Approximately 44 days ago (not that I am counting) I re-entered the corporate world.
I thought I left forever three years ago. I started various businesses. I worked at home. I chaffeured children around.
It was awesome.
And then it was over. Boo.
So back to work I went.
I was pretty pumped because I had an excuse to buy new clothes. That was sort of fun.
And new shoes. Also fun.
I hired a babysitter. Not at all fun.
And I showed up at work on my first day and met the other new employee, a young lady who seemed nice enough.
After a couple of weeks we were moved into an office together. And at some point along the way I found out that she was 23.
Twenty three. Two…three. Good god.
She was quite insulted that she had a “Junior” in her title because that made it sound like she had NO experience. And HELLO, she had been working for almost 2 YEARS!
Did I mention that I am 43? That would be a full 20 YEARS older. A whole grown-up person more.
I felt a little dizzy when the age gap was so harshly quantified for me.
I quickly calculated that I could, without controversy, be her mother. I could have graduated from high school, married my high school sweetheart (if I had one…technicality) and waited a full 2 YEARS before I had a baby and that baby could have been her.
OMG. (See, although approaching fogey-hood, I am still totally hip. Right?)
A few days later she mentioned that her birthday was coming up and I made a mental note to wish her a happy one on the appropriate day. Of course I forgot (because – old and senile). So mid-day I remembered and wished her a Happy Birthday. To which she said, “It’s not a big deal anymore anyway. After 24 it’s all downhill anyway.”
Dude, I am so close to the bottom of that hill. Ouch.
Yesterday, as a holiday outing, our group went bowling. Because there is no better way to improve your professional credibility than bowling badly in front of a bunch of people that you barely know. Especially if they are ALL far far (far) younger than you.
A group of 5 of us were bowling, and all was going OK. Not too many inappropriate cultural references were made on my part. (What, they still have to know about Duran Duran, right??? That’s like, HISTORY!)
And then one of the other women (using the term loosely) offered to get a round of drinks. Nice of her, yes? Why thanks, I think I will!
About 10 minutes later she came back with one beer in her hand and a sheepish expression. Seems that because she was under 25, she was only allowed to buy one drink at a time. Someone else (who happened to be exactly 25) valiantly came to her rescue while the rest of the group commiserated about the trials and tribulations of being so stinking young.
And all I could think was – I wouldn’t have even gotten carded. And the bartender probably would have called me ma’am.
And there’s no amount of OMGing or LOLing that can make you fit in with the under 25s after THAT.