As a child, you start out being told you’re not old enough. Soon you understand autonomy. You try to act older, you try to show you’re older, more mature. First, you’re able to wipe your own ass. Next, you demonstrate you can eat with a fork, use a napkin, and stay up past 6:30 PM. Then you microwave a bowl of Spaghetti-O’s all on your own.
Once you develop friendships it begins to be all about who’s older. “I’m five and A HALF,” might be countered by, “So? I’m Eleventeen!”
Then one day, when you think you’re old enough and you’re crusin’ along, doin’ it for yourself, bein’ all grown up and stuff, someone comes along and tells you’re too old. You’re too old for that blankie. You’re too old to have a tantrum. You’re too old for eating peanut butter and jelly–as if!
This not old enough/too old dichotomy happens to boys and girls. While there seems to be an acceptable level of immaturity allowed for boys throughout their lives, if you are female this dichotomy remains intact until one random day You are too young for makeup becomes you are too old for that eyeliner. Once you were told You are too young to dye your hair then it turns into You are too old to not dye your hair. That parental You are too young to date shifts into He’s too young for you to date or You’re too old, who would want to date you? One day, You are too young eventually solidifies into plain You are too old.
Yesterday, on the Escape Publishing Blog Juliet Madison, Chick Lit author of Fast Forward, and I had a little chat about our books, this dichotomy, and breaking this age barrier. You already know I kick the barrier aside in A Basic Renovation (but if you don’t, perhaps you’d like to have a read of ABR. You can get it here). So before I toddle off and have my peanut butter & jam sandwich for lunch, I’d like to ask YOU a few questions. Feel free to answer in the comment box below.
1. What is ‘old’ to you?
2. How do you feel about the dichotomy of too old/ too young?