I don’t remember the eighties. And it’s not because I was high on hairspray, squeezed into fluorescent spandex, and roller skating around Pat Benetar shows.
It’s because I was thirteen months old when they ended.
I only (legally) rented my first car a few months ago, and if I lived with my mom I’m still of the age that people wouldn’t raise eyebrows and stinks and whatever else they raise about other people’s business.
I’m young, dammit.
But the other day, a classmate–
(See! I have “classmates”! Which infers that I am a “student”! And students are inherently YOUNG.
Shut up, starting-over-at-fifty-undergrad! Nobody asked you!)
But my CLASSMATE asked me, after I’d confided in her that my eyes were sore from trying to see the professor’s notes on the board, if I needed bifocals.
She wasn’t being an asshole, either. And she, too, is “young.”
I remember being the age of my students– and I know, having students infers that I’m closer to old than young– and thinking that the seniors were adults. I based that judgement on the fact that they had boobs, cars, cell phones, and rumored sex lives… All necessities to become An Adult.
Note that this was before young people developed iPhones in the womb and pregnant 12-year-olds were still uncommon, at least outside the Midwest.
Okay, maybe I am old.
I have boobs, though. And a car. I even have a cell phone. And if I wanted to I’m sure I could spread some saucy, semi-believable rumors about minxy me. It follows, then, that 11-year-old Me has solved 25-year-old Me’s identity crisis.
I’m freaking old.
It is 9pm and I am currently in bed… On a weeknight, though! (Of spring break) DURING WHICH I HAVE TO COMPLETE A MASSIVE PROJECT THAT I NEED TO BE WELL-RESTED TO FOCUS ON… Because failing at that project could severely jeopardize my career… Because I’m starting a career…
BECAUSE I AM OLD.
Eleven-year-old me would be impressed. She would also demand that I use my oldness to drive us to Taco Bell and then Target, where we’d buy Fruit Roll-Ups, Teen Bop and J4Teen.
And 11-year-old me would eat all those damn Fruit Roll-Ups without a stomachache, while Old Me tells her to turn off 16 And Pregnant and read a god damn book before she’s too old to learn and winds up stupid and then Young Me would surely flip Old Me off and tell Old Me to just eat a Fruit Roll-Up and relax.
Know what’s cool, though? Old Me would still eat a few of those Fruit Roll-Ups, even if it meant some minor heartburn, and Young Me would click off the TV and read a god damn book.