...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Monday, October 20, 2008

say my age, bitch!

"Just how old do you think I am?" I asked the seven-year-old perched on my lap. The little girl, with whom I'd just hula-hooped for several exhausting minutes (I'm talking several, people! My hips don't lie), had a knowledgeable discussion about American Girl dolls, and chosen our favorite Jonas Brother (I 'heart' you, Joe). She leaned back, scanned my face, even tapped her finger upon her pursed lips as she pondered my question.

"I think you're 20," she quickly answered.

And just like that, in the span of four words, I had a daughter! "Tell you're mommy you're coming home with me. You can keep your first name so as not to be confused, but we'll have to change your last name. We'll celebrate by going shopping for Barbies and painting our fingernails. I think you'll be very happy with my family," I cried.

And then, maybe, the girl cried, too. Maybe. I mean, I don't blame her if she wanted to. Her mom is pretty cool, even if she doesn't know who any of the Jonas Brothers are. Also, my seven-year-old sweet talking pseudo-daughter is lucky she's a Nick girl, that's all I'm saying.

Here's where you could be all, "Geez, FADKOG, touchy about your age much?" and then I would laugh in your face, demurely, of course, and respond, "Oh, not at all! I totally pimped how I was turning 40 last fall, which reminds me. There's only about four weeks until my 41st birthday, so commence shopping NOW!"

But when you were asking, I might have had my fingers crossed behind my back. Just a little bit, because apparently, on days when I think I don't look so bad, apparently I do. Consider this exchange I had with my first customer - a very elderly lady - last week on a day I was feeling pretty happy, confidant, rocking some great hair, and pretty much ready to kick ass.

Me - "Hi. Can I help you find something special today?"

Elderly lady - "Oh, I'm looking for a book for my grandson. He's 11, and enjoys animal stories."

Me - "Well, here are a few great choices. My son, who is also 11, really enjoys this book."

Elderly lady - "You're son, you say?"

Me - "Yes, my son. He's also 11, and enjoys most books that involve animals or sports."

(For the record, this is not entirely true. Getting my son to read is like getting a captured terrorist to spill secrets, and sometimes waterboarding may be involved, because I am willing to lie if it means I can provide the best in customer service.)

(OK, I'm kidding about the waterboarding thing; however, I have had to go Jack Bauer on him a time or two to even get him to read a flippin' "Captain Underpants" book, but anyway, back to the story...)

Elderly lady - "Well, this one doesn't look too bad."

Me - "Oh! Wait! "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH"! I loved this book when I was your grandson's age! I remember my fifth grade teacher reading this to my class. I still love this book today!"

Elderly lady, looking at the cover while listening to me explain the basis for the story - "So you really love this story, huh?"

Me - "It's a great story about friendship and remaining loyal..."

Elderly lady, interrupting, looking at me, who is not as elderly as elderly lady is - "And it's been around for a long time, you say?"

Me, good humored because it had started as a great day - "Um...well...when I read it, we had to wait for the pterodactyls to finish etching out the story on stone tablets that they then flew down with, one at a time, so it did take a long time for me to get through it."

Elderly lady, oblivious to my awesome sense of humor, tested and honed over 40 years (which, btw, is just four years older than "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH") - "I guess I'll take it. Thank you for your help today."

Me - "And thank you for making me feel really old today!"

Except she was already halfway to the checkout by the time I got that out. Because I'd fallen and hurt my hip, told some pesky kids to get off my lawn, and complained about that loud devil music coming from the ear buds of a man, who was probably at least 24, who had walked by me. And last night? Last night I ate dinner at 4 p.m., and was in bed for the day by 11 p.m.!

Because even imaginary 20 year olds need their rest.

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Blogger Momma Trish said...

Now, now. Even if you were 20, you would have just told her that the book had been around for 9 years. But you'd already given away that you weren't 20 by telling her you had an 11 year old son. So she's thinking you're maybe 30 ... and the book was around when you were 11 ... so that's 19 years, which is a long time by children's lit standards. Right?

You're about my age. You're not old. And if anyone tries to tell you different, I'll beat them with my cane!

Monday, October 20, 2008 8:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I mean, what a biddy!!!


Don't worry FADKOG. I'd let you waterboard me anytime.

Er, I mean, motorboat me.

Ya. That's what I mean.

I'm just so damn young I get the two of those newfangled terms confused.


Monday, October 20, 2008 9:13:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hmmm...what to get for your 41st? Does the waterboarding work well? The Boy reads well, but sometimes an alternative method to calm him down would rock.

Monday, October 20, 2008 9:20:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin McKeever said...

You don't blog a day over 23.

Monday, October 20, 2008 9:25:00 AM  
Blogger patty said...

41 is totally the new oh-man-I-forget-now-that-I'm-42, so don't sweat it.

Monday, October 20, 2008 9:26:00 AM  
Blogger Bijoux said...

The dinosaur bit killed me, FADKOG!
You should have told her you had the perfect book for her great-grandson.

