I understand now, with perfect clarity, why some 30-something women persist in sporting mini-skirts that are far too young for them (or their thighs) and men of the same age endlessly relive their teenage athletic exploits.
Get a grip. They simply have not come to grips with the fact that their final growth-spurt – that leap into the “real world” which they have been waiting for since shortly after high school – has somehow passed them by.
More concisely, they simply haven’t yet gotten the memo that they are officially grown up.
I cannot be the only person in the 30-something demographic that is having a really hard time imagining that members of my generation are occupying positions of power.
Already, many of us are toiling in Fortune 500 companies, law firms, governor’s offices. Heck, I’m old enough that some of my peers were partners in Internet startups. They had stock options for crying out loud. Stock options!
Two years earlier, they had been jamming in basement bands with names like The Sock Monkeys and now they were moguls!
Matter of time. It was only a matter of time before our influence went beyond pop culture to issues of greater global importance such as whether or not otherwise sane and rational people would, en masse, agree that $3.55 sounded just about right for a cup of coffee.
We’ve been out of school, most of us, for years now. We’ve bought houses. We’ve made contacts. We’re “schmoozing.”
Many of us have business cards with our own names on them because we’ve been promoted – or sentenced – to positions that demand such frivolities.
Scary thoughts. We are eligible to run for Senator. Heck, President. The kid who’d once punched you in the nose during an argument over who was better, Bo or Luke Duke, could one day be given control of the button attached to a nuclear bomb. Scared yet?
As for myself, I fluctuate daily between worrying about my IRA, and pretending that carrying my briefcase is just for dress-up, the same way I used to plunk my grandmother’s sheer curtains on my head and play “bride.”
I look down at my wedding ring and marvel that the state has actually entrusted me with a legally binding lifetime contract. More appalling, they’ve entrusted me with two entire human beings, no questions asked.
No test? Shouldn’t there have been some sort of a test? I still find it odd that I have decision-making power. When people call, they ask to speak to me. Not my mom. Not my boss. ME! What is wrong with the universe?
I have volumes of memories involving baby dolls, kickball and Saturday morning cartoons, but only a minimal understanding that I am supposed to be steering – let alone changing – the world. Maybe that’s why I have such a hard time seeing myself, or my peers, as grownups.
Responsibility. All I know is that I certainly don’t feel old enough to have even the responsibilities I have now – most of which simply consist of following a balanced diet and paying the cable bill on time.
How can anybody who threw a temper tantrum over President Reagan’s State of the Union Address pre-empting the Cosby Show possibly be put in charge of decisions beyond whether or not they want fries with that?
Can I go back? All I know is that when I’m feeling overwhelmed here in the “real world” I still can’t quite believe I’m supposed to be adequately equipped to cope with it. I want to ask, in utter seriousness, if someone – anyone – can tell me how to get to Sesame Street?
Sometimes I’d really like to live there again. I just don’t want to have to be President.
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a very reluctant grown-up. She welcomes comment c/o email@example.com; P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or http://userweb.epohi.com/~kseabolt.)
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