Pen Pals

What is with the whole “getting old’ bit? Again, another post grappling from the transition from child to…no, I suppose I can’t really say that. I’ve near been a full-fledged American adult for nearly two years. At this point it’s just noting the notches of days and weeks and months and years – and then trying to wipe away the dust.

This came after I just meandered over to a friend’s site which, when looking at his recent pictures, I asked myself, “When did he get old?” As I told him per comment, it wasn’t so much a ‘Hold them off with the hose, while I grab my cane’ old but a ‘Dude. You’re an Adult. You officially look like someone who is allowed to purchase guns and alcohol. And porn! Let’s not forget the porn.’ [Hi Coy!]

Extending the existential crisis to my mail, I got a card the other day from my best friend from 7th grade. She and I have been regular pen pals for years, with her being probably the longest continual friend I’ve had. It had been a while since I had heard from her. She married last April, seemingly out of the blue, to a rather amicable looking fellow. [Not that that is a great qualifying characteristic of marital stability. But hey, I’m an optimist.] I wrote her a letter in the beginning of March: How the heck are you?; How’s the weather?; I’m still a grad student here; *twiddling of the thumbs*; Love, Me.

I’m one boring pen pal. [I blame her; she refuses to email. I write excellent emails.]

I sat down to read her card, glossed over a quick bottom portion which approximately said, “I’ll write more later.” A bit terse I thought, until the static loosened and a photo of a fuzzy newborn landed on my lap, along with the top portion of the card, “This is my daughter, K, born on January 27, 2007. Isn’t she adorable?”

It had been a while since I had heard from her.

I told J that I feel like I’m going to down this obviously different path than so many others I know and some days it really depresses me. When did this little crack become this gulf? More so, when did this gulf become a crib? When did this crack become wedding rings?

My path shouldn’t depress me though. My path is well lit, it has rest stops with cake, everyone drives very civilly, and there are plenty of new people on this path that keep gregariously saying hello to me. There are some potholes on this path. Sometimes you are criticized for being condescending, yet you try to temper your words and attitude. Sometimes you confront the idea that people really do stop understanding you at a certain point… but that doesn’t stop the feeling that someone should slap the emo out of you.

It’s those things that keep me looking back. But all my choices have given me this road and I think I’ve decided to sample all the cake. Plus with this new-fangled technology called email, I’m a great pen pal.

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8 Responses to Pen Pals

  1. E says:

    I have had the same issues when thinking about some of my old friends. We used to be so similar, but now… Yikes. Then again, I wouldn’t really want to be in their shoes either, so I guess it all works out.

  2. BabyLover23 says:

    Hey, just because you’ll never know true happiness until you’re married to a nice man and have a baby drooling down your shirt doesn’t mean you should feel depressed or unfulfilled. Wait, yes it does!! Mwa-ha-hah-ha! Passing down genetic material rocks!!

  3. The Rebuker says:

    Here’s my attempt at inspiring self-helpery:

    Things like moving, having a baby, getting a new job, discovering an obsessive interest in online gaming, what have you, cause you to re-focus your life. You’re still you, but your energies are diverted, at least in part, to a different object. Obviously, this can cause some cracks in relationships you had pre-re-focusing. But as long as you still remain you, and as long as your friends are willing to tiptoe across that crack, there’s no reason why relationships can’t evolve and stay strong. Both parties just have to be willing to allow the relationship to change.

    Of course, this is all from the woman who managed to estrange her father and her best friend by getting married and having a kid. (And no, Grandma, I’m not calling my dad cuz he’s an immature jerk!)

  4. firewings says:

    Your Grandma reads my blog? Wow.

  5. K says:

    There isn’t anything wrong with getting old! The more you can come to grip the harsh reality, the more one becomes comfortable with it.

    -K

  6. thebutton says:

    I think The Rebuker said it best. I’ve noticed changes in all of our “crew” from back in the day. We’ve all chosen different paths and we grow from those experiences. We learn as we go along and try to pass on that knowledge. We’re not getting “old” we’re becoming more wise. 🙂

    ~Jen

  7. The Rebuker says:

    I like that we’ve all been pontificating on paths and wisdom and focus and aging and yet probably nobody on this particular post has cracked 30 years. That’s modern times for ya: we have an longer lifespan but we spend more of it as stuffy adults.
    (hmm . . . maybe my grandma should read your blog)

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