Don't get me wrong, I know I'm not old.
That doesn't mean I don't feel old, though.
For example, today, while watching a television show, a young girl -- aged about sixteen, judging by the fact that she was driving -- admitted that she didn't know what a Walkman was.
No, Roy. She is NOT from the past.
How can I be four years older than her, and have worn out three of those in my lifetime? How is that possible? What is this madness? Does she know what a portable CD player is? A boombox? Why am I using so damn many questions?
Perhaps on any other day, this wouldn't have bothered me in quite the same way.
Today is my twentieth birthday.
I swear, it never occurred to me that people would be younger than I am. In that same way that, until I was fourteen, I didn't quite understand that you actually had to do something with your life before you were married, I never thought active people could be younger than I am/was.
This is a flaw on my part.
Now, how do I handle this?
My first inclination was to put on my Writing Playlist (supplemented with late-90's, early-00's drivel, just to add fuel to the fire). With my beloved Mr. Higgenson in my ears, though, things seem a tad bit better.
This does not fix the problem.
What fixes the problem?
More Tom Higgenson.
But what after that?
And then, the lightbulb went off.
This is not your problem. It's their's.
All this means is that those "youngsters" still have all of that bollocks to sort through. "Remember YOU at sixteen?" I said to myself. Not to bring down the mood or anything, but I was a mental mess, in my own Sliding Scale of Suck way. Everything I had built my world on, and everything I believed simply crumbled like a crushed cookie beneath me. (Yes, my teenaged battle wasn't the journey to find myself, but to discover who others were. Sue me, I've never been conventional.) But isn't that the point? That you've got that finite set of years to finish being a total twit, so that you can start sorting out the important stuff? You know, like, the real-life, boring stuff?
That's exactly what it is.
Sort all of that out then, kids. Go out there and be stupid, 'cause one of these days, it'll hit you that somewhere, your future is wandering around on this planet -- chances are, just as clumsily as you (for me, this was at sixteen, after a visit to Camp Pendleton). It'll occur to you that the odds of mortgage/car payment/parenthood/pension plans/white picket fence-dom within the next ten years are so high that you'll wonder why in hell you worried about that stupid two page essay you slapped together on global warming, or how driving scares the holy living hell out of you. 'Cause when that realization hits you, you WILL want to buckle yourself in, identify the emergency exits, and keep all limbs inside the vehicle. Whatever you are doing, you feel like it's contributing to your future.
So go ahead, kids. Figure that out.
I'll be here, trying to sort out which buckles click together, where the emergency exits are, and how to keep my limbs from getting whacked off (I feel I will need them in the future).
In the meantime, my zimmer frame is double parked... right next to my Walkman.
I'll be that girl also doesn't realize that this sound used to mean THE INTERNET.
Reginald Kitty is not amused.
Here, have a song. It seems appropriate.
By the way, go get this. It's free!