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.

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