel like a normal grown-up.

Well guess what, haters?  I feel pretty damn good about myself.  I know how to conduct myself in most situations.  This may make me a bit of a social chameleon, but what's wrong with that?

If someone ever says to me, "You don't seem like you're almost 30!" in a negative way, I may do something very immature: roll my eyes.  Because really, what difference does it make right now?  I am who I am, and I'm mostly happy with who that person is, so I'm not going to apologize for not acting however you believe a 29-year-old should act.

I'm good, thanks.  Even fun-loving.  I'm Hannah.  I'm here, and I'm ready for whatever comes next.

And it just so happens that the next "next" is going to be a poetry slam tomorrow night, followed by Two Door Cinema Club and Tokyo Police Club at the Trocadero in Philadelphia on Saturday.  Drinks, earplugs and ironic t-shirt are all set to go.

And on Monday?  It's back to business casual and the perkiest receptionist voice you've ever heard. 

3 comments:

  1. hehe, I loved this post! i feel like I can relate. I have twin toddlers and while some observers might see me as more "grown up" because they seem me worry over my little ones, I honestly don't feel any "older" or "mature". I love being this way as opposed to how I'm "supposed to be as a parent" and my husband and I are having fun letting the kids play in mud, choose their own wacky outfits, and we're planning a homeschooling future where we take them to concerts and shows and expose them to all kinds of different tasts and all kinds of different people. My main goal is to raise happy, healthy kids that are open minded and who go for what they want and who don't just follow what's popular. And if they keep a child's spirit into adulthood I'll be proud.

    Again, loved this post and enjoyed hearing some more about ya! F the naysayers lol

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  2. Dude, yes!

    I am already 29, but in my head I'm still 22. I still wear sneakers everywhere, and I don't think that's going to change. I am not the least bit interested in children (OR OF PICTURES OF DISTENDED ABDOMENS OR SONOGRAM VIDEOS, GODDAMMIT!) and I am starting to feel like a freak for not buckling down and popping out a kid and behaving like my parents. I'm so glad I'm not the only one.

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  3. Your friend definitely sounds like a real adult to me! Sounds to me like her friend is the one with issues.

    I am right there with you regarding the way to dress. As long as you dress appropriate for work and other non-casual events, what you where on your own time is up to you. I mean, here i am almost 34 and I go out wearing a bear hat: complete with snout and ears that stand out!

    And you are never too old for cartoons! As long as you know what is right and wrong for you, it doesn't matter what other people think!

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