Amy Roberts: 30-something
December 9, 2014
Next week I turn 39 years old. After that, I’m down to my last year in my thirties. I remember when I was in college and a guy asked me on a date. He told me he was 36 and I thought "Eww, gross. That’s so OLD."
So now every time I find myself being unable to avoid a college-aged kid, I know they are secretly rolling their eyes at whatever I say and thinking to themselves "she’s older than dirt."
They really ought to be more respectful. I graduated from college without the benefit of Google or Wikipedia. I had to go to a library and look things up on a microfiche machine to write a paper — which I typed on a typewriter. In theory, I think these undertakings should demand respect from today’s college students, but they probably just date me.
Most of the time I don’t really give a lot of thought to my age. I don’t feel (almost) 39, so I don’t dwell too much on it. And also, I’ve discovered the trick to feeling young — hang out with people who are at least a decade older than you. Most of my good friends fall somewhere near the half a century mark, which selfishly I like because I’m always the youngest when we are together. They complain about aching joints and hold the menu at arm’s length when we go to dinner and I explain to them how to attach a photo to a text message. It’s a win-win for all of us.
On top of this, I still sit at the "kids’ table" when I’m home for Thanksgiving. Granted, that’s because most of my relatives are staunch Republicans and my mom "just wants to have a peaceful dinner" but still, I think sitting at the kids’ table says something about my age. Or my maturity level.
But last week I got a good, swift punch in the gut when some spry ski instructor came up to me at the grocery store and asked me, "Is your name Amy?" I replied yes and asked how we knew each other. He proceeded to tell me "You were my high school crush."
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I would have found this flattering had we been in high school at the same time. But it turns out, when he was going through puberty, I was in the middle of my career in TV news and a reporter at a Dallas station. He told me he used to stay up late to watch the news so he could see me.
It got worse when he introduced me to his friend who said, "Nice to meet you, ma’am."
Ma’am? Granted, they were from Texas, but I still looked around for my mother. Punks.
So there I was in the cereal aisle at the grocery store wondering if I was old enough to be a ma’am and pondering my life and my upcoming birthday. I had to admit, I missed being the age when I thought I’d have my life together by the time I was this age.
Apparently, so did many of my relatives. About this time of year I get a lot of calls from them under the guise of "Happy Birthday" but always ending with: "Why aren’t you married?"
To which I always reply: "Because Troy Aikman hasn’t asked me yet."
Though I wouldn’t suggest marriage proves you have your life together, it does appear to be a universal sign of being a grown-up. And no married people ever sit at the kids’ table at Thanksgiving.
But then again, I’ve never once heard anyone regret they got married too old, so I think I’ll just keep it on my distant to-do list for some point in the future and enjoy my last year as a 30-something.
Amy Roberts is a longtime Park City resident, freelance writer and the proud owner of two ill-behaved rescue dogs, Boston and Stanley.
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