Sunday, February 8, 2009

Birthdays Was the Worst Days, Now We Sip Champagne When We Thirsty


So here's the thing about turning 21 on Friday.

I know that it will be offensive and cliched and ridiculous for me to lament it and say "oh I'm so old" and "god I don't want to age" but I honestly do feel that way. Turning 21 is not the milestone it used to be anymore, since I have more or less been drinking since I was 14, and the only problem I have getting alcohol is when I want to go to a bar that scans IDs, but it's not like I go out anyway.

The thing about turning 21 is that I am getting older and I remember desperately, anxiously awaiting my 21st birthday with a palpable urgency every other birthday before this one. On my 16th I thought, "It would be nice to celebrate this with champagne," and on my 18th I thought, "I should stop doing so many drugs," and on my 20th I was in London about to get my heartbroken but I didn't know it yet, so everything was wonderful and swimming and I could drink legally, then. And I could do that in Paris, too, just have a glass of wine with dinner, or grab a drink with the guy I was seeing who was much older than me without having to worry that I would get carded and it would be mortifying. Every birthday since my 14th I have wished that I could be 21 so that I could join the club of Adults swilling vodka tonics and looking oh-so-grown up, because according to David, who can apparently read palms, the wry lines that fan out around my fingers mean that I have an old soul, which explains my affinity for whiskey, and also explains why I am terrified of aging: I do not want to be old. Turning 21 means close to nothing except that now when I hang out with my older friends I do not have to be afraid of getting carded. Turning 21 means I am one year further away from being a teenager, one year closer to being 30, to settling down, to having to search for a husband and debate the color of the drapes and when we should have kids and if we should send said kids to a Montessori Preschool. I will be one year closer to having to figure out how to do taxes and how to invest money and perhaps soon I will no longer get hit on by every single construction worker because I will have lost that youthful glow that comes with being 16-20.

This is all ridiculous, I know. 21 is still young, and I still feel this strange melange of incredibly young and naive and incredibly sobered and jaded. I am scared to be a real person, to enter into the world fresh-faced and excited to find out that indeed, it sucks, and I will be unemployed and alone. I'm not sure when birthdays became anxiety-inducing as opposed to exciting and cupcake-laden, and I certainly never thought I would feel this way about turning 21, but there is something lovely and attractive about drinking illegally that will be lost, quite literally forever, come this Friday.

Oh, alright, someone slap me.

-Jess

2 comments:

NB said...

22 is even worse.

Marshall said...

As a happy, successful 34 year old, I can say it's all uphill from there. Enjoy your youth!!!!!