Monday, April 26, 2010

27 is not 30

So last weekend I'm standing at the checkout counter at WinCo, watching the total go up and up, bagging our own groceries and wondering how three people can eat so much. In amongst our (obvious) carb-addiction was a bottle of Merlot. It was scanned as innocently as a bottle of Yoo-Hoo and sent down the conveyor belt. The woman behind the counter didn't bat an eyelash. No "ums" followed politely by asking for my identification. Not even a glimmer of glancing up to make a quick judgment on the age of the purchaser (Mom was returning the extra cart so there was no assumption is belonged to her - which it did).

So I wondered: Do I look 35?

Correct me if I'm wrong but Federal Law requires that if you look under 35 plan to be carded.

It has been years since I was first legally allowed to purchase alcohol and I've always been mistaken for being older, but do I look that old?

Maybe my hypersensitivity was induced by the fact that the manicurist the day before thought I was my sister's mother. Yes, we're far apart in age but not that far apart.

Anyway I digress.

So the woman finishes scanning my groceries and we pay (Mom has joined me at this point).  As we get into the car and drive away the following conversation takes place:

Morgan: "Be honest. Do I look old?"(Yes, I realize this is a narcissistic question)  
Mom:"What are you talking about? Oh, did you not get carded?"
Morgan: "No. And since the law says to card if you look under 30 or 35 or whatever...I just want to know do I look old for my age?"
Mom: "No, I don't think you look thirty."
Morgan:*Long pause* "I"M NOT THIRTY!"

*     *     *
To my 30-something friends and readers: There is nothing wrong with being thirty. But when you ask if you look older than your age and your sweet mother makes a crack about you not looking over said's something to get slightly defensive over.
*     *     *

Eventually the freak-out passed.

I stopped worrying that I was dressing older than my age (although FYI fashion designers and distributors need to realize that just because a girl is a plus size doesn't mean she's going to want to wear a muumuu that makes her look like she's a circus tent).

I stopped worrying that I was prematurely wrinkling or that frown lines were developing.

I stopped worrying that I looked old enough to have a nineteen-year-old daughter.

I stopped worrying because I realized this is what they want..."they" being society that floods our media with anti-wrinkle creams, grey covering hair dye, "How to Lose 10-years" articles and makeup tips.

I refuse to be one of those women who lie about their age. I still have three years left of my 20s and plans to embrace every experience that comes with it.

27 is not 30 but when 30 comes knocking on my door I plan to welcome it with open arms.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Something to chew on.

A friend posted this as her status on a popular social network this morning and it was one of those "Hmm" moments. Something that should be, and I'm sure on many levels always has been, obvious but with current life events has taken on a whole new meaning: 

"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm, and harmony. People need moments of solitude and self reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away."

Do we need more solitude and self-reflection?

How does one accomplish this in today's society of Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin, and blogging (<--haha)?

When and how do we determine how much is too much of ourselves to "give away"? and do we sometimes not give enough?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Is 27 the new Spinster?

By the time my mother was my age she had been married 10years and was (more-or-less) pregnant with me. Sure times and whatever have changed since the 70s but if studies are correct the median age, for when people get married, has only increased slightly. In the 1970s, my parents got married in '72, women were getting married at 21 and men around 23 (on avg of course) - but now in the 2000s the median ages are F:25 and M:27

I'm two years older than these studies are showing but it's just averages right? 

So why do I feel like I'm suddenly sad Aunt Imogene?

Even my family has made jokes about me not settling down and becoming some crazy cat lady!

Now let me interject for a moment to say yes, on many levels I already am a crazy cat lady but I believe they were referring to the type you find dead in her trailer 3weeks after her 50 cats have started to consume her soft tissues. I am NOT (nor will I be) that type of cat lady.

So I'm just wondering:

Since when was 27 the new Spinster?

I have to admit a good number of my friends are either already married or on their way.

And when I say "married" I mean married, domestic partner, civil union, etc...

For shits-and-giggles I tallied the numbers, on my social networking list of friends, to see how many are married/engaged - I also thought to look at the number of divorced since studies are always talking about how that number is increasing. Of the 185 people I'm "connected" with: 

51 are married.
13 are engaged.
15 are divorced.

Now while that leaves 106 "single" folks - however, most aren't un-attached.

I've been with my bf for over a year and I think he is just the best man I've ever been dated. He has the same smart-ass/sarcastic sense of humor I do. He certainly keeps me on my toes - half the time I can't tell when he's joking (partly due to my gullibility I suppose). At the same time though, he's affectionate and loving. He may not be the sending flowers type of romantic but he knows when I'm in a funk and how to yank me out of it. He isn't just some bf; he's my partner. 

I know many people who feel the same way about their partners w/o there being shiny pieces of metal on their ring fingers...and with no twinge of jealousy for those that do. We're happy for our married counterparts but we're equally as happy in our relationships. 

So I just want to know why, despite statistical evidence that I am not a freak-of-nature being unmarried at 27, does society feel the need to plaster TV advertisements with Eharmony and jingles? To fill the newest Vogue magazine with engagement rings and the latest edition of Home and Garden with "How to have a successful backyard wedding"? 

Am I an anomaly to not be in any rush to get married? 

Is it an oddity that I am content in my relationship status as is? 

Or am I the new "Old Maid"?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New York Times tackles Shaving vs. Not Shaving

Even though I am a woman who shaves I think it's about time that an article like this be produced. So at first I wanted to applaud The New York Times and Catherine Saint Louis for publishing and writing an article about women who choose not to shave (and in the Fashion & Style section nonetheless)...showing (through pop culture icons of course but some "real" women) that shaving or not shaving is a choice. 

