Friday, April 1, 2011

Five Signs I'm Not a Teenager Anymore (and Other Lists)

Slight exaggeration. But you get the point.
We read YA, we write YA, but let's be honest, many of us aren't exactly the target demographic.* I'm still pretty close -- I turn 25 in June -- but lately, there have been signs indicating I'm a little more adult than I'd like to admit...

Five Signs I'm Not a Teenager Anymore

1. If I have no plans on a Friday night, I'm relieved -- because I'm exhausted from working all week, and that means I can go to bed early.

2. I have a mortgage. I clip coupons.

3. Unlike in college, I don't consider "drinking" an activity all of its own. I rarely get drunk because I usually have too much to do the next day, and it's not worth the Sunday hangover. (And there's ALWAYS a hangover. What's up with that, adulthood?)

4. I attend about five weddings per year. Two couples have already divorced. And many, many people I graduated with have their babies (or toddlers) as their Facebook picture.**

5. Current teen heartthrobs, like Justin Bieber, are jailbait. Heartthrobs from my early teen years have receding hairlines.
There's a recession here, and I'm not talking about the economy.

Five Things About Current Me 
That Would Embarrass Teenage Me

1. I loathe most Top 40 radio and probably don't know half the artists.

2. I wholeheartedly proclaim my fangirl love for nerdy (but awesome) shows like Firefly. (I used to be a closeted nerd. There's no hiding it anymore.)
Hi, Nathan. I have the hugest crush on you. Team Browncoats all the way.
3. I'm unconcerned about following fashion trends. (I don't understand the leggings-as-pants thing***; I think Uggs make you look like you have elephant feet; and the skinniest my jeans get are straight-leg.)
Two not-for-me fashion choices: leggings-as-pants and Uggs

4. Gas mileage and safety ratings are my top priorities in choosing a car. Sorry teen self, but I don't drive a Mustang. In fact, I drive a 4-door 2004 Toyota Corolla that is thoroughly un-sporty-looking and *gasp* doesn't even have a spoiler.

5. I look forward to spending time with my parents.

Five Three Things About Current Me
That Teenage Me Would Think Are Pretty Cool
(But Wouldn't Admit It)

1. I studied abroad in Australia (I majored in clubbing and beach-bumming for four months), and I've traveled to a handful of other countries, with more trips in the works.

2. My self-confidence has increased a thousand-fold, and I have a really amazing group of friends.

3. I'm writing novels (plural!) and am seriously pursuing publication.

... I really couldn't think of anything else. Oh, man. That's sad. I mean, I'm pretty excited that I'm getting married and own a home, but teenage me would be like, "Whatever." And teen me would love my busy social life, except that it's filled more with dinner parties and less with clubbing, thus negating the cool factor.

So what inspired this? I heard the song "Another Night, Another Dream" by Real McCoy on the radio last night, and I totally jammed out to it ... and then realized that no teenager today would recognize the song. Whatever, it's still awesome! (And the guy's voice is hilarious.)

* Hence why Forever Young Adult is such a popular blog. Ok, that, and because it's generally awesome.
** If I had kids, that would totally be #1 on the "Five Signs" list.
*** And by leggings-as-pants, I don't mean leggings under skirts, dresses, or long shirts. I mean leggings-as-PANTS.
Appropriate use of leggings! (But yikes, that third dress is horrendous.)

Ok guys, don't leave me hanging! What makes you stop and say, "Wow, I'm getting OLD!" Commiserate in the comments!


  1. I get excited about paint samples for the living room. Teenage me is someone inside my head going, "God, you are so lame!"

  2. I'm with you about being happy if I don't have plans on Friday so I can go to bed early. Sadly, that's not gonna happen this weekend... :(

  3. ahaha REAL MCCOY! That was my song!!! OMG! And LOL on the leggings as pants considering how much I wear them--if anything Im way more fashionable than I was a teenager and my teenage self would appreciate it--I used to tone down what I wanted to wear so I wouldn't draw attention to myself---now I'm confident enough to wear whatever I want. Also teenage me LOVES my car.

