Sunday, April 21, 2013

Things You Can Tell Just By Aging Her

It was earlier this year when a new song began to truly haunt me.  It didn’t come with the usual warning signs (like the name ‘Chris Brown’), it wasn’t instantly offensive (like the opening bars of One Direction’s audio assault on Blondie), nor was it distractingly confusing (like the lyrics to Good Charlotte’s… anything).  It was catchy, easy on the ear, and offered a pleasant break from hearing about how the singer was never, ever, ever getting back together (with Tina Fey & Amy Poehler since deciding to take on misogyny one feminist, woman-empowering female comedy duo at a time).

I never really had a problem with Taylor Swift, until she released the single ‘22’.  It was then, about a week of high rotation FM station airplay in, that I realised something awful – for the rest of my life, Swifty is just going to be motoring along, 5 years behind me, writing songs about how awesome the age is that I’ll never be again.  ‘15’ I could handle with its ode to heartbreak (what me worry… I have no heart) but ‘22’?  Come on, that’s just cruel.

Taylor seems set to be my Ghost of Ages Past.  All this I realised around March, when I was 27.  And now, to make matters worse, I’m 28.

Unless I find a carnival fortune telling machine that’s taking requests, I can no longer even remotely sell the idea that I’m in my mid-20’s.  And now, when I hear ‘22’ I’m not just thinking of the age I’ll never be again, I’m thinking things like:

It feels like one of those nights
We ditch the whole scene
[god I hate changing venues]
It feels like one of those nights
We won't be sleeping
[I don’t know, that sounds tiring, and I don’t really want to screw up my sleeping pattern]
It feels like one of those nights
You look like bad news I gotta have you, I gotta have you
[come on Taylor, make good choices - if he’s bad news now, what’s going to make him good news later?]

And following my birthday I’m noticing more and more signs of just how old I am.  I can hear you asking, Imaginary Audience, ‘what signs?’, and so I will provide detail:

That’s Why The Lady’s A Dame
Case in point, recently some friends and I were trying to assign each other actors and characters that we essentially are in real life (because, as we all know, actors, like characters and eskimos, aren’t real).  After much deliberation I was awarded Maggie Smith.  Current Maggie Smith.

Maggie Smith is awesome, but she’s also, like, a whole 10 years older than me.  It probably proved the point when I proceeded to purchase a cane for a dress up party a few weeks back, then use it at all subsequent gatherings as a dance prop.  But Maggie and I have a lot of other stuff in common aside from a walking stick.  That I am not listing them now should in no way be taken as an indication that no examples readily come to mind – plenty do.  Plenty.  For example… she was in Gosford Park, and I love Gosford Park.  It’s uncanny.

Use Your Words!
My two teenage nephew’s Facebook updates are incomprehensible.

Hey Guys, me & Slothy r [acronym] and will [acronym] the best [acronym] that any1 can [acronym].  Bring it!!!!!!!

I’m not completely off the grid, I do know what LOL, FML, FOMO and YOLO mean (and knowing doesn’t make their use any more acceptable… said Maggie Smith… not me, cause I’m cool, why would I think the only thing more mortifying is adults using emoticons?  That’s pure Mags talking), but this is a whole new level.  I find myself wondering whether said acronyms are simply invented keyboard spasms and the aim of the game is to interpret at will and then reply confidently in kind.

My Body Is Not A Wonderland
My body hurts more in general.  I’m just one set of dentures away from being able to predict the weather through the ache in my joints.

Next Thing You’ll Be Telling Me You Haven’t Watched ‘Spice World’…
There’s this entirely discomforting batch of people popping up in workplaces who were all born in the 90’s and therefore cannot complete a Spice Girls lyric if I sing it at them (call and response style)*.  This in turn has made me realise just how often I punctuate conversations with Spice Girls riffs.

Never fear, it’s not all doom and gloom though.  There are still a few fronts on which I’m fighting the youthful fight.  I still fail to see the allure of quince paste, would sleep in till 12 every day if that was remotely acceptable and simply can’t bring myself to listen to people talk on the radio for longer than 30 seconds (it’s for music after all… except when ‘22’ plays again, then it’s for self-pity).

On the plus side, I can still be mistaken for someone younger.  Not due to looks or attitude, but rather clothing.  You see, I've returned to the bottom of the workplace ladder this year to start all over again, and this event has been made less awkward for those giving me their coffee orders by the fact that I still dress (to quote former boss Dame Deadpan) 'like a teenage boy' leading them to assume I'm an oddly wizened 23 year old**.  Which is much closer to, though not actually, so still failing to be, 22.  Damn you Taylor, damn you.

"Who, me?"  Yes, you.

It feels like one of those nights
I’ll bail on work drinks
It feels like one of those nights
I’ll sleep 10 hours
It feels like one of those nights
Katie Holmes in First Daughter, so bad I must watch, so bad I must watch

Painefull Out

* = I feel safe excluding 1990 born J-Law from this group.  Any girl that can quote First Wives Club knows how to Spice Up Your Life (Every boy and every girl!)
** = See Mother Painefull, comfort, unlike crime, does pay!