Real Life Rookie Year: You Look So OLD

Anyone who does not get the reference in the title cannot be my friend. No, really. I think it’s kind of a requirement to even get me to have seen or at least have some knowledge of MBFGW. Otherwise I spout off random quotes in an odd accent and you think I’m just weird. Which is also true, but at least it’s funnier if you’ve seen the movie. Anywayz.

Today’s nonsense concerning the RLRY obviously concerns age. Age is funny. Age is beauty. Age knows no love. No wait, that’s love knows no age. Whatever. Age is a big deal when you’re a rookie. And I don’t mean your age as the rookie, just age as a general concept. Since this is not making any sense, allow me to extrapolate.

Think about being in college. With very few exceptions, undergrad is filled with people within 2 or 3 years of your age. And once you hit that magical legal time thus allowing you to indulge in libations in public establishments, perhaps you tend to stick to your own kind. Yes? In general, of course. I can recall a minimum number of times I hung out with freshman during my senior year. Not because I was super cool, but because I spent a great deal of time at TOTS, and there aren’t many freshman who can do the same. It’s not discrimination, it’s just circumstance. Classes towards the end of school are spent with others within 1 or 2 years of us, max. We all turned 21 the same year, we all turned 22 the same year, and then we were all gone from Blacksburg (sniff), and out in the real world.

So now here we are, little 22- and 23-year-old babies flourishing in corporate America or where ever. What happens when people in the office ask how old you are? For me, it has mostly gone something like this: “*wrinkles nose* OMIGAWD you’re younger than my daughter!!” Or “Can you even DRINK yet??” Or “Awww that’s so cute!” It’s always a chore trying to think of something polite to say in a non-sarcastic manner after these comments. Because we all know me. I love a good opportunity to be sarcastic, and it’s just so hard to not respond, “OMIGAWD you’re, like, older than my MOM!!” Or, “Do you have your AARP card yet??” Right? That would be funny, but perhaps a crucial CLM (Career Limiting Move). Anywho. It’s weird. These people end up being our friends, and perhaps you will recall that back in my glory days in Raleigh I was frequently seen out in the company of men who are my father’s peers. This is not a bad thing, but just something we are not used to as Rookies. Old people are old. Old people are parents. Parents are old. Parents are uncool. Old people are uncool. We don’t hang out with them. They are lame and only do things like watch NCIS marathons and do laundry. Right? Wrong. These myths and misconceptions, while true in some cases, must largely be left behind and forgotten. People in their 40s are pretty cool, and they have some hilarious stories. Plus they can probably help your career if you act like you have a modicum of class.

But that one is easy. What about the other 20- and 30-somethings? These people are our peers now. It seems to me in my limited experience talking to my limited number of friends (you guys, I was not prom queen.) that we, as rookies, have a difficult time adjusting to meeting people who are upwards of 5 or more years older than us. Gasp. 5 whole years! But this really is normal. And if you can discard your disregard for people who are 29, 30, 31, even 32 and 33 (I mean, omg), you will go far.

For example. I may or may not have witnessed this in real life, and may or may not have been shocked to my core at the awkwardness. Young Man is chatting with another Young Lady at this bar. Bar is full of beautiful people. Young Man is chatting up Young Lady like it’s his job, and it is obvious he thinks she is cute. They are having just an adorable little conversation. You know, the kind that leads to exchanged phone numbers and first dates. Just presh. Conversation evolves and she discovers that he is a recent graduate. Recent = within the last year or so. I can tell she’s slightly surprised but she’s classy and moves on smoothly. Then the talk turns to age. Well just how old is she, he wants to know? I am trying not to gawk that he actually asked this question, despite the polite manner in which he attempted to get it across. She smiles and politely informs him that she is 31. He is clearly struggling for something to say, and I am now laughing on the inside at his truly rookie mistake.

Firstly, everyone knows you should never ask a woman how old she is if you suspect she is over 25. I just made that rule up. I don’t know when it would be appropriate to ask a woman her age, except that I am not offended by the question and assume that this is because I am a young and vibrant 23. Perhaps when I’m 26 I won’t like it. But I’m pretty sure Emily Post or Dear Abby say it’s a no-no. It’s also unnecessary. Who cares if she’s a bit older than you? Or if he’s already celebrated 30 big ones? I don’t much care. Of course there is always a line, especially if there is some kind of romantic interesting-ness going on. I don’t want to date my dad’s bffs. It’s just odd, among other unpleasant adjectives. But I don’t think there is an age limit on friendship. In these modern times, there are so many more things that we can all have in common, and age simply doesn’t have to be one of those things.

So there you have it. We’re overcoming rookieness one stereotype and hardship at a time. Next week, we’ll discuss another facet of age weirdness rookies have to deal with. Think Mean Girls, only older and with more expensive breasts. I just made myself giggle. Stay classy y’all.

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One response to “Real Life Rookie Year: You Look So OLD

  1. As a young pro who hangs out with “elders,” let me list the comments I get ALL THE TIME: “Oh my gosh, I could be your mother!” “I wish you weren’t sooo young” “You’re cute, and you’re 26 with a real job, why don’t you have a girlfriend?” “I have a niece that I think you would match really well with”

    These are all awkward comments, and it’s hard to dance around them correctly. I normally just give a shrugging laugh, and change the topic.

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