  4. Love this post. The moment that made me feel really un-teenagery was when I realized that I wanted to get kitchen appliances as Christmas/birthday gifts. How cool is a Cuisinart standing mixer, right? At least I can use the excuse that I'm going to make all sorts of delicious, unhealthy treats with them. A love for chocolate defies age.

  5. Keep them coming, guys!

    NotNessie - Ohhhh I am alll about the paint samples!

    Jessi - Maybe next Friday!

    Frankie - Ok, I updated the post to include photos depicting the leggings thing. You totally aren't guilty of that! And teen me would approve of my improved style, too!

    Annie - One of the highlights of 2011 so far was registering for my wedding gifts. Bed, Bath & Beyond HEAVEN!

  6. I love this post! "There's a recession here, and I'm not talking about the economy." That made me laugh out loud. I relate to so many of these. I'm officially old because I look forward to Sunday rituals: watching CBS Sunday Morning news (demographic 65+ and Melissa) and going to the farmer's market.

  7. How about: I feel embarrassed walking into the teen fiction section in my library, which has ITS OWN ROOM, because all of the teenagers in there stare at me since I'm the only person in there over 18 and not wearing a security uniform. And then I realize I'm freaking 10 years older than the oldest kid in there and I kind of want to cry.

  8. NKOTBSB! I think that says it all, except I still totally love BSB and am not as embarrassed as I should be. I guess that's a perk to not being a teen/feeling old; you just don't care that much anymore about being embarrassed about stuff like that. Then again, I've always been an unabashed nerd.

    Totally agree with you on leggings-as-pants and the Uggs thing. Eck.

  9. I think I was old before I was ever young.

    I remember Uggs being around when I was in high school awhile ago... I thought they were stupid then, and I still think they're stupid o_0

    I also always chose cars based on their safety factor rather than what they looked like although I did prefer certain colors.

    My younger self would be proud though that I am pursuing a Computer Science Masters though.

  10. I think you mean Jeggings. LOL I a wee bit older then you and I have a few of those signs.

    I am inbetween BSB and NKOTB...NOw that's sad.

  11. When I go into stores or my hair salon and I think the music is too loud.

  12. Melissa, Crispy, SnifflyKitty, Liz - I responded via email!

    Ara - You're not alone! I've felt really awkward in YA sections when a teenager picks up a book I loved, and I comment to them how good it is.... and then they look at me like I'm the biggest weirdo ever.

    Michele - Yes! I walk past Hollister/Abercrombie&Fitch in the mall, and the music is deafening! It's all Ann Taylor and New York & Company for me, thanks!

  13. I have to agree about the drinking lol. I hardly drink anymore because hangovers really suck, especially now.

    I don't sleep in anymore, (since I now have a child) and I now think it's a waste of a day, when the teenage me used to sleep in until lunchtime on Sunday because I could.

    AND.. I used to worry about what everyone though about me. Now I couldn't care less whether others dislike me. I am me and I'm not going to change!

  14. Loved this post. I am way older than you and definitely not a teenager. I could relate to a lot of the reasons you're not one. And on Friday nights, I'm just struggling to stay awake.

  15. I teach high school, so I am often aware of how old and uncool I have become. The other day we were reading a book and the narrator talks about how his mom is a Bon Jovi fan. My students asked: Who is Bon Jovi? Can we Google him to see what he looks like? Is he still alive? I saw Bon Jovi in concert back in the day. Ugh.

  16. Oh, Donna, you are toooo funny! And you're still young to me, kiddo. I'm older than you OR Natalie, so I never go out on Friday nights. Too tired! One drink now makes me dizzy, so that's out too. Aches and pains are my new companions.

    And I don't recognize ANY of the music people talk about and haven't since the 80s.

    So what's good about growing old? You don't care what people think of you anymore. You wear whatever's comfortable (and definitely nothing skintight,so I'm with you on the no leggings as pants rule). You realize that your family is more important than anything. You still want to be published but you realize if you don't the world's not gonna end.


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