Written by Devon Boen
Something strange happens when a person hits their mid-20s. At least I’ve noticed it happening in my own life and that is the phenomenon of consciously aging. When I was younger, I always wondered how my parents and other older counterparts could be so out of touch with pop culture, so satisfied with such boring things and so, well, old.
But now I understand. I understand the process of living under a rock or obtaining a large coin collection are not overnight endeavors. Entering adulthood isn’t about crossing a threshold someday. It is about small acts and evolving preferences over time.
One example of my descent into geriatric territory is my newfound dedication to food. Previously, I would buy ramen noodles, pizza and diet Coke at the store and live on it for months. If I ran out, I would probably ransack my friends’ fridges.
Now, quality food is a must and cooking is one of my favorite hobbies. It isn’t uncommon for me to cook some type of seafood with asparagus and rice. This healthy dish wasn’t happening before unless I ordered it in a restaurant. Now, putting in the time to make better food is a good change.
I have mixed emotions on the next development, which is my complete lack of knowledge about youth culture. I do not know the current obsessions, the fleeting favorites or the teenage rock stars who will fade into oblivion before I’m 30. I have no interest in what celebrity is trending on Twitter or who cheated on whom in Hollywood last week.
Growing up, I laughed at my dad’s attempt to understand rap culture and failing miserably. Now, it isn’t unlikely some 15-year-old would laugh at me for not knowing about some electro-pop-indie sensation. I thought the lack of pop culture knowledge was just a symptom of being old and lame, but now it is quite clear adults don’t care about those things because those things are not important. Adults care about politics, quality music, good friends, work and their children. Not so lame, after all.
If my obliviousness wasn’t enough, the final nail in my senior-discount coffin is my new-found love for all things boring. Guess what I wanted for Christmas this year? Makeup, shoes, a concert ticket? Nope, just money. And not money for frivolous items, but money to pay off school loans and medical bills. I find myself having a love affair with the practical and pragmatic nowadays rather than the excessive and extravagant. I’ve made plans to buy high quality pots and pans and new eyeglasses. Before, I would probably buy a glittery dress and McDonalds. The deal was sealed when my boyfriend received 500- thread count sheets for Christmas and I found myself seething with jealousy. I knew he was getting just as old when he was equally excited about them.
So, I’m firmly on the path to adulthood and loving every minute of it, but from the perspective of an adolescent, being an adult is boring and removes any cool factor you may or may not have had. I feel sorry for young people who think that because what young people don’t realize is that all adults were once teenagers, and all teenagers will eventually become those boring (happy), uneventful (emotionally stable), cheapskates (responsible) they always detested.