Archive for January, 2009

It’s time a number received a Tiger Lily and I’ve decided that 29 deserves it.
I can remember when my mom was just a little younger than she is now, and when her birthday would roll around, she would jokingly tell people, “I’m going to be 29 again this year!” Wink Wink. The inference was that 29 is young and desirable. With youth comes beauty, happiness and health. This is why women want to stay 29, right? Well, not me.

Desirable as 29 might sound, I’m here to say that I want my 23 back. Or, let’s just fast-forward to my 30’s. And here’s why: 29 is no-man’s land. It’s not young and it’s not old.

At 23, people think you are a baby and they treat you as such. You are allowed to get really drunk and make a fool of yourself, make bad financial decisions, date the wrong people and dye your hair the wrong color. (Anyone remember my bleach-blonde accident in 2002?) At 29, you cannot. You are entering “adulthood” and none of this behavior is acceptable. Yet, if your employer or doctor or parent’s friend still wants to call you a “baby” or a “girl” (instead of lady/woman) it’s totally acceptable. What?! I’m so confused. Is 29 young or old? You can’t have it both ways!

I think that 29 is confusing. For instance:

Social Situations. Should I embrace my youth and party really hard? Or should I be responsible and go in early? This last weekend I attended a formal charity event. There were drinks and dancing. I left feeling torn. Should I have stayed later, had more to drink? Or should I follow the lead of my older co-workers? 14.5 years of me wants to light the table cloth on fire and get crazy on the dance-floor, the other 14.5 years wants me to drink red wine, refuse to dance and talk politics.

Shopping. Maybe I’m imagining things, but I feel “watched” when shopping at Forever21. I think, “She’s wondering why I’m looking at these leggings. Am I too old to wear these? Should I fake a laugh, roll my eyes and put it back on the shelf?” Then there’s the opposite experience in Ann Taylor. I feel the need to dress up and make sure the sales lady sees my wedding ring. Can I buy something other than business clothes here? Or am I too young to go with this pair of Capri pants? Are Capri pants even “in” anymore?

At they gym. I find that my body will no longer obey my workout demands and it’s getting harder and harder to maintain an acceptable pace on the treadmill. But, I’m still “young.” I’m 29! So my body should look great. What a horrible position 29 has put me in.

Children. At 29 I’m either supposed to have some and be motherly, or not have any and be prepared to defend their absence. In fact, at 29, you are expected to talk to anyone who asks you about your decisions to have, or not to have children. 29 requires it, like it or not. It is the right of people not your age to ask.

At work. It’s time for you to have a “career.” You can’t be figuring things out, trying new things. You have to pick something– and God forbid you picked the wrong thing at 23, because now you’re stuck. If you decide to change your career now or take a step down to fulfill your dreams be prepared for raised eyebrows and whispers. Not fair 29! I want to be on American Idol too!

Each day of my 29th year will be tough because of the aforementioned situations. Although I will say that this juxtaposition of young and old has given me a strange longing for 30. While most of my friends will fear the onslaught of this mile-stone birthday, I will embrace it. It’s old! Finally.

Tiger Lily to 29.


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