≡ Menu

Some Very Mature Thoughts or Why I’m Not Shopping at Kohl’s Until I’m 30

So, as you may or may not know (or care,) yesterday was my birthday.  I celebrated 23 years of managing not to die.  Now, I realize that 23 is not a particularly significant birthday.  I wasn’t granted any new rights and there’s nothing particularly milestoney about 23.  But it did get me to thinking in a way that few birthdays have.

It began in Kohl’s.  (That’s where Gandhi did all his mediation,  right?)  Usually I shop in the Junior’s department.  But as I approached, all the clothing looked positively teensy, like it was made for babies, and some of it was covered in skulls.  The Misses department, however, was featuring Vera Wang designs, with mature fabrics (silk and chiffon as opposed to jersey) and mature colors (brown and cream as opposed to fuchsia.)  So I thought to myself, “Hey, I’m an adult now, this is just another part of me growing up.”  And I gave it a try.

The clothing that I tried on that night were more horrible than any I’ve experience before, and I’ve done a lot of shopping at the Salvation Army.  Some of the comments I received from my husband were that they made me look pregnant, gave me pointy boobs, looked like a row of theatre lights, gave me bat wings, and drew similarities to an elderly woman.  My body clearly was not made for the Misses section of Kohl’s.  So what now?  Do I squeeze myself into the teeny-bopper threads of the Junior section or drown myself in the drab fabric of the Misses?

I have a secret that you’re all going to hate me for.  Ready for it?

I cannot wait to be 30.

I know, right?  So many women around the world are lying and saying that they’re 29, and here I am whining about being 23.  You can hate me later.

Because really, I believe that 23 might be the most awkward age ever, second only to 20.  I clearly don’t fit in as a young college co-ed anymore; the last thing I want to be is one of those pathetic people who can’t let go of their “glory years.”  Yet, college was the last place that I felt that I really fit.  So new to “the real world,” I feel like an impostor, like a little girl in mom’s shoes.  With barely 6 months out of college, no full-time job, no kids, no world experience, I feel as if I have no credibility to talk about anything.  The only thing I can speak about with any kind of credibility is college, (which no one’s going to listen to because as a graduate I am now part of “the man,”) and what it’s like to be a 23 year-old trying to find my place in the world (which no one’s going to listen to because anyone younger than me thinks I’m boring and anyone older than me still hates me for complaining about being 23.)

The thing of it is, I want the confidence and self-assurance that I dream comes with 30.  I’ve met many 30-somethings who are still youthful and sexy, (because 30 is the new 20, right?) but what’s more, they know what’s going on.  They’ve figured out how the game is played, and even if they still don’t know how to beat it they at least know what the rules are.  I want that.  I know I’m still young and there’s still plenty of time to do everything I want to do, but I’m tired of being young and full of potential; I want to figure out where I’m headed and start getting there.  I want to run the race instead of looking for the starting line.  I want to find the treasure instead of looking for the map.  I want to write a brilliant blog post instead of one full of pukerific analogies.

But since none of those things are happening today, I’ll learn to be content with 23.  Because 7 years from now, I’ll be writing a post about how much I hate being 30 and wish I were 23, when I had few responsibilities and could still drink beer with my cereal without remourse.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Carrie March 5, 2009, 10:51 pm

    You are right. Very mature thoughts. 40 is also an awesome age.

  • mark March 6, 2009, 1:05 am

    Jesus Christ, I feel old now. I remember 23, young grasshopper, and it is certainly an awkward and difficult time to fit in and the infinite possibilities of the future easily overwhelm. Disagree with you, I will, in saying that graduating from college makes you part of “the man.” I’m a friggin lawyer and I still don’t class myself as part of “the man.” My tie-dyed law school t-shirt is a testament to that. Watch the Big Lebowski and have a white russian because the 20s will fly by and the less work you do and more fun you have the better. They set the tone for the rest of your adult life. It’s like the infancy of being an adult. That rug really tied the room together.

  • Jason March 6, 2009, 10:38 am

    That was awesome. And reminded me why its good to be a guy. I def don’t have that problem. However, i will say, that 25 was a milestone birthday for me. It was when i started feeling old. When people asked me how old i was, i could look at them and say “a quarter of a century”.

    So while you might look forward to 30. Enjoy 23. It’ll be over soon enough. =)


  • Mama Bee March 6, 2009, 11:58 am

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for making me feel MUCH better about turning 30 this year! Ha! But let me tell you, enjoy your youth while you have it!

    It’s much more awkward to be a 30 year-old drinking in a bar than a 23 year-old in Misses clothes 😉

  • Amy March 6, 2009, 2:56 pm

    I turned 30 last august and really wasn’t a big deal, after all, I still owned a tank top with skulls on it from Khols (true). Then 30 and a half hit, and suddenly I was 40. A woman at the makeup counter told me I had to stop wearing glitter eyeshadow (so what that I bought it when I was 19?), and then handed me some cream with RETINOL in it! What?!?
    (I wrote about 30 being the new 4 as well: http://just-barely.blogspot.com/2008/08/thirty-is-new-four.html)

    Happy birthday, and good luck being awesomely and awkwardly 23!

  • Unmei March 6, 2009, 11:36 pm

    Haha. I love this post! I agree with Mark, enjoy being 23. And enjoy the challenge of figuring out your place in the world. Keep thinking, but don’t take it al too seriously. If you don’t take the risks now, soon you will have developed a professional skill set and start yourself on a career path that will seem harder and harder to leave. Have fun and good luck!

  • Karen Kelley March 7, 2009, 6:24 pm

    Happy 23rd! As it happens, yesterday was my big 5-0. And while I will not attempt to compete with your writing style, which I told your mom is “So very Stephanie,” may I share with you two of the pieces of wisdom that I have acquired at my age (which isn’t so bad, either)?

    1. There are just years where you can’t figure out why *anyone* is buying anything that the stores are attempted to sell as clothing for the adult female. When they hit, accesorize what’s already in your wardrobe and hope that next year is better.

    2. “What Not To Wear” on TLC is the best free fashion advice there is for how to work around fashion dilemmas, body types, and occasionally even budget (though I’d love to have their $5000 pre-loaded credit card).

    Have a great year at 23!

  • Hannah March 9, 2009, 12:43 am

    Yeah, you’re talking to the girl who’s working with a bunch of 65 going on 10 year olds. I go back and forth between feeling like I’m everybody’s grandchild and babysitter. And in between that I wish I were 65 years old and hanging out with them.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I understand having an age-identity crisis…….

Cancel reply

Leave a Comment