Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor

Aging Gracefully or Not Really Aging At All

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Quotes on aging

To all the May birthdays in my life. There are so many of you!

i’d very much prefer staying firm and slim/to grow old like a vintage wine fermenting/in old wooden vats with style ~ Nikki Giovanni

…If I could dance that way again I would do it for twenty-four hours straight. I get sad, then I think some people never dance at all. My grandma, the youngest 83-year-old I know.

Ten… 

I never liked dolls.

When I was four, a well-meaning uncle gave me a doll and I pretended to rock it in my miniature wooden rocking chair, holding a plastic bottle to its pursed lips.

When he turned away, I tossed the doll to the floor. I can still see its sky-blue eyes staring up at me, unblinking.

I favored stuffed animals (less demanding) and as an adult, I prefer puppies to babies. But it doesn’t matter. Because by the time you’re 10, your friends tell you to GROW UP and leave the dolls behind.

Boston-terrier-life-advice-aging

You think he knows how old he is?

I’ll call her J, just in case she finds and reads this. J was my childhood friend who convinced me I was never good enough at the age I was (the same age as her).

J was one of those girls, who at 10, acted 12 and at 12, acted 16.

You should be on the hunt for a guy who rides a BMX bike and wears his hat backwards. Or, actually, he should be hunting you. 

Forget about the TeenageMutantNinja Turtles and your MyLittlePonies and make yourself more attractive for him.

You should have started wearing deodorant, read your mother’s COSMO, tried lipstick and attended a slumber party. And if you haven’t done these things, you’re a loser. 

You’re going to be alone FOREVER.

Before she was lured into a cool crowd of pre-teen smokers, J was my “best friend.” I didn’t even like her. She was vicious, manipulative, and she once ratted me out for stealing an ice cream bar from 7-11.

When we weren’t playing Girl Talk, the awful game where pimple stickers were doled out to girls who didn’t “win” a date, she would call older boys (13?) and hand me the phone. Just to embarrass me.

They usually hung up on me because I had no idea what to say or how to “flirt with” a “guy” I had never met. I was 10.

Me: “Ummm, do you like Michael Jordan?”

Long awful pause. Thirteen-year-old boy: “I gotta go.” Guess not.


seagulls-seattle

Ten or eleven, the first time I experienced street harassment. A group of older boys followed me for blocks demanding “turn around bitch.”

Ten or eleven, the age I learned to run-walk. The age I realized growing up wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

It’s not like I wanted to hold onto childhood. I just wanted to be 10 and I didn’t understand why J and her cool-girl gang didn’t want to be 10. Maybe she missed 10. Because she was too busy being 12.

Thirty-two….

travel-thirty-something-flower

I am thirty-two. I live in Seattle, a city of awkward non-conformists where it’s not uncommon to see a group of blue-haired adults playing polo on bicycles.

A huge Maurice Sendak poster with monsters all over it is taped above my office desk. A Rosie the Riveter figurine and one of those quarter-machine homies hang out on my desk.

Am I too old for this stuff? When does it go in the box in the garage – wait, at what age does one get a garage?

There are so many articles on things to do before your thirty, like it’s a magical age when life turns from a colorful photograph into black and white. Like we all must become boring at the same time

See the world before you turn thirty. Go to Thailand before your thirty. It’s not ok to wear a bikini when you’re thirty. Get out the white linen table clothes and real dishes. You’re thirty.

seattle-travel-washington-cherry-blossoms

There is a season..turn, turn, turn

Thirty is the new twenty. Why can’t thirty just be thirty? Why do we need parodies like this and this that whine about how we’re all old and tired?

The only thing I am tired of are lists made to make me feel old, written by snarky twenty-two-year olds who landed their first jobs at BuzzFeed and now poke those of us who have begun to find our first gray hairs and see the first faint lines under our eyes.

Those of us who wonder where all that time went and realize too much of it was wasted trying to impress others with our important jobs.

Some things aren’t appropriate after thirty.

Inappropriate after thirty:

  • Trying crack. It’s really never appropriate. But if you’re going to go into a downward spiral, twenty is better than thirty.
  • Kegstands.
  • Getting an STD from SpringBreak
  • Forgetting to pay the rent until you get evicted.
  • Body shots/jelly shots/really, unless it’s a special occasion – any shot
  • Projectile vomiting from binge drinking.
  • Fist fighting.

Acceptable at any age

  • Screaming WOOHOO from a convertible because you’re excited that the wind is making your hair dance.
  • Scaling a wall in a dress so you could get a better view of the sunset (my last weekend).
  • Going to Vegas on a whim.
  • Going anywhere on a whim.
  • Driving cross country.
  • Having stuffed animals
  • Backpacking
  • Music festivals (please leave the baby at home)
  • Staying up until sunrise
  • Dancing
  • Dreaming. I am so sad I need to even say this.

The best years aren’t behind us. The best year is now. Let’s be the age we are and forget preconceived notions about young and old. Every age will be young until our last.

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Author: angloadventure

Professional travel writer and near-professional wanderer. Recently lived in Seattle and Quebec City. Traveled across country three times in a car. Can find the best pizza in any city. Published in Fodor's travel guides, Delta Sky, Where magazine, Viator and others.

5 thoughts on “Aging Gracefully or Not Really Aging At All

  1. They really should put age appropriate warnings on crack vials.

    And, if I may, there is one more thing I’d like to add to your “acceptable at any age” list: poop jokes.

  2. Well written and so, so true. Especially the music festival one!! (and the toilet humour 🙂 )

  3. This was excellent. (And poignant – my daughter turns 10 on Wednesday and already the mean girls are rearing their ugly heads.)

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