Saturday, December 19, 2009

Where Have All The Twentysomethings Gone?

Now that my Week from Hell is over, I can luxuriate in two weeks off of both of my jobs. Two weeks to be the person I really am-- not the exhausted, officious, sanitized, artificially perky version required at work.  Two weeks to remember that I am, in fact, not as old as I always feel. (Between spending the majority of my time with people who consider Wayne's World "some really old movie" and being too tired to go out when I'm done with work, it gets easy to sink into the students' mindset that I am some ageless creature who disappears into a file cabinet when my supervising presence is not required.) Two weeks where people will address me by my real name. I didn't realize how big of a deal this was until I discovered upon reflection that I'd gone weeks without hearing my first name without "Miss" in front of it.

Naturally, I'm celebrating this by sleeping in and eating fudge. So much fudge that I have a headache now. Who knew fudge hangovers were possible?

On Wednesday, I began my celebrations a few days early by going to hang out with one of my friends who's still in undergrad. He's a lovely fellow who I hadn't seen in a while, and he was having a few people over, so I figured I'd drop by.  This is when I realized that if you are heading into your mid-to-late twenties and looking to feel interesting and relevant, hanging out with undergrads is not going to help you much. As the evening began, my friend proposed that we go pick up some drinks to bring back to his place. Another of his guests asked "Am I the only one who's not underage?" I raised my hand. "Oh," she asked, "you're 21 too?" Sheepishly, I corrected her. Judging from the faces of my companions, it seems that "twenty-five" must be some newfangled college slang for "must have gotten lost on the way to Bingo Night at the VFW hall." Kids these days. (The evening's conversation generally revolved around finals, their diet's conspicuous lack of real food, and "that one time when I was so drunk." I mostly sat in the corner smiling indulgently, rather like a den mother. Then I ducked out early because I had work in the morning.)

The incident recalled my consternation a week before, when I was looking for something to wear to a wedding. Weddings are hard to dress for to begin with, especially winter weddings, but I didn't think my request was that unreasonable. I just wanted something warm and reasonably classy that wouldn't make me look like a slut or a Golden Girl. In the places I can afford to shop, collections are generally grouped into "Juniors," "Misses," and "Women's." I am not entirely sure where I am supposed to fall on that spectrum, so I started in the Juniors department.

It was immediately clear that I was looking in the wrong place. Anyone who is old enough, even barely old enough, to remember the '80s the first time around should know better than to wear any of the things I found in the Juniors department. Did we all forget that leggings, tapered acid-wash jeans, and puffy satin sleeves are, in fact, really hideous and unflattering? After a cursory browse revealed nothing that wouldn't make me look like an extra in Heathers, I moved on to Women's. I expected sweatshirts with teddy bears, pleated mom jeans, and necklines that revealed little or no neck from Women's, and that is exactly what I found.

Then I moved on to Misses, which I had figured would be my best bet-- not as ridiculous as Juniors, but more flattering and figure-conscious than Women's. What it turned out to be was... gray. Everything was gray. Gray button-down blouses, gray creased pants, voluminous gray turtleneck sweaters. Here and there would be a black or turquoise accent. What's more, everything seemed to be designed for Maria von Trapp-- expandable to fit several plump Austrian children inside with relative secrecy. Is this what women my age are supposed to wear? I couldn't even find a little black dress. (Although I did find a large gray one.) Most of Misses was exactly like Women's, except with fewer bright colors and fewer shoulderpads.

So it appears that I fall into a gap both in fashion and in function. I am too old to be fun, but not yet old enough to be consequential. I never meet anyone my own age. How long does this last? Because I kind of want to hurry up and turn thirty already.

Posted by Silent Five @ 11:44 AM

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Don't be in a hurry to turn thirty, that's all I can tell you. Being out of touch with your youth doesn't get any better when you wake up and realize that you're old.

PS, you forgot to ask Scott Adams where he buys his dresses.

Posted by Blogger nachoproblem @ 12:16 AM #
 

Hmmm, I seem to recall shopping in the maternity department in my twenties....
counting your blessings

Posted by Anonymous scilla @ 11:37 AM #
 

Haha--that's why I like theatre people. They're between the ages of 16 and 70, and almost all of them act like intellectual college students.

Sounds like you need post-college friends that aren't lame. I mostly hang out with people older than I am down here, so perhaps early-thirtysomethings are the answer.

And your comments about the women's department make me glad I'm a guy. My teenage cousin, my dad, and I all dress pretty much the same--classy men's traditional never really goes out of style.

Posted by Blogger als4bsds @ 9:44 AM #
 
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Word of the Week

gymnosophy [jim-NAH-so-fee]

n. Philosophical, amusing, or nonsensical insights realized when naked, as in the shower or in bed. (recent coinage: att. S. Galasso, 2010)

Victoria and Albert enjoyed a spot of postprandial concupiscence culminating in a night of gymnosophy and coffee and crumpets at dawn.

The Silent Top Five: Bacon-Flavored Desserts

1) Bacon cheesecake.
2) Bacon gumballs.
3) Bacon ice cream.
4) Bacon-orange bars.
5) Bacon apple pie.

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