Monday, October 20, 2008 9:34:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Aw, heck, you're at least twice as good as any 20-year-old. . .

Just sayin'. . .

And, see, it's all about the wisdom, right? All that, um, experience is gaining you wisdom. At least, that's what I tell myself. . .

Monday, October 20, 2008 9:46:00 AM  
Blogger xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx said...

Oh FADKOG, until you're "older than dirt", fear not. Besides, you're a blogger! Age hardly matters :-)

Monday, October 20, 2008 9:53:00 AM  
Blogger Mandy said...

honey i dream about making it to 11pm.

Monday, October 20, 2008 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Lipstick Jungle said...

I want to be you when I am almost 41.

Just sayin.

And if ter... (wait, must check blog for correct spelling) pterodactyls scrolled Rats for you, then what the hell scrolled in her day???

Monday, October 20, 2008 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

This is the internet, age doesn't count!

Monday, October 20, 2008 10:07:00 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

i'll send Emily over. except that she's a Joe girl too... (last week she told me that even though i am 30, i look younger than her 25 year old teacher. heh)

Monday, October 20, 2008 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

My daughter asked me this morning if I was 20. I said "if that's what you think!"

She always was my favorite kid.

Monday, October 20, 2008 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My girls have started asking us "How old are you?" to which I answer that I'm 17... and TheWife is 200 years old.

(She hates me so much.)

Monday, October 20, 2008 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger Eternal Sunshine said...

I have a coworker who's always saying things like "Who's Susan Dey?" and "What's the Banana Split Gang".

I hate her.

Monday, October 20, 2008 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

If you are almost 41, then you are younger than me. :/

Monday, October 20, 2008 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's cool. I am only 28 and haven't been carded in 5 years. yeah WTH?

Monday, October 20, 2008 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

41 ROCKS! I would know, I have been 41 for all of three weeks!

Monday, October 20, 2008 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Kori said...

Thanks for the much needed laugh. Because I am younger than you BY FAR. ahahhahahahah

Monday, October 20, 2008 12:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No you do NOT have the "Forever Young" video posted.

Dude. I don't think you're headed for depends and support hose just yet. You should have kicked that lady in the hip until you heard a crack and then said, "Now who's old, beeyotch?!"


Monday, October 20, 2008 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'd ignore that daft old bat. Anyone who interrogates booksellers like that should be discounted. (& no, I don't mean sell her for less cash.)

Monday, October 20, 2008 1:14:00 PM  
Blogger Christina Lee said...

Yeah...I know what you mean.
Today an employee at Target was making fun of these teenagers and their "young" mom-they were making alot of noise. She said to me"it's so much nicer to be an older mom, isn't it? you got more sense in you." I immediately walked away to go find a mirror to look in to see just how I looked today. I'm gonna try to dress cuter and younger when I go to Target now.

Monday, October 20, 2008 2:17:00 PM  
Blogger Andrea with the Flipflops said...

My fave was the "Jack Bauer" part... Well and the stone part ...

Ok again the entire post rocks ... like stone baby.

And I keep live the line "Age is just a number" ... however my boobs don't seem to be listening!

Monday, October 20, 2008 3:03:00 PM  
Blogger The Stiletto Mom said...

Pfft. Almost 41. I was the one standing there training the dinosaurs to bring you the tablets, young 'un. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008 4:27:00 PM  
Blogger steenky bee said...

How is it that you rock so hard and bring the house down every time? You have the cleavage of a teenager. Be flattered for that.

Also, my hips? They don't lie. They tell the world that I just ate a snickers.

Can't wait for our unholy union.

Monday, October 20, 2008 4:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh. 40. I remember 40 like it was yesterday. Let me just put my teeth in, recline in my Lazyboy, and tell you the story. It all started when... zzzzzzzz.

Monday, October 20, 2008 4:43:00 PM  
Blogger Rhea said...

hahaha You're cute.

My dad referred to a girl the other day, and when I asked how old this girl was, he said she was 60!! I guess when you're 78 (which my dad is) everyone seems a lot younger?!!

Monday, October 20, 2008 5:32:00 PM  
Blogger PAPATV said...

A quote I once heard at Denny's or Ralph's or somewhere...
"It always takes me a year to remember my new age..."

Monday, October 20, 2008 5:57:00 PM  
Blogger kimmyk said...

i bet your newly adopted daughter would totally play with the preacher's dog the next time it stays. maybe the dog would hump her leg and finally leave yours alone.

when is she moving in?

Monday, October 20, 2008 6:27:00 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

40 is the new 20. There is no way I would have guessed that you are 40 either.

Monday, October 20, 2008 7:15:00 PM  
Blogger Bee said...

I'm crying with you FADKOG. I love my family but they smother me with birthday wishes and love and I'm not gonna take it anymore! I'm going to pretend I'm an ostrich and ignore the hell out of them this year! ;o)

Monday, October 20, 2008 9:29:00 PM  
Blogger Seriously Brenda said...

