Tuesday, June 5, 2007

On the verge of being a grown-up

I just returned from the bank. There are certain tasks that feel like grown-up tasks, and this was definitely one of them. I was organizing my account for my move to the United States, and since I will still be receiving payments for my work in Euros, I had to do a bunch of grown-up talking with a banker about money... what a joke! I also had to talk about insurance in Italian, as if that isn't hard enough in English.

As I was driving home I mused over my bizarre feeling that I'm just faking my way through this grown-up thing. I feel like that ALOT! I feel like that as I take my children to school, pay bills, work, send out invoices, book airline tickets, try on clothes, go shopping, just about everything. Even though as of last week it's time to take that "almost forty" blurb out of my profile (I haven't done that because I have no idea what to put there yet. The choices are slim and depressing... forty year old NO!! middle aged OH MY GOD NO!! far from fifty I FEEL SICK!!), I literally never feel like a grown-up. I'm in a perpetual state of faking it.

You would think that my ripening age, 14 year marriage and two children would somehow have elevated me to grown-up status. I have very vivid memories of my mother when she was my age, and she was definitely a grown-up! She had her shit together! She had a grown-up job, a big grown-up house and even a grown-up divorce. She wore make-up (um... still haven't figured that out yet), high heels (no way in hell can I walk in those things), and knew everything there was to know about everything (well, OK, even she says this isn't quite true). She had a PLAN. Or at least that's how it seemed. If she actually ever read my above statements, she would surely get a laugh. Right around 45 is when she had breast cancer, which totally changed her life. She went on to give up her prosperous real estate business and return to school, eventually attaining a phd and becoming (are you ready for this?) a sex therapist. So much for having a PLAN.

And then there's me. I know this is going to sound lame, but when I go to the US, I still get a little thrill buying beer without getting carded!
I look at many of my contemporaries, and think to myself how they seem so much more prepared for making their way through this thing that is life. They look like they really know how to plan for retirement, climb the corporate ladder, eat a balanced diet and excercise regularly. I look back on some of the biggest decisions I've made thus far in my life, and I must admit that I had no idea what the hell I was doing.

My husband, or maybe me, I don't remember: "Sposiamoci?" translation- let's get married

"Um... OK."

Me: "I think I'm pregnant."

My husband: "Um... OK."

Me: "I think I'm pregnant again."

My husband: "Holy shit. Um... che bello!"

Me: "I really love it here- let's move."

My husband: "Holy mother of god have mercy on me. Me, too... OK."

Do you remember when you were in high school, and a 25 year old was really old? And in college when a 35 year old was defnitiely middle aged? I guess I feel unable to feel my age mostly because a lot of people my age (I'm not referring to you, OK?) seem OLD and STUFFY with STICKS UP THEIR ASSES!
Or I am just jealous?

Is that impression just my own insecurity about my eternal sense that I am faking through the grown-up stuff?


Romerican said...

I'm not quite 40 yet but i hear you...
at my age my mother already had 3 kids and looked like a "woman". i still look and feel like a girl- i also refuse to wear "dressy" clothes, makeup, and heels so maybe i'm just trying to stay young in my own way. or… maybe I just really hate getting dressed up (=

Rebecca said...

hee hee - great post. I feel like I am 'faking' it all over the shop. Even when I sit down at the kitchen table with my kids and supervise homework or something completely mundane like that I can think to myself: "Yeah right, who do you think you're kidding with this responsible act???!!!"

It's weird, innit?

jennifer said...

so glad to hear I'm not alone. I shot this post off yesterday when I should have been working (nothing new there...) and then started to think 1. it was rude, and 2. I'm the only poor slob who feels this way!

Brillig said...

Oh, I completely feel this way too! That's so funny. This was brilliantly written. I spent so much of my youth trying to be so grown up, and now I feel like I've finally fooled them all! People talk to me like I'm an adult!

(Of course, I'm still not OLD like the rest of you... KIDDING!!! I'M KIDDING!!!)

sognatrice said...

I was just thinking about this the other day, how I'm nearing the age that I can actually remember my mom being (she had me when she was 30, so my memories of her go back to when she was 34-35, and she had, among other things, a grown-up divorce behind her as well).

I just think of how mature she must've been to have made all those grown-up decisions...and yet in reality, she must've felt similarly to how I do, which is how you described--kinda not grown-up at all ;) I'll have to talk to her about it.

Excellent post :)

Jenn in Holland said...

Did you climb into my head and snatch my very thoughts?
When I turned 40 my mother said to me "oh, I can't believe I now have 3 children IN their forties" which I had to protest loudly. There was no way I was IN my forties. I had only just REACHED my forties, and only that very day!!!
I guess I passed that threshold and have to admit after birthday #41 that I am now IN my forties.
But I am still not a grown up.
I don't know when I will get my shit together!

jennifer said...

Phew... I thought I was alone in my faking it! I wonder if men feel like this, too. My husband surely does, but then again he's nowhere near normal!

Jennifer said...

This was another great one. You had me laughing, especially when you got to the conversations with your husband.

I remember being little and thinking how great it would be when I grew up because then I would know what to do, what to say, how to handle all situations that came my way and always make the right decisions. I am still waiting for that to happen!

Cate said...

Shut up! your Mom is a sex therapist???!!!!!??? WOW. That is totally cool!
Anyway, I know what you mean about not feeling grown up. I feel exactly the same way. I actually get a thrill when an older co=worker doesn't recognize a song on the radio but I know all the words to it. Makes me feel like I really am still a teenager, no matter what my birth certificate says. I'm totally faking this adult stuff all the way. Glad to know I'm not alone. :)

jennifer said...

Yes- my mom the sex therapist... more on that later, I promise

Gunfighter said...

Don't sweat it jennifer... 40 is the new twenty.