I was chatting with a long-lost college classmate a few weeks ago. She happens to have the same birthday as me (12th October…make a note of it), and she was saying the big 30 that looms ominously in front of us is completely freaking her out.
We’ll both turn 28 this birthday you see, which is just a polite way of saying you’re as good as 30. 27 was still just 2 years older than your perky, carefree, just-out-of-Masters-degree 25. Now 28 is a completely different ball game. By 30, you should have the job you want…no more, ‘I’m just warming up for that fantastic job that’s out there, it’s OK if they pay me in sacks of rice instead of currency, I’ll be out of here in a year or two.’
By 30 you should have been out of there and in a plush swanky office, making calls home to make sure your baby’s nanny isn’t bringing strange men home for her side business. So 28 is just 2 years away from all that. So by 28 if you feel you’re not even halfway to that goal, you’re screwed, my dears.
Hence our hysteria.
Apart from all that, you can really tell you’re getting old by the following things.
1) When you tie your belt around your waist and not around your knees. ( How these youngsters keep their pants up is an enduring scientific mystery.)
2) When you manage to get up enough enthusiasm to go to a disco but sit through all the songs. You complain constantly throughout the synthetic ‘dhish-dhish-dhish’ music and leap up and dance wildly to a barely known hip-hop song for 5 minutes simply because you can understand the words. Then you go back to your seat and watch the young people dance to interminable identical beats, and wonder if you’ve stumbled into a cult meeting.
3) When you’re on a bike in the rain and all you can think of is getting off the bike and out of the rain. “ It’s so cold, I’ll catch my death!” “What if the color of my kameez runs, it was so expensive!” “Wish I had worn different underwear!”
I’ve been on a bike in the rain in my younger, more lighthearted, days and I remember thinking it was awesome to go whizzing through the rain like that, no matter how I looked or what the dangers of cold rain and unfortunate underwear were.
4) You know you’re old when people just 4-5 years younger than you seem to talk to you in code language. You can vaguely discern some English amongst the flurry of ‘dude’ ‘buddy’ ‘yuop’ ‘okai’ ‘dog’ and ‘bitch’es. You try to speak their language and overcompensate with a lot of ‘man’s and ‘love and peace’. Only to get "like,whatever!"ed for your pains.
5) And last but not least, when people are not at all surprised to hear you’ve been married for 3 years and don’t even bother to reply (just for the sake of politeness) “You must have been a very young bride!”
When I’ve grumbled about this last point I have been reassured by friends that people assume I’m older because I’m taller than them.
Taller my ass! Where do I sign up for that retirement home?