pessimism vs. optimism

Things that make me feel 28 years old:

1. Twitter. #whatthefuck does @ll this shit (RT, FF, DM, bit.ly) mean? And what on earth can you possibly say in less than 140 characters (including spaces)?  Especially when half of them are smiley faces?

2. Drugs.  When I was 13 I could name you every kind of drug you could do. This is not because I was one of the cool “bad kids” from an After-School Special, like these two, for example:

but rather because of forced participation in three or four years of D.A.R.E! To Keep Kids Off Drugs classes administered by MacGruff the Crime Dog.  (Who, as an aside, I am pretty sure I considered one of my best friends for a large part of fourth grade.  I have always been REALLY COOL.)  But lately I keep hearing people reference drugs I’ve never heard of.  Molly? Roxy? Dexy? Isn’t this the lineup for Jem and the Holograms?  (P.S.: If the Farrah-Fawcett-haired demigod from the above picture had been tempting high school me (overweight, bushy-browed, corduroy-wearing high school me) with a pinky nail of angel dust, you know my shit would have been sniffing it up like a Sunflowers ad in Seventeen magazine.)  (D.A.R.E.: surprisingly not that effective!)

3. Hemlines.  I mean, I am all about miniskirts, and when I am 45 you will probably still be able to find me in line at Forever 21 (no, this sheer leopard-print top is not for my daughter), but have you SEEN the hemlines of the skirts girls are wearing these days?  Often on my way home from work, usually after midnight, I drive by a strip of college bars.  And each night, as I wait at this or that stoplight, I watch girls blithely crisscrossing the pavement, noses buried in the blue glow of a text, in Clydesdale platforms and skirts so short they’re basically crotchless panties.  (These are the same girls that didn’t understand my Jem and the Holograms Halloween costume last year.)  If you set one pinky-toe down in any part of Saudia Arabia in one of those things you’d be instantly shot and set on fire.  Or in any Catholic school, for that matter.  I mean, call me old-fashioned, but I have thighs that touch together.  Whatever happened to the below-the-fingertips rule of hemlines?  These skirts barely make it past your labia before they give out.

4. Speaking of college kids, the fact that when I I.D. someone at work, they have to be born before this date in 1990.  NINETEEN NINETY, people.  In 1990 I had already outgrown my mom’s shoe size.  I had already had my first crush– on this blonde kid in Miss Sipp’s class who I think got expelled for carrying a bowie knife to school.  (We were already carrying bowie knives to school!) I had already decided that when I grew up I was going to be the blonde girl from Can’t Buy Me Love.  I had already committed my first act of theft (I stole a McDonald’s Happy Meal toy– why I remember this, I don’t know, but it was some kind of car with a Tiny Toons character in it– from Devon Russell’s desk) and consequently had already learned about “guilt” (I stayed up half the night, unable to sleep, and furtively returned it to said desk the next day).  Meanwhile these fucks were still sleeping in hospital bassinets.  So no.  No, you may not have another amaretto sour, Kaitlyn.  And pull down your skirt, for God’s sake.

5. Willow Smith.  But on the other hand, wouldn’t you rather have your childhood of mom setting you and your brother down inside a giant carboard box with two fistfuls of markers when she need a few hours of “quiet time” and getting excited about hand-me-downs from your out-of-state cousins and furtively sneaking in to Boys on the Side at the mall movie theater and eating an entire bag of Warheads while reading Madeline L’Engle books on the secret hill behind your brother’s Little League field than… hers?  Who wants to appear on The Today Show as a 10 year old?  Only assholes, that’s who.  If 10 year old me (shy, clumsy, buck-toothed, giant-footed ten year old me) had been forced to appear on The Today Show, I would’ve gone on stage and immediately urinated myself.

6. Side tattoos.  When I see someone on the beach with a tattoo like this:

I just shake my head and think, Oh, shug. You’re going to be so fat one day.

7. The ever-increasing intensity of my hangovers.  I swear to God, they’re so bad sometimes I hear the noise from Contact inside my head.

Things that make me feel 28 years young (this segment brought to you by Activi-AAA):

1. Live band karaoke.

2. Being able to buy WHATEVER KIND OF CEREAL I WANT at the grocery store.  No, the novelty has still not worn off, mom.

2a. Getting whatever toppings I want on my ridiculously oversized ice cream sundae.

3. Getting the for-grown-ups jokes in Pixar movies.

4. Miniskirts! I love them.

5. When someone tells me they’re 23, I always immediately think of how happy I am not to be 23 anymore.

5a. The realization that I am actually kind of excited to turn thirty (we’ll see what I’m saying this time next year, though).

6. The fact that I still secretly fantasize about getting a tattoo.

7. The fact that my dad still swears there is a Santa Claus.

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