Who You Callin’ Lady?!

The other day I was in Target (by myself–I can’t remember exactly what miraculous circumstances came together to make that possible but it was a glorious occasion indeed), speed-walking like I do when I’m alone and on a mission.  I edged past a woman pushing a cart, and she saw me and pulled her daughter gently out of my path.

“Watch out for that lady, honey.”

“Oh, you’re fine,” I said, flashing the pair a smile as I defaulted to my ‘extra accommodating and friendly to strangers’ persona like I do when I’m alone and in public.  Something about what she had said struck me as weird but it didn’t hit me until several full seconds later.

5…

4…

3…

2…

HEY.

I cocked my head to the side.  (Mentally, at least.  I did not in fact stop in the middle of the frozen foods aisle to tilt my head in a perplexed manner.)

I’m not ‘that lady‘!  I’m that girl!

It was a small lexical swap but for some reason it niggled at me.  I have spent the better part of the last 8 years being mistaken for a 16-year old.  It’s ingrained into my psyche.  Tell me about yourself:  I look like a high schooler.  People assume I’m babysitting when I’m out with my kids.  I only get hit on by boys that aren’t old enough to vote.  I am a girl, not a woman.

But somehow, sometime over the past decade, I became a woman.  And I guess I’m just wondering when exactly it happened because I seem to have missed it.

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Yesterday my mom and I went Christmas shopping.  After getting distracted at Target and a shoe store we went to the mall to actually buy some gifts for other people.  It was crawling with teenagers, and I realized as I observed them hanging in their groups and wearing their fashionable clothes and texting or whatever the hell else adolescents do on their nice phones these days that they were like a foreign species to me.

Wait.  When did I stop being able to relate to teenagers?

I used to get teenagers, used to feel like one of them.  When did I go from “HELLO, MY FELLOW ANGSTY BRETHREN!” to “Could you please explain to me the purpose of snapchat?”

I mean, I guess I am a woman.  I’ve been married for five and a half years and have two kids and I pay bills and go grocery shopping and have love handles and shit like that.

But in my head I still feel like that awkward, hopeful 16-year old girl.  The change happened so subtly that sometimes I still look around at my life and think, Okay, whose brilliant idea was it to give me all these adult responsibilities?

I wonder if you ever really feel grown up.  Maybe you don’t.  Maybe you don’t magically get everything figured out one day like I always assumed.  Maybe a lot of us are still teenagers in our minds, and we’re all just winging it through adulthood.

——-

Was there a defining moment when you suddenly felt “grown up”?  Or do you, like me, have serious doubts that you’ll ever actually qualify as an adult?

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4 thoughts on “Who You Callin’ Lady?!

  1. My mom says she still feels like she’s about 25 or so and has for the last two decades. I think I feel pretty adult-ish, if by adult you mean eating whatever the hell I want all day every day and only being responsible for a cat and taking my meds.

    Maybe that’s not what you mean though. I dunno.

    • You’re keeping yourself and another being alive. I think that’s pretty legit. By that standard I guess we’re both adults, eh? I think eating whatever the hell I want is my favorite part. I can’t wait to come be an adult at your house in January, though. 😉

  2. I still don’t feel like an adult, and I’d never knowlingly use the word woman to describe myself. It sounds too adultish….aren’t I still 27? It’s how i feel

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