A few years ago, something vile and heinous happened to me. I entered a new age demographic.
For those of you who have not had to check the 25-34 age box on questionnaires yet, be warned. The thought of leaving behind your 18-24 year old days can be quite disheartening. Average, everyday events start to remind you that you’ve crossed over.
Here are a few of my stories from the “other side”:
1. The Only Place I Get ID’d is the Grocery Store
I don’t know whether to curse or praise the corporate training program that insists Publix cashiers check ID’s from anyone under the age of 40. One day I threw a bottle of wine into my cart just for a little confidence boost at the cash register.
Cashier: Ma’am, can I please see your ID?
Me: Oh! (Cue my look of surprise.) Let me just get that out of my wallet for you. You must be asking because I didn’t wear any eye makeup today. You know, my friends tell me that I look so much younger without eyeliner…
Cashier: (Impatiently) Ma’am, we check everyone’s ID under the age of 40,” (pointing to the “WE ID” sign in front of the debit/credit card machine).
Me: Oh. Right. (Attempt to mask mortification and play it cool while hauling ass through the remainder of the transaction.)
Ouch. Mental Note: cruise over to lane 7 with the elderly male cashier next time.
2. My Alcohol Tolerance is Shot
Speaking of alcohol, I seem to recall a time in my life when I could drink cheap whiskey from the bottle, win six games of beer pong in a row, and then watch the sun come up with a glass of lukewarm boxed wine in my hand. Fortunately, those days are long gone. Just the thought of attempting one of those youthful acts gives me a migraine and a queasy stomach. One sip of anything mixed with Red Bull and I can pretty much predict the next day will consist of four Ibuprofens and sleeping until the sun goes down in a small puddle of drool.
3. I’m Supposed to Have a Plan
It was acceptable to live a gypsy lifestyle from 18-24. Hell, it was even encouraged. After 24, though, people (and by people, I mean my parents) expect you to have your shit figured out. After 24 it suddenly becomes “unacceptable” to not have a 401k, to pawn your gold jewelry for gas money, and to purchase your birth control at Planned Parenthood because you don’t have health insurance. Once you hit 25, it seems it’s time to start living a life of purpose and intention instead of living your life on a minimum wage paycheck and a prayer.
4. Finally, Acceptance
And so time marches on. Another day goes by and I’m another day closer to 30. The best part about being part of the new age demographic, though, is that you start to accept getting older. You can finally say, “good riddance” to the bad choices you made in the past and start making better ones for your future. There is a lot to look forward to, so check that 25-34 box with pride. All that’s left for you in 18-24 are memories and a whole bunch of Facebook photos you had better untag.