As you know if you’re a regular Pretty Thing reader, I’m 39 years old – it was my birthday last week. I like to think that I’m a pretty young 39 – I try to look as young as possible, I don’t wear old lady clothes much (and my fab lingerie is as far away from granny panties as you can get!), and I try to keep my ear to the ground about the latest trends in fashion, music, and entertainment. However, there are some things I’m such a grown up about – and apparently those things are non-negotiable for me. Let me explain.
Do you know the expression ‘If you can’t piss with the big dogs, don’t cock your leg’? It’s one of my favorites – I am pretty much always up for a good time, so when it comes to pissing, my leg is nearly always cocked and ready (metaphorically speaking, of course) – but there are times when it’s just nice to stay home. And relax. And do nothing. And it’s GREAT! That probably makes me old, right? I can’t keep up with my girlfriends who are out carousing until all hours of the night 6 nights a week, staying out until 4:00am every night and abusing their livers like it was a bloody Olympic sport. I work all day, I begin work VERY early in the morning, I put in long hours…and I fear I’d be up on charges for assaulting a co-worker or a student if I got that little sleep, night after night. It would damn near kill me! Does that make me old? Probably. There’s also the whole ‘responsibility’ thing to consider – I do a lot of stuff during the day, and the bulk of it is quite important. If I wasn’t at my best and brightest, I would probably make careless mistakes (or do nothing at all but nap under my desk – I’ve done it a couple times over the years, I’m mildly ashamed to admit) – and I’m not exactly sure how behavior like that would allow me to keep my job. It wouldn’t. So, pissing with the young dogs every night isn’t a viable option for me – instead, I guess I stay home most of the time, and be old – and leave my carousing for the weekends. And you know what? I think I’m okay with that. 🙂
Another thing that shows my age is my obsession with manners. I loathe ill-mannered behavior like you wouldn’t believe. I also value punctuality, reliability, and keeping your word. I believe that if you say you will do something, then you need to do it – it’s as simple as that. This, too, likely puts me at odds with the young, hip, loosey-goosey young folks of today, but…that’s who I am. If you tell me that you will call me when you’re finished doing what you’re doing, then I will expect that phone to ring – and be cross as hell if it doesn’t. If you say that we will get together and do something on a certain day, then I will be absolutely ready and raring to go with a cute outfit and inappropriate footwear – and I will also be disappointed as hell (as in small child levels of disappointment) if somehow you forget, or our plans don’t work out. (NOTE: I’m fine when things come up – extenuating circumstances and all of that jazz…but when we don’t spend time together because you simply ‘forgot’??! Yeah, hell no. That won’t fly with me at all.) I believe in things like calling if you’re going to be late, showing up at least five minutes early – and calling sometimes just to say hi. I believe that when we are polite with the world, the world will be nice and polite to us…and I sure want that, don’t you???! 🙂 A few years ago, the lovely Mr. Tim Gunn wrote a book entitled ‘Gunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons For Making It Work’, and I absolutely love it! 🙂 Tim talks a lot about manners and etiquette, and said the following: I see a terrible erosion of respectful behavior. I also wanted to send the message, which is at the core of the book, to take the high road. No matter how much strife and consternation you face, no matter how much you want to shout and scream, take the high road. If you want to write an angry e-mail, write it but don’t send it. It’s based on my experience that whenever I have acted out in some manner, I have always regretted it. When I’ve taken the high road, I’ve never regretted it. Sage words of advice, eh? I know – Mr. Tim Gunn is magnificent. 🙂 It’s true, though – take the high road, be respectful, have good manners…it matters. Especially to an old fogey like me. 😉
I like to have balance in my life these days – I used to be such a creature of extremes, but that has changed over the years. I work every single day at keeping things between the lines, and yet it doesn’t come naturally to me. I fight a constant struggle to not pick up and move somewhere else on a whim, and I have to focus every day on not running away to join the circus (I haven’t worked out what my act will be yet, but I’m currently open for suggestions). For me, those kinds of things feel natural – and working on living a balanced, steady life is rather strange – but I’m trying. I need to have people around who aren’t going to disappear for a while, off chasing the Grateful Dead (haha) or whoever the kids are following around the country these days. (If you say it’s One Direction, I’m going to make my way to the nearest corner, fart some dust, and lament my advanced age) Does seeking (and craving) this type of stability make me old? Probably. Again – oh well. 🙂
I find myself drawn to people of all ages (one of my new favorite friends is 27 and I LOOOOOVE her!!!) – I don’t often notice how old someone is, and frankly, I’m terrible at guessing people’s ages anyway. I know people who are in their mid 50s but look younger than I do (and yes, I agree – those people are total assholes)…and I know those in their late 20s who look 40-something (not mentioning any names, Lindsay Lohan). I think that when you build connections with people, you are drawn to their personalities, their interests, their sparkles – and not what year they were born. At least I hope that is the case – I would hate to be judged as being simply that ‘almost-40-year-old-bag’! 😉
Does age matter to you, or is it just a number? What things do you value in people, friends? 🙂