Let Your Lady Child Come Out and Play

When I was nine years old and played the fortune telling game MASH with my girlfriends, I would always choose 23, 24, 25 and 26 as my “age I get married” choices. I was obviously going to be a mom by 27 (with either 3, 7, 10 or 1000 kids), because 27 was old. Well, the MASH gods have spoken, and I’ve passed those years marriage and child free. In fact, the only little girl stuff you can find in my house now is still mine. I am, as Britney Spears put it so eloquently in 2002, not a girl, not yet a woman. I remember relating to that song a decade ago, yet somehow I relate to it even more today. And by the array of bowtie headband, Hello Kitty nail polish, smiley face purse, Rainbow Brite stockings, polka-dot dress wearing “lady-children” out there, I am happy to see I am not alone. It seems if forty is the new thirty, then thirty is the new twelve.

I still love stickers and stuffed animals and friendship bracelets. Now the big question: Do I love them because:

  1. They’re nostalgic and remind me of a simpler time when I thought taxes were just spaces on the Monopoly board and RENT was just a musical?
  2. Those things are really trendy right now and I want to be as “adorkable” as the likes of Zooey Deschanel and Katy Perry?
  3. I’m immature and need to get over it and I should just donate all of my clothes and accessories and start fresh at Chico’s?

Even when I’m in an environment with tweenagers, I find they want to hang out around me more than the other “adults.” But what classifies a person as an “adult” these days? Is an adult simply someone who has lived on this earth 18+ years? Or is it someone who pays rent or a mortgage? Or maybe someone who has a spouse and/or a child? Do you become an adult when you start drinking coffee? Are you allowed to wear your hair in pigtails once you’ve become an adult? What about glitter? At what age do I need to stop watching the CW?

By the time my mom was my age, she was divorced, re-married, and had a daughter in elementary school. Never in my life have I seen her hair in pigtails. I have a dog and I find that’s pretty much all the responsibility I can handle at this stage of the game. My hair is also in pigtail braids right now. And I’m wearing neon. And hearts. A complete look my mother would call “childish.” I call it “cute.”

Society and pop culture are overflowing with females in my age bracket who act in a way perhaps previously (and maybe currently by some) deemed immature. HBO’s Girls, for example, represents lady-children hard. First of all, the title is “Girls.” Not “Misses,” not “Women,” not, God-forbid, “Ma’ams.” Because let’s face it, every time someone calls me “ma’am” I feel a tiny pit jump up in my stomach. A pit that stays there until the next time I get carded. In an episode following “Hannah’s Diary”, one of the characters calls it a “journal” and Lena Dunham’s character corrects him and calls it a “notebook” because “‘journal’ implies that she’s a 13 year old girl…” So let’s at least try to get this one straight: A collection of your thoughts and feelings is a diary until you’re 12, then it’s a journal, and then at some point in your adulthood it becomes a notebook? Nevermind, I’m confused again.

With an eclectic cast of females, from their relationships to their careers to their parents, these four girls barely have anything figured out and somehow that makes me feel better. Through this show Lena Dunham is definitely the voice of my generation. Or at least “a voice, of a generation.” (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, catch up on Girls and then get ready for the new season coming January 13 on HBO.)

I seem to be in a transitional age. I have a girlfriend who recently took her step-daughter to a Justin Bieber concert. I have another girlfriend who went to the concert for herself. I have friends who watch Vampire Diaries and others who watch True Blood. Some of my girls have recommended I read Hunger Games, and others tell me to get into the 50 Shades series. Here’s what I say: Watch, shop, and wear whatever makes you happy. Put your iPod on shuffle and be ready to dance whether a Taylor Swift song pops on or a Led Zeppelin jam. Eat a pink frosted cupcake with a glass of Merlot on the side. Pay your bills and then watch Elf while crafting a picture frame for your bestie. And if this trend ever ends, may you always feel forever young, whatever you do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1009432878 Oriol Garcia Casas

    For me it is not retaining my youth, but rather a predefined position not ,abide by the rules,¿ what about if don’t you get married? or you haven’t kids, the wold is caotic and much to do,worry for social stereotypes
    Connect with Facebook to post a comment

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=41504073 Danielle Dolan

    i legit can not tell if thats katy or zooey on the right… crazy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002706901820 Alia Pyatt

      First is Zooey, Second is Katy

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=513003939 Kayla Rose Zampino

    Pretty sure those are both Kat Perry

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000374269789 Grace Dawila Otadoy

    do what it takes
    for as long as it makes you happy
    feel free to do whatever you want :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000374269789 Grace Dawila Otadoy

