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Growing Up


Last Friday, after losing a week-long fight to battling my Thai food craving, Nathalie and I went out for a pad kee mao lunch. Somehow, the topic of conversation veered towards the more grown-up issues of life, as it seems to do whenever we have time for long conversations. Namely, she asked when I planned on getting married and when my first born was to be birthed. She claimed that these were normal questions to ask, especially since (she claims) I’m always talking about what I’m going to do with my kids when I have them. I’m pretty sure the only thing I’ve said remotely related to this was that I hope crocs are still in style when I have kids so that they can wear them too. What can I say? To me, having someone to dress in rainbow leggings and crocs would be the most exciting part of having my own baby.

All this talk about babies and marriage is strange to me. Maybe because when I picture these things for myself, I picture an older, more mature me doing these things, someone who thinks like me, but is not really me. She is a sophisticated woman who has straight, kempt hair and has the remarkable patience to cook dinner on a nightly basis.  But one should not be fooled by her semi-domestic ways. She is also mysterious with a hard edge, like the leading lady in a Bond movie. She is an excellent conversationalist, even better at mingling with strangers at black tie affairs and effortlessly makes small talk with her children’s school teachers.

I, on the other hand, spend no more than 2 minutes arranging my hair in the morning and only cook things that can be prepared in less than 8 minutes. In fact, I keep waiting for the change to happen where one day I feel more grown up (not to be confused with being an adult, someone over 18. I imagine being a grown up involves more of a feeling, a weight in one’s soul, it sounds pretty heavy if you ask me). Will it be marriage that will do it? Children? A mortgage? Surely, one day I’ll feel it and I’ll know. I just want to be prepared for it because no one wants to wake up at 45 one day with lines across their face and piles of debt in their closet and 5 kids to take care of and think “I’m old.” No, I want to see it coming, which is why I’ve been watching out for it.

On Saturday, I went to a Stanford co-op party with Irene. On the walk over to the party, I noticed all the ladies we were with were wearing sweatshirts, fleeces and long sweaters. One person wore what resembled a hockey jersey. We also wore jeans and flip flops or sneakers. Aside from our faces, a bit of neck and our hands, every part of us was covered.  If you were out looking for girls showing skin, it was definitely not us. As we walked along we observed groups of girls wearing micro mini’s and tall boots and noted that these were probably freshmen. Looking at them reminded us of the chilly weather and so we zipped up our coats and put our hoods on.

Once inside the party we danced to the terrible house music, each song lasting longer than the last, the same repetitive beat playing over and over. The bathrooms were dirty with drunken boys and girls hanging about. When I accidentally opened a stall door on a boy mid-pee, a girl I assumed was his girlfriend stepped in front of me to snap the door shut and made sure to give me a glare. Like I wanted to see her Boy Charming peeing mid-stream. After dancing to the same song for what felt like an hour, I glanced at my phone hoping maybe it was late enough to head home without feeling like a loser. Unfortunately, it was 12:11. Was this a sign of growing up that I wanted to go home early? Or did this party just serve to reinforce my dislike for dancing to techno music? When Irene broke out her moves and eventually ran out of appliances to imitate after doing The Dishwasher, The Laundry Machine, The Sprinkler and The Light Bulb Changer multiple times, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t an indicator of my turning into a full-fledged grown up. It’s just a reminder of my love for easily digestible, catchy, fun-to-dance-to Top 40’s.

Last modified: January 10, 2019