When I was 20 years old, a friend of my mother asked me how old I was. I responded, without even thinking, "I'm 18." It wasn't until about 10 minutes later that I realized, nope, I was 20. You should have seen the look on this woman's face when I corrected myself. After all, who in the world would forget their own age? But I've always felt younger than I am. Always. Even now, I find it hard to believe that in a month or so, I'll be 31! Madness!
But ever since I entered into a serious relationship with A.P., I've felt old. Not ancient, but older. When we got married, I felt really old. Near ancient. I still act like a young person, I think, but I feel old. There are some outfits that I look at and think, "I can't get away with that. I'm a married woman for Christ's sake!" Then there are invitations I feel the need to turn down for the same reason. There seems to be a fine line between what a married couple/person can and can't get away in my mind.
When the Half-breed Swede was in town, we went to Medieval Times. A.P. and I got carded for my drink and the woman kept saying that she was surprised that I was 30. I'm sure she was yanking my chain for a tip, but it felt nice and I decided I'd take it. I don't feel young all the time anymore. I feel old more often than not. Work constantly wears me out and our life seems to lack the sparkle and serendipity of my early to mid-20's. I used to go to concerts. I used to go to bars. I used to do a lot of fun things that I don't do anymore. Some of it is definitely my fault. I gave up trying to be hip and youthful. Some of it I blame on A.P. He's more open to doing those things now, but when I first met him, he hated all of that stuff. And so I would opt out when friends invited me to things like that. Now, because I opted out for so long, they don't really invite me.
I'm reminded of an episode of one of my favorite TV shows, Mad About You. Jamie (Helen Hunt) starts talking about how she used to wear hats and go to movies alone. In the end, she realizes she'd rather spend time with her husband, Paul (Paul Reiser), but for that one moment, I could relate. I may not have worn hats, but my fashion was much more daring. And more importantly I had places to wear those daring outfits. I'm pretty sure I'd look super sad wearing a sexy outfit on my couch.
You give up on so much when you get married and it's not the worst thing in the world. But some of the things you give up on are associated with your youth, your single-ness. It's hard not to feel old sometimes. But with age and feeling old comes so many other things I'll gladly take: being free of credit card debt, being financially stable, no more heartbreak from boyfriends who come and go, no more lonely Friday nights, and so many other things. I just wish that in the process of it all, I didn't feel so damn old sometimes!
Do you feel like marriage has "aged" you? Not physically, but mentally? Do you feel that because you're married you're too old to do certain things?