And, yes, I feel old. I'm one year away from forty. And suddenly people start yapping at me about wasting time, having a "vision," and either shit or get off the pot.
Apparently what I'm currently doing is not enough. I'm a thirty-nine-year-old librarian who lives in a four level town house with three annoying cats and a slightly neurotic dog. Apparently my life has no meaning unless I'm working towards "something."
What is that something?
Suddenly, because I'm almost forty I need to start having a "vision" (I still don't know what that means), and California Guy and I should stop screwing around, sell our properties, move into a suitable joint property that rakes in a ridiculous amount of equity to start "planning for the future."
What future? We could all be dead in ten years.
Being almost forty has me realizing that the thing I should be working towards is making myself happy because people forget you ten minutes after you die, if they even remembered you while you were alive.
For example, ten years ago I had a ton of friends, people liked me, I was out dancing all the time, and guys hit on me constantly. There were several times in the bars and at the rodeos when I was told I was "the hottest girl there."
Five years ago I had a regular posse and guys still hit on me. Several exes still phoned.
Now, my posse has all but disappeared. They've either moved away, had families, or just plain moved on. I have a great boyfriend, but I had to work to find him. I found him on Match, and before I joined Match, it had been two years since I'd had any decent dates, let alone prospects, and only lunatics seemed to hit on me.
Now, it's the dog who gets all the attention. We took a walk for the first time in months on Sunday and no less than three groups of people stopped to stare at Tess and comment on "that beautiful German shepherd." Children came up and asked if they could pet her. Other dog walkers gawked at Tess while we walked by, commenting "Beautiful dog!" or just trying to roll their tongues back in their mouths. I imagined them looking at their dogs with envy, wishing they were just as lovely.
You know the song "A Guy with the Girl" by Blake Shelton?
I'm the "Girl with the Dog." People don't even notice me anymore, but they are drooling over my ten-year-old German shepherd. Her birthday was in March too, and even though she's getting older just like me, she seems to be getting noticed more.
So what's the vision? Trying to stay relevant? Saving for retirement? Remaining a cataloger and steward of neurotic animals? That work isn't meaningful enough? Eight months of dating is long enough that California Guy and I should ditch caution to the wind and just move in together? (In his defense, he has more cause for caution given that he's been married before and it ended badly. Me, I'm just a pussy when it comes to change). My string of deadbeat boyfriends and bad dates has resulted in a pretty great guy and the consensus is that I need to fasten a ball and chain to his ankle STAT so he doesn't run away.
At least that's how people are making me feel.
If you have a stallion eating oats out of your hand, you'd best close the gate before you give him the sugar.
It's like suddenly I'm almost forty and people are panicking on my behalf over my finances and love life. Meanwhile I'm thinking, "Dammit, I have three novel series I need to get going on and publish or it'll keep gnawing at me until I explode." Or else, "Dammit, I need to open that chocolate shop/gluten-free bakery/wine bar because I've always wanted to open my own business and create a hangout for my no-longer-existent friends."
And yes, sometimes I miss the days of when I was the hottest thing in the room, the one every guy wanted to talk to. I was jealous of my dog on Sunday. That picture of me from when I was twenty-three? It's moldy. And that adorable little assistant I just hired? She IS twenty-three and cute as a button. She reminds me of me in my first part time reference assistant library job.
That WAS me.
All I wanted for my birthday was wine and cake. I wasn't expecting a lecture of, "So you're almost forty. When are you going to stop screwing around and act like it?" And I definitely wasn't expecting the birthday present of a younger, cuter version of me for an assistant, reminding me of what my life used to be. Of course that was my own fault, since I hired her.
And while we're on the subject, why isn't wine and cake a good enough vision?
I did get wine and cake, so I got my birthday wish. Okay the cake was a bit iffy there for awhile, but i managed to slap something together. The wine was the best wine made by grapes. I went ahead and ordered half a case of the wine for a gift to myself. And I got a Kitchen Aid for my birthday present (California Guy is pretty awesome). I also have the most beautiful German shepherd, a pretty great boyfriend, some good close friends, and a nice family.
Screw you, vision. I'm good here.