A couple Fridays ago, my friend A came over for a chill night in. We watched a movie, ate some snacks, contemplated a house party for about thirty seconds before deciding on bedtime instead.
The following day, Saturday, we traded texts:
Me: “Remember how I said yesterday that I might want to go out tonight? Now all I want to do is bake a cake. What is wrong with me!?”
A: “I know. The biggest decision in the past hour was to buy or not to buy lamb chops and a beautiful cookbook. Soon, cat people!”
As I wrote in my response, I have always taken minor solace, for this very reason, in the fact that I can’t stand cats.
Hours later, after drinking some wine and making banana bread with my friend C, I went to turn in. (Let us not discuss the hour.) For about ten minutes, I looked around my room–on and under the bed, in my dresser, on the chair/clothesrack beside my closet–in desperate search of my pajama pants.
It was only upon reflecting back on my day–yoga, writing, baking, etc–that it occurred to me to look down: I had never taken them off.
I have come up with a lot of explanations (read: excuses) for why I have become an almost-complete hermit lately: I need to be writing. I’m not looking for a boyfriend. Cake tastes good with earl gray tea and soy milk. It’s starting to get a tad bit chilly.
But I’ve avoided the one that A eluded to in her text: the one that involves realizing that I am getting, a little bit, kind of, maybe, you know, old.
I know: not really. As I told the man who I checked into yoga class last Sunday morning, who announced to me that he “is old” by way of requesting the senior discount: the word is relative, and kind of meaningless.
“Sometimes,” I told him, “even I feel a little old!”
And sure: it sounds funny, and absurd, in the company of a senior citizen. But in other contexts, not so much.
Such as the one in which: I found myself involved in a Facebook flirtation with a 23 year old I know from school, and ran into him at a coffee shop only to realize that we’d yet to actually flirt. You know, in person. (Welcome to the Millenials!)
Or the one in which: come the weekends, I have little desire to go out to bars, to go to parties, to do anything besides hang out with friends, in my house or theirs, drink a little wine, eat some food and watch some Netflix.
Or the one in which: walking home across campus the other day, I realized that I still think of myself as being in my “early” twenties, and have no recollection of turning that invisible corner that landed me at twenty eight.
Okay: so it isn’t just the millenials who are increasingly dependent on nonverbal communication–it’s all of us. And it probably is just a phase (also: winter) that I’m going through, and that I blame for making me more and more resistant to socializing. (Or, it’s just my nature: and I’m okay with that.)
And I’m not, technically, old. But I am older: not necessarily than I feel, but than I feel like I ought to be. I’m not that young anymore.
It isn’t that I want to still be in my early twenties: generally, as I’ve written (aging = more redundant?) I like to think that we improve with age. Get wiser, more confident, know more things. It’s just that it seems strange that I’m not.
So: what, exactly, am I trying to say? Time moves quickly? The years pass faster and faster, the older we get? I thought I’d have my shit together by now a lot more than I actually do?
You already know all that stuff. And so do I. Mostly, I just wanted to tell you the story about my pajama pants. And, to say, in case you’re feeling like you’re a little bit older than you think you should be: me, too.