Tomorrow is my birthday. I turn 25. Birthdays are not that big a deal around here, probably because there is usually too much going on to get caught up in the festivities. This year June 17th is sandwiched between my sister's High School Graduation and Father's Day. Congratulations, Rachel! Love you Dad!
This year, however is seemingly a bigger deal than most Birthday years. Not because of the "quarter-of-a-century" thing or because I can now be considered a "mid-twenty-something." (Tre Sophisticated!) Nah, Tomorrow I turn the age I have always lied and said I was.
Truly, I've been faking this shit for years.
Like for instance...
"Yeah, Parliament Lights please?"
"How old are you?"
Random Dude(s) from the past:
"So how old are you, anyway?"
"Um... 25. Why?"
Or if you will...
Bathroom of Random Bar
"Dude, I'm so tired of all these teenage bitches sneaking into bars. It's so suburban."
"Yeah. Psh... me too. It's sad, really."
"What's your name?"
"Kristy. Kristy Blahblahblah (name on fake I.D.) By the way, I just turned 25. I feel SOOOOO old."
"Happy Birthday Kristy Blahblahblah. Wanna come throw drinks at "the fake-ID club" with us?"
"Cool! I'm in!"
And then there was...
Waiting Room at the OB
"You're far too young to be pregnant, hon."
"No way! I'm 25."
I always thought 25 was the perfect age, even as a teenager. I so desperately wanted to be older than I was and I faked my way there when I could. I faked doormen and older men and the girls I met along the way. I wanted people to treat me like a woman instead of a teenager. I lied to magazines to get work and was hired as a 25 year-old music journalist. (I was REALLY a 19 year-old Chicken Soup contributor) to write features abroad and do a little "Honeymoon Hot Spot" piece for a popular Wedding Magazine. All expenses paid. Limo service. Five star hotels. Amalfi Coast. I was that good at being "faux 25."
There were several times lying about my age got me into trouble, most usually with older men who do not appreciate being lied to. "I'm actually 19." I was heart-broken several times after lying about my age only to confess months later and then never being called again.
I still wince when people ask for my age because I know what's coming next. "You're just so young!" "When I was your age..." "Never mind, you won't understand."...
I'm not going to lie, it can be really fun "faking it" but there is something very liberating about "keeping it real." I have a long way to go before I figure everything out and I know that. I have a ways before I am completely comfortable with who I am and how I look and what I want and etc, etc infinity. But I do have to say, I don't wish I was older anymore or younger or any other age besides this one. I am happy where I am. I may not have the luxury I once had of spending my birthdays abroad, running all over the place lying to everyone. I may not even look as hot and "pert" naked but shit! It's all about experience, baby. Knowing how to "work it." THAT happens over time.
In our ageist society, getting older is terrifying. I see women every day dress like teenagers, I count the botched nose jobs in the Grocery Store. I'm sure there will come a day (sooner than I think) when I too will count wrinkles and gray hairs and wish they would go away. I might even lie about my age and say I am younger and curse myself for wanting to be older "so many years ago..."
I guess it's hard for one to ever be satisfied. The grass is greener and all that. But the truth of it all is that all my young adult life I have looked forward to FINALLY being 25 and now I know why:
Right here. Right now. This is fucking awesome.