30 January 2020

0 younger

i didn't recognize you, you looked so young, a student tells me when she arrives for our conference. i try not to let this go to my head, because i am (1) facing a wall so she clearly only saw me from behind and (2) wearing a blue jean shirt as a jacket and an especially insouciant hair poof, all of which telegraphs leisure, as opposed to an I AM HERE IN A POSITION OF AUTHORITY vibe.

i'm aware i'm maybe getting a complex about age. scratch that. i am aware i already have a complex about my age. one characterized by a dawning insecurity about how my crows feet look when i wear certain glasses (not bad enough such that i have stopped wearing said glass but bad enough that i do take note every single time i see myself reflected whilst smiling in them) accompanied by an overwhelming, sheepish, shameful pride when students and administrators and people out in the world continually mistake me for a someone far younger than i am.

i'm significantly older than i appear is a phrase i've been saying for awhile. especially last fall around the time of my high school reunion, when everyone assumed it was ten years, and i have to be like no...um... TWENTY.

is this maybe a vestige of school? having spent so much of our early lives around people our own age, we assume the age of everyone around us as we move forward in life is roughly not that far off from ours because how we could we possibly get along with/have anything to say to someone 13 years older/younger?

i'm spending my days with 19 year olds, regaling with them with tales of what it was like when brad pitt left jen aniston. i literally said aloud in class the other day to other human beings: what a time to be alive. that was my assessment of the year of our lord [ominous drums] 2006.

i've apparently revealed enough of myself here that they now ask, unsolicited, what was the response when this chris evans profile came out in 2011? which is both deeply strange and also warms my heart because it opens up space to tell them about ladyblogs and how mancentric celebrity profiles were and how, when this thing came out, so many of my girlfriends forwarded it to me and i sat in my cubicle in chicago reading it and wondering what else i might do with my life.

working five jobs and hauling ass all over town wasn't exactly the life i had in view, but it is nonetheless not such a bad one: full of sequins, conversations, and still-- even at this late age-- shimmering with possibilities.

that feels like a very SATC thing to say, while also being truth.

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