How To Get Older

You know that thing going around Facebook where you’re given an age and you have to tell people what you were driving back then, even it was a tricycle?

And then people like your post.  For a moment you think it’s because they care that you lived in your own little world.  But really, they just want you to give them an age to talk about.  So the cycle, like life, can begin again.

Yeah, that.

The age I got was 22.

I was going to write a simple post about how I lived in Stirling, drove a Quickie and my heart belonged to Philip Roth.

And then.  I realised that as of next month, 22 was 10 years ago.

Well, that smarts.

And then I went backwards.  Thought about where my 22 year-old self thought she’d be at nearly 32.

Graduated?  Turns out, not so much.

Living in Edinburgh?  Why yes, yes I am.  Although, 10 years ago I think I was looking at it through rose-tinted glasses.  Ones that smoothed out all the cobbles,  ramped all the entrances and put lifts in all the buildings.

Married?  Getting there.  Although, I could not imagine back then being as happy and loved as I am now.  And I didn’t know there’d be so many penguins.

In somewhat related news, I often call Sarge an old man.  He is 35 and already wears the same kind of slippers that my Grandpa wore.

Sarge admits to and embraces being old.  And here are some ways I might be catching up with him:

I wear socks around the house.  Without having to be told to do so by first my father and now my fiance.  Y’all are right, I have cold feet.

I drink coffee without sugar now.  This is a recent development to go along with my healthy-eating thing.  You can taste the actual coffee more. Who knew?  On a related note, I can now do crushes without using my neck.  Much.  I’m not sure that’s a sign of maturity or a shrinking waist.

Modern times annoy me.  I was recently on the bus when what looked like an eight year-old girl pulled out an iPad.  I very nearly shouted, ‘Go read a book.’  When my Nana or anyone else told me to do the same, I did.  One with pages.  I also don’t have any kind of e-reader.  Unless my phone counts.  I don’t like getting finger-print smudges on screens.  Or anything.  Unless I’m playing Bubble Witch Saga.  It keeps my brain active, see.  And I read real books.  I also might have signed up at Lumosity.  Every little bit helps.

Well, I s’pose I’m OK with modern times.

But I don’t keep up with what people are watching on TV.  Earlier this week, I watched the first episode of Downton Abbey.  After asking my friends if it was like The House of Elliot.  Because I watched that, when it was first on.  But I don’t like Downton.  Maybe I should give it another shot.  But I’m old.  While we’re on the subject.  I really like House of Cards, but it isn’t The West Wing.  I’m talking too much about TV.  Perhaps I should go read a book.  Or write one.

About that.  My current project has a plan.  I never planned my fiction when I was younger.  Maybe therein lies the rub.  But I still don’t like Shakespeare.  Somethings never change.

When I was 22, I thought a lot about getting married, now four months and one day before that actually happens, I’d just like to be married.  

In yet more related news, I’ve started to use the term ‘… and all that happy horseshit’.  This is a phrase I’d previously assigned to older people.  And so when a friend recently asked how the wedding plans were going I said, ‘Oh, y’know, the hair, the shoes (in my case Docs), the food, the flowers and all that happy horseshit,’ I surprised myself.  See how much I just want to get down the aisle and start the rest of it?

When Sarge got home I said, ‘I’m officially getting old.  And that’s OK.’

And something else that make me think I’ve grown up/don’t care/do care, is that I write a blog that my parents read.  Both of them.  My father is my best marketing team of one and my mother phones in her comments.  ‘Why haven’t you written this week?  C’mon.’

And so, next month I’ll be 32.  And that’s OK.  But I guess since this post was kinda inspired by Facebook, I can’t be that old.  But I’m getting there.  And I was just listening to Paul Simon. It all balances out.

What were you doing at 22?  How about 32?  If you’re not there yet, project.  I did.

When I'm an old woman I shall be Maxine.  Thanks, Hallmark!
When I’m an old woman I shall be Maxine. Thanks, Hallmark!
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27 thoughts on “How To Get Older

  1. At 22 I was in Israel, having a lot of life-changing experiences, some of them a bit scary. Didn’t drive probably for a whole year. At 32, mid-grad school, having some different, life-changing experiences, some of them scary as well. I was driving then, but I sure wasn’t married, or anywhere close. You didn’t ask about 42 so…

  2. At 22 I got married–WAY too young, & it was unsustainable, but in the long run it left me many gifts that I’m hugely grateful for, most especially my daughter & son. As for my career, it was an unformed dream; I was a grad student in the English Dept., & left that later in the year to work as a secretary for a while. Driving husband’s decrepit ’68 Mercury Cougar.

    At 32 I was a young “mum” & moved to southern California & was doing a lot of spiritual searching. At some point that year, I think, I started typing papers & theses for grad students again, very part time. Sharing a used Honda with husband.

    Now I’m 58! Physically there are more challenges, & TWO marriages have failed; I’m still healing from the last of these. Fantastic editing job at the largest university press in the US. Have a published poetry collection & looking to publish another soon. Involved in advocacy related to Colombia. My kids are doing great & I’m a grandma! All in all, I love getting old.