 That it doesn't have to be a "statement" for all woman-kind...

Then they lost me with the line:

"Is the fear that no man will want you and your hairy legs valid"... 

*Gag* oh heteronormativity.... 

Oh well it's not the best article but at least it exists.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Portland Fashion

Can this be explained to me please? 
Are we the Wicked Witch of the West's color blind cousin? 
We on our way home from a clown gig and didn't change out of costume fully? 

Or am I just missing something?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Fashion Follow Up: Bus Manners

Anyone who has ridden public transit - doesn't matter where - is familiar with the signs about giving up your seat to the elderly and disabled. But I've started to notice an unspoken bus rule...if you have the choice between people, give your seat up to the better dressed.

Now I do believe in coincidences and of course this theory could be isolated to just my route; which goes from the town center of the neighboring city (with a reputation of Tweek-Central), through East Portland and then into Downtown. The patrons on my route range from the elderly Russian Grandma stopping at the local Russian market and deli for her weekly shopping, the fourteen year old mother getting off at the county clinic with baby in tow, the hipster couple toting yoga mats and gym clothes in hand, well dressed business wo/man heading to work in one of downtowns city center buildings, and everyone in between.

Most days coming home from work there is standing room only and on most days I stand with the others, holding on like Gibbons in a tree. I have had people offer up their seats to me a few times, usually their stop is coming up and they need to make their way to the doors.

Then there were the other times. Times when a man jumped out of his seat to stand and offer it to me - instead of the woman in jeans and a sweatshirt who was closer to him.

The Asian Grandpa that tried to have a young business man take his seat - the younger man declined and insisted the older man stay seated.

The scowling woman who refused to move her knitting bag until a well dressed woman with Prada and Smartphone needed a place to sit.

So what is it that I'm witnessing?

A random group of coincidences where people would rather give up their seat to the business dressed 20something over the 40something in t-shirt and jeans?

Is there some unwritten rule someone forgot to tell me about when I joined the 20somethings?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Someone pass me a Xanax.

So having posted five blog entries this point I started wondering what other types of blogs and "advice" columns were out there for 20somethings. So going to my trusty friend Google and typed "surviving 20 something". What I found would make any intelligent 20something run screaming away from their laptop.

I came across two books.

The first entitled Quarter-life Crisis: The Unique Challenges of Life in Your Twenties. While I agree that the 20s hold "unique challenges" - I'm not sure if I would call this a "Quarter-life Crisis" I'm experiencing. That conjures up images of premature balding men riding crotch rockets and offering to buy the sorority girls at the bar a drink. Sorry Ms. Abey Wilner, that's hardly what I'm experiencing.

The second book, by some Mr. Marcos Salazar, was a mouthful (only appropriate since the title made me gag): Turbulent Twenties Survival Guide: Figuring Out Who You Are, What You Want and Where You're Going After College.

Sounds as if my 20s are going to cause me motion sickness?
Someone going to provide me with a barf bag?

Now maybe these are very well written books...maybe they are everything I've been looking for...but having titles that remind me of pamphlets handed out at the local community free-clinic - doesn't make me want to rush out and read them.

I'm writing a blog, not a self-help guide book, maybe I should be looking at other 20something blogs? I find my search ending with similar disappointments. I don't even get past the opening sentences in the first blog I open:

"Caught in a MidTwenties Life Crisis. Are you a woman in pursuit of sucess with big hopes and dreams? Do you feel like adulthood is catching up with you and its time to start making your dreams realities? If yes, then this blog is the empowerment tool for you..."

I're joking right?
"This is the empowerment tool for you!"
This isn't a blog it's an informercial!!


Three strikes, should have taken a baseball clue but I decide I can't stop yet...

...just one more site...

...let's see...

Here's one. It's a chat forum for 20something bloggers. This has to have something useful.

Top Topics of discussion:

"Longest without sex?"
"Ladies! What's in your purse/bag?"
"Most wild place you've had whoopie"
"Do you still Myspace?"
And a number of topics and profile pictures of beer and cocktails.

....someone pass me a Xanax....

how am I supposed to find my place as a 20something when this is the 20something image being portrayed.

Well guess it's good I decided to go against my usual charater and start blogging. Someone has to show not all 20somethings are sex crazed, beer guzzling egomaniacs with an identity crisis.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Joining the Circus

I really am in awe of my friends...

They are the people working behind the scenes to help make the world a better place one day at a time. Whether working locally by fostering "troubled" teen boys or working with young homeless youth. Then there are those working internationally - traveling to developing countries to help set up programs for hospitals and blood banks or tracking and recording the breeding patterns of endangered species.  These people, my friends, are amazing and life changing.

So is it any surprise that I look upon them and find myself unfulfilled in my jobs: Dorm Mom, Envelope Stuffer, Phone Answerer.

My background certainly can't be considered having had a career. the closest I came to a "career" was stumbling into the Residential Life and Housing departments at colleges and universities (i.e. "Dorm Mom"). Being called at 3AM to bust students for smoking pot and drinking or, worse, because a toilet is overflowing into the downstairs neighbors' apartment.

At 27 I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I've toyed with a few ideas. Thought about what I might want to do for the rest of my life: psychology and counseling, art therapy, museum administration, artist, multicultural center director....hell I'm sure once or twice I've thought about running away and joining the circus (circus - theatre - same thing...right?).

I start looking into the jobs, seeing the requirements, researching what types of degree I would need (because as I'm sure we'll discuss in a further blog - my bachelor's degree is silly and useless). In the end the moment of passion fades and I'm back to wonder:

By 27 shouldn't I have a career?

Shouldn't I, at least, know what I want to be when I grow up?