For the most part, while I tend to be a little overly judgmental and will dislike you on principal, the shade of lipstick you’re wearing or a weird look you gave me last Tuesday, age is usually not something that comes up.
I mean, why would it? Age often doesn’t correlate to maturity, intelligence, connection, personality or anything else I seek in most of my friendships. Sure, I gravitate to people who are slightly older, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t had friends who were younger. The only real thing that age plays a factor in is when it comes to romantic relationships, and even then I suppose I’d bend my not so concrete “rules” for the person IF the connection was there.
So I guess that’s why age doesn’t really come up in my life. Sure, I don’t fit what my definition of being twenty three would have been ten years ago, but other than that I don’t think about it much more than one more candle on the proverbial cake. I guess that’s why I was kinda shocked when I realized how much of a difference there can be in just a couple of years.
In my current job, I had been the youngest in our department. Not by a long shot mind you. M, who also works in the same department is only six months older than me, but I was definitely the baby. I mean, I’m not always exactly mature---a recent video on a certain playground can attest to that fact, however I know there’s a time and a place for everything.
I guess it’s just easy to feel like you’re a baby.
But I do have to say, nothing makes you feel quite so old as hanging out with someone who’s just three years younger than you. Which is why there was a bit of a shock with our two newest employees. Both are years old but it feels more like there’s a five or six year difference.
The typical arrogance sets in.
Could I have really been that naive?
Could I really have been that young?
I mean, obviously I was. I can look back at high school and shudder at the idiot things I’ve done. Hell, I’m sure in three years I’ll look back to today and wonder what the hell was I thinking.
The weird thing is, if you look three years into the future, or people who are three years ahead of you and it feels a little bit of the opposite. People at twenty six are settling down in their lives. They have their long term relationships, their marriages, their mortgages... As I mentioned to M the other day, while we consider our work to be a ‘job’ these people think of it more as a ‘career’.
I guess it’s like we’re stuck in this little vacuum of life.
Sure, I can still have a conversation with both age groups. One of my closest co-workers falls into the older category while my desk partner falls into the younger. With either I can have a perfectly fine conversation with, whether it’s about a movie or about the recent purchase on pay day, we can chat just fine.
However, it always feels like there’s a bit of a disconnect between me and them.
Which is weird, cause while I’d always managed to find myself hanging out with adults, with people who were older than me, I guess the only people I can relate to are those in my generation. The people who are between stretching their independence and buying a condo. The people who are still finding out who they are, what they want and where they’re going rather than worrying about how trashed they’re getting next weekend or worrying about when they can afford to have a baby or get married. Bouncing from each pay check to putting in money for retirement.
Who knew the generation gap was so small?
I guess it’s just a matter of time before I start yelling at those same twenty year olds to get off my lawn and turn down their music, all the while shaking my fist and threatening to get the shot gun.