They say that youth is wasted on the young. It’s true. And like some cheesy Hallmark card about how one good friend is better than a thousand ok ones, this saying just keeps getting more true the older I get. Because when you’re young, all of your fresh-faced energy is tempered by the smallest insecurities and illusions about the world. Young people have the physical stamina of a Civil War horse, but all the wrong ideas about how to harness it. You probably ran into this last night. It was the 21-year old girl passed out at the bar on St. Patrick’s Day. At five-o’clock.
Something cool about getting older is knowing your limits. Not only on St. Patrick’s Day or other socially sanctioned drinking holidays. But every day, night, 365-style. Not like we suddenly have to stay inside those limits once we reach a specific age. My hangover today – and the hilarious stories – are proof of that. But having a good grasp of your limits means you’re more free to act within them. And then to smash out of them, with a solid vengeance that only comes as a result of wise-ass maturity. Look at it this way: getting older means you get to stop worrying so much about what getting older means. You can quit wondering what it’s going to be like. You’re living it, Big Girl. And it’s NBD.
I used to wonder all the time if the things I did were right for my age. If the people I hung out with were too immature. If my job required things that I was too advanced to do. And then I found out that everyone wonders these things. And that the only way to deal with this question is to stop trying to answer it.
If I were one of those truth-spitting Hallmark cards, I’d say there’s nothing we’re too old for. Remember that lady who got married on her 100th birthday? She’s the cover girl for that card. But here’s another truth. Some things should be grown out of, along with the guts to hold down five Irish car bombs in an hour. That’s not healthy. And neither are your 2 am anxieties covering all the possible reasons for why that last guy you dated didn’t want to date you.
Here are the things you are too old for. Airing out your relationship garbage on Facebook. Getting upset with other people for airing their relationship garbage on Facebook (unless it’s about you). Get over that. People are heavily annoying. So are you. People are people. A fancy business suit doesn’t make them any more important. You can say no next time someone tries to cut in front of you at Starbucks. And if you want to drink Starbucks, then drink Starbucks. If you want to convert to vegetarianism or veganism or pescatarianism or any other -ism, convert. If you don’t want to, don’t. Ninety-six percent of what is printed in women’s magazines is nonsense. You can stop reading it like it’s a modern Bible. Never read Faulkner, Steinbeck, or Hemingway? Don’t mourn the loss, sister. That’s what we Wikipedia’s for. You don’t need to apologize.
The things you’re never too old for? Eating ice cream for dinner. Eating ice cream for breakfast. Thinking there are burglars outside of your window or monsters under your bed. Stopping to pet every puppy you pass on the street. Double-checking to see if peanut shells are compostable or not. Being both grossed out and intrigued by the things your body produces. Judging someone based solely off of their Twitter handle. Wishing you had lips like Alicia Silverstone’s. Or Susan Sarandon’s boobs. Going to a $10 psychic, just to feel like you have some direction. Laughing at videos of people falling down. It’s a proven fact, that’s one that just won’t get old.