Image from HERE.
I'm not sure what age I was when I realized that I was never going to feel like a grown-up. I'm pretty sure if I dug up my old diaries, you would find me lamenting about the unstoppable march of the hands of time sometime around the time I was turning 10 (I was an angsty child - what did you expect?). I always thought that the "grown-up' feeling/actualization must be something that comes with being a parent, and therefore I was never going to get there. But lately it's come to my attention - on several fronts - that it has nothing at all to do with having children. Or a mortgage, or increasingly high rent, or having a job or a lot of responsibilities...
When I turned 30, my parents treated me to a birthday dinner at a fancy steakhouse. My mom and dad got me a beautiful black leather bag - sort of a half-purse/half briefcase dealie. There were clips and buckles and locks and it smelled divine and expensive: I adored it. I gingerly picked it up out of its tissue paper swaddling, help it up against myself like a kid playing dress-up, and announced "This makes me feel like such a grown-up!"
My mom looked at me quizzically for a minute before coming back with "You ARE a grown-up." (This wasn't meant as a glowingly proud pronouncement of my obvious maturity, either.)
Funny, I didn't FEEL like a grown-up. I still don't.
The first time someone called me "Ma'am" in a store, I almost threw up. I've heard it enough since that it only makes the bile rise to the back of my throat, but I still cringe. The hurl-y feeling is generally directly proportional to the age of the person uttering the word.
I may share Bella's worries...aaaand I am not 17.
Paging an immortality-giving Cullen: any Cullen will do! Well maybe not Jasper; he has iffy self-control.
A few years back, I ran over to the Barnes & Noble near my office to pick up a few new CDs. I am far from cutting-edge in my musical tastes, but the things I bought were probably charting on college radio boards (or whatever you call it these days). When I got to the counter, the late-teen dude behind the counter (who can tell - all these whippersnappers look the same to an old coot like me) gave a nod of approval and said something like "Good choices!" It was only later, when I got back to my desk still high on the random affirmation of some kid making minimum wage, that I came to the realization that he was not acknowledging my decent taste in music; he was acknowledging that I had notably decent taste in music for someone my age. If it hadn't been time for my afternoon nap and Geritol injection, I totally would have went back and given him what-for.
When Poppa Snarky stopped by my house for a visit a couple of months back, we were chatting about who knows what, trying to avoid discussing politics (or at least I was...). At some point he states, "Well, I guess it's time to stop messing around and start acting like a grown-up." Interestingly, he wasn't talking about me. My father is 68, and he was talking about himself (I'd also like to note that he is taking my subsequent advice to NOT start acting like a grown-up and recently purchased a Harley).
So when I saw one of my online (and offline, for that matter) heroes post THIS the other day, it really struck a chord with me [note: yes, this link is to something The Bloggess wrote a couple of months ago. I also blame red wine]. And with Sister Snarky. And the hundreds and hundreds of other people who read it and felt compelled to comment. And the thousands who read it and didn't comment, I'm sure... If you don't have time to read the post (and you should make time but whatever), you can get the gist from the video below (which might make you cry if you pay attention to the words, but in a good way especially if you watch the whole thing) -
There's something supremely comforting about knowing you are not alone in this feeling of "Huh...so when do I grow up again, exactly? Do I even want to aspire to this? Is it ok if I don't???" The answer to that last one is "yes" by the way... In case you were wondering... I might not have a choice with the whole physical aging thing, but nobody can make me grow up. Nah nah!