Monday, August 6, 2012

Age Wars

While spending some time with my kids at the McDonald's PlayLand the other day I was playing on my iphone and quietly observing some of the kids interacting with each other.

Bo's & M were trying to play in the basketball area with the bigger kids.

This is how the conversation went down…..

Older kid: "How old are you?"

Bo's: "I'm 7"

Older kid to his sister:  "Hahaha she's only 7.  Isn't that funny?  Yeah, she's only 7.  I'm 10"

Bo's:  "So what?"

Older kid's sister:  Yeah I can't believe she's only 7.  I'm 9 and my little sister is 8 (meanwhile i'm quietly thinking her mom is a big old slut)

Older kid:  "Yeah you're only 7 and your brother is only 4…hahaha"

Bo's attempt at a comeback: "Oh yeah well my other brother is 2" pointing at Peanut (I don't think she quite got the concept that she was supposed to come back with a bigger number, not smaller, lol)

More pointless, childish banter occurs between older kids and mine.

Bo's & M eventually get tired of it and leave to go play on the slides

Me: Still sitting at the table, sipping my Diet Coke and trying very hard to stay out of the conversation.

I have a strict philosophy that if my kids aren't in trouble, then I let them pick their own battles.  They seemed to be doing a pretty good job of holding their own and no one was being hurt, so there was really no reason for me to get involved.

However, I started thinking about how hilarious it is that kids are SO obsessed with age.  It's ALL about the numbers.  I remember getting into similar arguments with other kids about age and it didn't matter if you were one week (or even 2 days older), EVERY SINGLE MINUTE counted, lol!   If you were 10 minutes older, then you were the king (or queen) or both if that's what you're into.  Moving on…..

I then began to wonder what would happen if grown adults started to argue over age?   Here's the scenario that plays out in my head:

The scene is set at a local grocery store…..I'm going to go with Winco because it's ghetto fabulous and I could see some fists being thrown (at least I could at our local Winco but perhaps you live in a nicer neighborhood than we do).

Me:  Tap, tap, tap on the guy's shoulder standing in front of me

Him: Yes (looking both annoyed and offended that I dared to tap on his shoulder)

Me:  How old are you?

Him:  25 (in a confused, WTF do you want to know kind of tone)

Me:  You're only 25?  Hahaha, that's funny!  Well I'M 35!!!!!

Him:  Oooookay, that's nice (as he turns back around thinking i'm completely mental and forgot to take my meds today).

Me:  Well I should get to cut in front of you because i'm older.   I'm 35….YOU'RE only 25.

Him: Uh, not a chance lady

Me turning to people behind me:   Hey, can you believe this guy.  He's only 25?  

People behind me stand in stunned and awkward silence, not quite sure what to say to me and again thinking i'm completely 100% off my rocker.

You see no matter how many times I play out this type of scenario in my head, I just can't find a single one that would make being older sound so cool, lol!!!!!  No one is going to let you cut in line.  No one is going to give you any special privileges.   What would we argue about?    How many age spots we have?  How many extra pounds we've put on over the years?  How many wrinkles?  What marriage we're on?  It's a sad reality but the older we get, the less cool it is to gain another year. Don't get me wrong, getting older isn't ALL bad and there are some perks.  For example, I can eat an entire jumbo sized box of Junior Mints at 2 am if I want, while jugging a diet soda in my other hand, and watching TV all at the same time!   Of course the next day that's followed up by tooth decay, a stomach ache, my pants won't button and I look like someone hit me upside the head with an ugly stick for not getting enough sleep, but you get my point :)  What I mean is that I certainly never hear any adults "bragging" about their age unless of course they are 18 or 21 and completely thrilled to finally be legal, but then again I still think of them as kids so they don't count.

With age comes adult responsibility and that's just not as fun as it sounds when you're 9.     So the next time i'm at the playground and I hear the familiar sounds of childish "age wars" going on,  I will smile and think, "These poor kids have no clue what they're in for".   

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