For the adventure
On this most recent birthday I turned 28 years old. 2-8. 2 years from 30.
And, all in all, it was a great birthday. I spent it with a man I love. I ate a giant fucking steak (which is now a prerequisite for all good days). I got a hug from my mom. I recollected on the past year and felt good about it. I checked Facebook to see all the happy birthday messages (far less than last year and years previous – but all quality wishes). I wondered about next year, next birthday, and then birthday after that. I came up with a list of 5 things I’m looking forward to when it comes to getting older.
Thing I’m looking forward to about getting older #5 – Looking good for my age.
I went to dinner on Thursday night (for the aforementioned giant fucking steak) and the waitress says
And my boyfriend says, “It’s her birthday today, actually.”
And the waitress asks a question that never gets asked. ”How old are you today?”
I pause. Did she really just ask my age? Most southern women don’t ask that. But I answer. ”I am 28 years old today.”
You’re goddamn right I don’t look 28. I’ve got genetics on my side, son!
And that’s what I want. I want every woman that ever pulls the crazy stunt of asking my age to immediately regret the decision. I want to explain that I have a Hispanic mom (ethnicity one-up), I wear sunscreen everyday, and I have a round face which always makes people look younger. So I’m looking forward to shocking people when they ask my age the older I get, because chances are, I’ll always look younger than they expect.
Thing I’m looking forward to about getting older #4 – Talking about things that were around when I was “your age”.
I’m a sucker for history. I still remember when you got charged for the internet by the minute. I remember typing a report on a typewriter in elementary school. Oregon Trail. Popples. Pee-wee’s Playhouse. I love that shit. And now, I can tell you how much I love that shit because I have time on my side, buddy, and you have young ears for listening.
I, personally, find it sometimes boring when older people tell me about things they liked or places they went because I don’t always understand the context. But I also understand that age gives you the right to bore young people…and I’m cashing in those chips…with a vengeance.
Thing I’m looking forward to about getting older #3 – Hating everything you like.
I don’t understand a lot of what people 5 years younger than me like. 10 years younger, I’m even more lost. And kids? I don’t know anything about what they like. And if getting older has taught me anything it’s that if I don’t understand it, I hate it. I will hate it because it’s new, I will hate it because you like it, I will hate it because you’re younger than me.
I’m too young to be crotchety but there’s a certain anger that springs up from seeing the world liking things without you. New things happening without your input or consent. Things changing that you liked just fine before.
But at least I’m old enough to hate that. Hearing teenagers bitch about new things is like a sapling bitching about seeds – you were JUST THERE. Give it some time.
Thing I’m looking forward to about getting older #2 – Gray hairs.
I have a few of these. My brother has more than a few of these. My dad started going gray when he was in his early 20s. Gray hairs are fun because they embody all of what is cool about being older – with time, who you are grows into something different. I’ve purposely stopped coloring my hair to see the grays come in and have not been disappointed. They’re especially fun because their characteristics are completely different from your other hairs – they’re thicker like some optic cable and stick out in weird ways. They could give a fuck what they look like and don’t care what you do…much like old people.
Thing I’m looking forward to about getting older #1 – Figuring it all out.
I’m not old. I speak of all these things like I am, but I am thankful for the youth I still have. But I’m getting acquainted with the idea that one day I’m going to wake up and I won’t be young anymore. I’ll have wrinkles. My body will be less spry, less springy, less agile, less cooperative. That doesn’t scare me as much as it used to, though it still makes me uneasy at times.
But it happens. And while I’m getting older, I’m becoming who I’m supposed to be – the person that was behind all the youthful shenanigans, blunders, and stupidity. The person that needed those things in order to grow. I’m more “me” now than I’ve ever been before. I know who and what I love, I know what I like, I know what can happen, and I’m looking forward to taking the time getting to where I ultimately need to be. Where will I be a year from now? Five? 10?
Not knowing is part of the fun. Happy 28 years, me. You earned them.