    And I watched the first season of Downton Abbey on Netflix recently. It’s a bit soap-operaish, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

    Looking forward to all your wedding hoopla later this year, Lorna! So glad you & Sarge have found each other.

  3. I keep trying to get my dad to read a north dakota ranch girl’s blog. I think he would relate to most of it. He is just not a computer person unless it is specifically for work. My mom is the computer person and I’ve not found anything I thought she would really like yet. I’m not sure I want them to read me.

    1. I did think about it in the beginning, but for me, the pros outweigh the cons. After all, this blog was kinda my Dad’s idea to start with.

      I’m going to check out that blog you mention. Any others you’d recommend?

      1. The one I mentioned is Meanwhile back at the ranch. The Blog of Otis is also a favorite right now. Fogs’ Movie Reviews is my favorite movie blog. Writedood is good. Rantings of Amateur Chef is one of my favorite cooking blogs.

  4. Darling – if you think you’re old now, just wait! (Just ask your dad!). When I was 22 I was still dating the love of my life (I was very short-sighted) and in college #2 (of 3 – for undergrad, that is), and assumed I’d be married by 23 (short-sighted, see). At 32, I was happily touring the US as a full-time professional singer and having a blast. Those were the days…

    1. I’ve never thought of Dad as old. And I’ve said elsewhere that people aren’t actually old til they get to 100. Just for laughs, this was!

      PS. Dad left you a comment towards the bottom of the page.

  5. at 22 … just out of college and starting a job. At 32 … gave birth to a second child and tried to juggle a family and work. Now I’m 62 and I have no idea where the years went … they zoom by so FAST. My grandmother always said that, and now I finally understand.

  6. I’ve been to Stirling! I saw the castle there. What’s left of it, anyway. You’ve done pretty well for yourself over the past 10 years, even if you aren’t exactly where you thought you’d be. And really, who isn’t better off with more penguins? When I was 22, I had just graduated from college and had no idea what the hell I was going to do. At 32, I was working as a historian, creating museum exhibitions and stuff. Now, at 45, I look back and realize I never could have predicted how any of my life unrolled. And if someone had said that I wouldn’t get married until I was 38, I probably would have cried uncontrollably for a few months. And I call Mr. Weebles “my old man” even though he’s 3 years younger than I am. And strangely enough, I am just now learning to drink tea without sugar, as part of a healthy thing. I drink coffee without sugar but sugarless tea is a more difficult taste for me to acquire.

  7. Even though I am a detail-oriented person and a serious planner, I’ve never been detail-oriented about the “distant” future. My goal has always been to be happy and more stable in the future. I can say with some degree of certainty that in less than two years (when I’m 32), I will have achieved that success over my 22-year old self. I was just finishing undergrad, and good gracious do I never want to do that again!
    If it makes you feel any better, I continue to see the signs piling up suggesting that I am old. I have no idea what music is cool, and when I think I hear it, I am disgusted by it. And I am okay with that. And the gray hairs that are sprouting.
    Good luck with the next few months for your wedding. And all that happy horseshit. (Which is a phrase I had never heard before, so I can say I’ve learned something today 😉 )

  8. Interesting to look back and forth to see where we thought we would be by now. Chuckling at your “old” comment – we are already at midlife and look at 70, 80, 90 as old so I guess it is all relative. Thank you for explaining that FB trend of describing your life at whatever age you’re assigned…..
    Came over from SITSgirls – love their linked Saturday posts.

  9. Great Post! It can be bittersweet looking back in time. we can guess or say where we want to be in 10 or 20 yrs but when it actually happens we realize it couldn’t be predicted. I know where I would like to be and strive to get there. This post was fun and made me think of my own life.

  10. When I was 22, I was just finishing college (I think you call it university?) driving a blue Citation, and hadn’t yet met the love of my life. That came later, when I was 26. At 22, where did I think I would be today? Well, I’m happy to say my life turned out like I pictured it, with a only a few minor details changed.

  11. At work I’m surrounded by entry level positions, so that means I’m always getting older, but they are staying the same age. It makes me feel like I”m in a time warp. On one hand, none of them know what Three’s Company was, but on the other, I’m always looped into the latest catch phrases. Fur shizz.

    My life is absolutely nothing like what I thought it would be when I was 22. Not one single thing. Strange.

  12. I must disagree – 32 is not old. When enough years have passed that you no longer remember what you were doing at 22, that’s old. 32? That’s just reaching the beginning of maturity.

  13. I turn 32 in June. And yikes! I’m not at all where I thought I would be. Not that it’s necessarily all bad.

    “I don’t like getting finger-print smudges on screens.”—Me too! My Kindle has a keypad for this very reason.

  14. I’m 32 now…at 22 I thought at 32 I would be married, with a son and a daughter and a cute dog and a house in New England and a SEVERELY awesome career. Superstardom. So I got the husband and the son and daughter (who knew?!) and the house in New England. No dog. Not a lot to show for myself career-wise. I too drink less sugar in my coffee, though. That’s a good one!

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