The other night was my good friend, Frank’s, 26th birthday. 26. And that’s when I realized that I will be 25 in July. 25. 25 freaking years old! I remember meeting people who were 25 years old when I was in high school and thinking, “Wow. 25…you’re like an adult.” Then, I remember meeting the assistant producer when I first started as an intern at my company…and she was 25. And I remember thinking, “Whoa. 25. You’re old.” And now I am that old girl. That so-called “adult.”
This whole getting old thing sucks. I’m used to being the youngest in every group. I was the youngest of three kids. I was always the youngest in school. I’ve always been the youngest out of all my friends. And this is slowly starting to change. I think I need to find newer, older friends. Anyone in their 30s feel like hanging out?
There are a couple new interns in my office, two are in college and one graduated last year. We all went for happy hour drinks a couple of weeks ago. I honestly wasn’t feeling it. I would have much preferred to run home, slip into pj’s and watch the Rachel Ray Show, which I had DVR’d earlier, with a cup of hot tea. But I decided not to be a fuddy-duddy and managed to oil up my walker and head to the Village Tavern with all these youngin’s. Over a Magners (the greatest cider EVER) the college kids and I were chatting about where everyone was from. As it turned out, one of the girls was from a town in Connecticut where a guy I used to date lived. After telling her this, I mentioned his name to which she responded:
“You mean Devland Avocado?” (obviously, this is not his real name…I am protecting his privacy)
I felt immediately cool, and hip and with it and pushed the thought that my back was aching out of my mind. “Yes!” I replied, “You know him?”
She smiled and started laughing sadistically. “Yeah! Mr. Avocado was my history teacher, senior year in high school!”
I died a little inside that day, hearing her call a man I dated, “Mr. Avocado.”
I chugged what was left of my Magners, wiped the foam from my lips and immediately left the bar.
I was starting to feel better the next night as I babysat Maddie, my best friend’s five year old daughter. We were skipping and playing and exploring the city. And all was right with my world again.
“You know what I told my teacher yesterday?” Maddie looked up at me with big, brown eyes.
“No, what’s that Maddie?”
“I told her I was hanging out with my bestest friend in the world tonight.”
“Really?” I smiled and ran my fingers through her silky hair,”You’re one of my bestest friends too, Maddie.” Then I added, “And my favorite five year old.”
And just then, I started to think…I’m not 25 yet. I still have four glorious months of my 24th year on this planet. Four wonderful months before I roll over that hill. And I should explore it like a five year old, excited and thrilled with every moment and every opportunity.
Maddie stood on the subway chair beside me and threw her arms around my neck. “I’m turning six in July!” She stated as if reading my thoughts.
“I know!” I said, “My birthday’s in July too! Know how old I’ll be?” Maddie shook her head. “25!” I said smiling in an exaggerated way.
Maddie’s eyes grew wide and her face dropped, mouth gaping open. “Whoa. That’s. Old.” And she paused between each word for effect. You know, to give herself some time to twist the knife.
I sighed. “Yeah. Yeah, it is.”