    Connect with Facebook to post a comment

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=27404407 Jane McAdams

    Zooey on the left, Katy on the right. But it took me a while to figure that out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=27404407 Jane McAdams

    And I’m still not 110% sure…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1282266998 Katy May

    The girl on the left is Zoey, and on the right is Katy. Look at the chin on the right…. Katy has a cleft ish chin. Anyways, reading this is hard for me because in my life I never really cared too much about what other people think. I still have stuff toys, my night light, my baby blankees….. do people care? Not really. I think you can enjoy these things at any age and if anyone thinks it is strange than who cares? I am very much a mature adult but my childhood curiosity and playfulness is still alive and always will be. I hope other people keep those great qualities from childhood too, it keeps you young.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000352385494 Rebecca Hogan

    That was a great read – this is me 😀

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=634966428 Jero Aguiar Juarez

    The one on the left is zooey the one on the right is katy! 😉

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000196380865 Daniel Ankersmit

    I don’t see the resemblance…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=20902968 Kate McComb

    Love it! I feel the same way, as do most of my girlfriends. And I agree: Watch, shop, and wear whatever makes you happy. Thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=63203179 Kaite Shirazi

    Thank you so much for this article! I’m 25, have dual bachelors and am completely unsatisfied with my “big girl job.” I LOVE 50’s style dresses, bikes with baskets and Hello Kitty and had a quarter-life crisis melt down last night when I heard myself say “I’m 15 years away from 40.”
    Thank you again! This article could NOT have come at a better time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500383786 Desirae Mc Cain

    Recently I’ve been thinking about how at my age (28) my mother had already married, had 3 children and divorced. The idea of me being in the same place as her right now is completely ridiculous to me. I can’t even take on the responsibility of a pet let alone a child (or 3!).

    I had no issues with my lady-childness when I lived in LA all my friends were in the same boat as me: Between the age of 22-34 and happy with being childless. Now I live in Alaska and whenever I go out I am almost always one of the oldest people at the bar. Most people my age here are married with children and have no time to play with friends. The age of my friends has decreased quite greatly since I moved up here. I went from being one of the younger people in my group to being the oldest, without a question. The females I surround myself here are around 22 and desperately want to be married with children. Luckily their desperation hasn’t rubbed off on me I’m still embracing my lady-child even if it comes with much more judgment than it did in LA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500383786 Desirae Mc Cain

    BTW… it’s for sure Zooey on the Left and Katy on the Right. No question. Great photo choice to show the resemblance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=601795426 Diane Zeno

    I’m 22, married, and have a two year old. I still love my polkadots, I watch Vamp diaries, and Dexter. I pay rent and bills and care for someone else, but I own probably 15 cow stuffed animals (It’s my thing.) I have more random colored pairs of leggings and socks than anything else in my wardrobe AND I would LOVE to have a bike with a basket. I spend my weekends playing hide and go seek with my son and husband, and my week paying bills and working at my full time office job. My son brings out the kid in me, he doesn’t require me to hide it away. I have it all. Why choose? I only WANT to be half an adult, and only when I have to be. Thanks for the post! Brilliant! NEVER grow old. In this age, there’s no reason too. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=851885006 Jenny Lonussen

    “Put your iPod on shuffle and be ready to dance whether a Taylor Swift song pops on or a Led Zeppelin jam. Eat a pink frosted cupcake with a glass of Merlot on the side. Pay your bills and then watch Elf while crafting a picture frame for your bestie. And if this trend ever ends, may you always feel forever young, whatever you do.”
    AMEN! Nothing else to add, adore this post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=608805084 Elizabeth Craig

    A-bloody-men!!! But btw I watch True Blood AND Vampire Diaries. I also loved The Hunger Games and Fifty Shades. I also assumed to begin with that this article was about how Katy and Zooey are almost identical….??

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002624534946 Maureen Nigro

    To each her own, as long as you feel good anything goes. Age is just a state of mind…I am almost 50, some days I feel 18 other days I fell 80. Go get em kiddo !!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=517776583 Alexandra Kessie

    I agree – but even Lena Dunham frightens me. She may not have it all planned out, but she has a hit HBO tv show, already debuted a film and a soon to be published author …at 26!!!? I’m the same age and I haven’t even left home yet, but i like being me. I enjoy not stressing myself out about all of that growing up too fast. I just make sensible decisions when I need to and wallow in my awesome child like playfulness the rest of the time :) x

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=540050362 Hilary June

      It helps to have rich, creative, modern parents in ‘the business’ and to grow up in new york.

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