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I’m not a girl…not yet an old woman

29 Jul

Call her a mainstream puppet or a straight up hot mess with abs, but I think Britney might have been on to something in 2001…



The abs know.


Here’s the story:  A couple of weeks ago I went to get a spray tan.  Yes, I got a spray tan in winter. Because Melbourne. And I am vain, kay?  But I had a wedding to go to and my skin had recently started resembling that furry, off-white corduroy you often find on old lounge chairs.

All proceeded as normal;  clothes had come off, paper g-string was on, dignity was out the door.  My technician was a friendly lady who I had not met before but seemed very nice.

At first.

As we got chatting I explained what I do for a living and how I had recently started choreographing a musical.  Gosh, she was very impressed!  From there, our conversation went a little like this:

Her:  All that dancing must keep you nice and fit, then?

Me:  Uh, yeah, most of the time.

Her:  How old are you?

Me:  (pause) Twenty-eight.

Her:  You’ve got a lovely figure…for your age.

Me: ……………….


shocked gif


For. Your. Age.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to be suitably offended and indignant whilst naked and wearing a shower cap?

When I relayed this story to a man friend, he tried to reason with me that this poor woman was just trying to give me a compliment.  But I beg to differ.  “For your age” is a phrase used to refer to women (or men) over the age of fifty.  Some may even say its reserved for those you believe would normally be a bit past it.  E.g. “Jeez Grandad is looking spritely for his age!”  Or, “Gawd Helen Mirren rocked that swimsuit – she’s such a babe…for her age.” (Actually, Helen is just a babe. Period.)

Now, I am more than aware that I am not a teenager.  I am also aware that I often joke about my premature senility due to an unending love of staying indoors with a drum of red wine and a warm blanket.  But who doesn’t love those things?  So what’s the deal?  I’m twenty-eight!  Is it so unbelievable that I wouldn’t look like an old leather wallet without my clothes on?

Maybe I am overreacting, because it certainly wouldn’t be the first time, but it did get me thinking;  what IS my age? Am I young or am I old? And why does erryone want to categorize me into one or the other? At twenty-eight I am constantly (and I mean constantly) being told it is time to start pumping out those offspring or risk the landslide into menopause as a barren, cranky old maid.  That I’m old enough now to start settling down and being a responsible adult.  That I’m too old to go out every weekend on the booze and not have a mortgage or a husband. (Just kidding, I don’t really go out every weekend. Not in public, anyway.)

But at the same time, I’m ALSO being told that I’m still so young, that life is just starting and that I should have some fun and go out every weekend on the booze, forget about buying a house and who can be f*cked getting married.  This is all v overwhelming for a girl who can’t decide if Mountain Dew or Solo would be better for her hangover.

A pregnant girlfriend and I were talking recently and she mentioned how when you are visibly up the duff, every lady and her poodle think it perfectly OK to touch your belly and give you parenting advice.  This is a little like that.  Bloody everyone has an opinion on my age!  And apparently because I’m a woman and not a hyper-sensitive teenager, its perfectly okay to tell me all about it.

But, truth be told, I often end up feeling exactly like the aforementioned teenagers, just with slightly less hormones and a superannuation account (ah f*ck…need to remember to consolidate that shit).

I mean, when I think back to when I was an ACTUAL teenager, a lot of what I remember revolves around Vitamin C and S Club 7 assuring me that my bestie and I would be friends forever with the world at our feet, while my teachers were telling me to study for the QCS or risk lowering my score and missing out on my dream course at university and end up working at Baskin Robbins until I was 45. That is, if I could pick a funking university course in the first place, what with my parents up in my grill reminding me that it was time to grow up and make some decisions while I cried into my graphic calculator.* And to hurry up and do the dishes because one day, as a woman, I would have my own family to “look after.”

Well, jokes on them, because I still don’t do the dishes.

But I do feel like I’m that emotional kid again and my ‘parents’ are just everyone else in the funking world.

You know how there’s that 27 Club thing? Like how you get to 27 and your job is to stay alive for the next year?  Well you know what happens when you do survive and reach the 28 Club?  Everyone judges you!  CONGRATULATIONS!

Well not on my watch, suckers.

I am very happy with my bad attitude and arguably irresponsible existence.  Just because I’m not married and don’t have kids of my own doesn’t mean you will find me on the floor clutching my uterus longingly while listening to Love Song Dedications.**

And just because I’m under thirty doesn’t mean I want to spend every weekend drunk to the eyeballs in mini skirts and crop tops.

Why can’t I be both responsible AND irresponsible in the same day? Why can’t I like kids AND not have kids of my own? Why can’t I be both young AND old at the same time? Is it so very crucial that I have to pick a side and follow the rules? And why is it everybody’s business?

I think my young Mexican friend put it perfectly when she said, “Porque no los dos?”






*Remember graphic calculators? And school forced everyone to buy one for, like, a million dollars and now they’re obsolete? Lolz.

**I actually did love Richard Mercer and Love Song Dedications and there’s rarely a day I don’t mourn that loss to the airwaves. Miss you, Richard.