40 is the new 30 you know... ;-)

Monday, October 20, 2008 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Zip n Tizzy said...

Ever since turning 30 I've lost count of how old I am, but now that I'm closer to 40 than 30... well, I'm just in my 30's.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 12:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next time get in your rascal scooter - http://www.rascalscooters.com/ - and run her over

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 4:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A recent conversation with my 19-year-old sister:

ME: I couldn't believe it the other day when I surfed through the oldies staion and they were playing "Purple Rain.". It's not really THAT old, is it?

19-year-old OBNOXIOUS SISTER: What's "Purple Rain"?

And then I killed her.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Bunny said...

I fall in love with kids like that, then find out they think their grandma is 22.

I loved Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM!! I hope the old biddy's grandkid enjoys it too. :-s

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Real Live Lesbian said...

Thanks for the laughs this morning! I'm 23 (add 20), so I totally understand!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Carolyn...Online said...

Dude 41 is better than the alternative. Which is dead. So you know, you've got that goin' for you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 2:20:00 PM  
Blogger The Savage said...

NIHM Rocks!!! Okay so I only read the story of the time they all spent in the lab but I did watch the movie....

Phantom Tollbooth anyone?

I so uber-lust you and you inner 20 year old....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 5:18:00 PM  
Blogger Eternal Sunshine said...

Completely off the subject, but you need to go here:


Tuesday, October 21, 2008 5:21:00 PM  
Blogger Sherendipity said...

Come on babe. You, me, early bird special at the buffet? How 'bout it?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 6:26:00 PM  
Blogger DKC said...

I absolutely admit that I have my son convinced I am 30. And that I just turned 30 this year! My husband even got me a "You're 30!" b'day card. Which was given in sarcasm, but I didn't care.

Because the boy? TOTALLY buys it. And I'm not telling otherwise.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 7:23:00 PM  
Blogger April said...

Okay so get this. A few weeks ago at work we were talking about the "new" OJ trial. And someone asked how long it had been since the last OJ trial. And my boss, my immediate superior mind you, says "Oh it was a really long time ago. I think I was in the EIGHTH GRADE."

Dude. I am working for a child. And if that wasn't bad enough, another fresh faced girl in my office had the audacity to say... are you ready for this????



Tuesday, October 21, 2008 8:22:00 PM  
Blogger The Stiletto Mom said...

Oh hi...me again...just stopping by to you know...stalk.
PS. I think I'm in love with April's comment above.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 8:32:00 PM  
Blogger Meg said...

Ohhhh good thing you picked Joe cos I'm totally a Kevin girl.

You'd love my daughter, she tells everyone they're at least 10 years younger than they are. It's great!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 9:33:00 PM  
Blogger San Diego Momma said...

Put that woman on an ice floe. Seriously.

And hey! When's your birthday? I turn 40 November 22! Holy mother f-ing crap.

In addition, I love Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. And to sum up, you DO look 20, judging from your porn hair profile pic. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 9:51:00 PM  
Blogger Emsxiety said...

Im the same age, 41 and Im going to be a Grandmother. Ack, how does this happen. I used to be cool, no really I was.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 11:27:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Momma Trish - Your wacky math has both frightened and charmed me. Mostly charmed. I wish I'd been that quick thinking!

redneck mommy - Don't make me shake my cane at you!

heinous - I'm at the point this week to seriously consider the waterboarding thing. If I go hardcore, I'll let you know how it works.

always home - Are you trying to get me to go with you? :)

patty - I'm well prepared for 41, then!

cocotte - Thanks! The dinosaur bit didn't really work for me on her, but, to be honest, I don't think she really heard me!

Des - Your funky math is exactly right!

imommy - When I do get to be older than dirt, I hope someone will tell me when I have hairs growing out of my chin.

Mandy - Ha! I'd dream about them more often if I actually did make it bed by 11 p.m.!

lori - I'm kind of a hot mess as I approach 41. You may want to consider your thought! :)

Michael - You are wise, my young man.

ali - If Emily is that charming and sweet, I'll try to look past her Joe crush and welcome her with open arms! Send her promptly!

Heather - My kids know my age, but I think that's just because I groan and creak a lot in the morning.

twobusy - you are quite awesome for one so young!

Eternal Sunshine - Sigh...I hate her right along with you!

laggin - And I imagine you're quite awesome!

kd - Gah! I don't think I've ever been carded!!

kimandco - Happy belated 41st birthday to you!

kori - You laughed because it was funny and not because you feel bad for me and my advancing age, right? Right?

BC - Oh, yes, yes I do! The video. Not the Depends part. ;)

Chris - Anyone who is so nice to me is worthy of a discount, though! Cha-ching for you, Mr. Wood!

Christina - OH NO SHE DID NOT!! I'd have asked to speak to a manager immediately! Ha! :)

Andrea - My boobs are telling me it's time to go get a bra to support their advancing age.

Stiletto Mom - Girl, I saw your white dress photo. Those dinosaurs would have bowed down to your demands!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Steenky - How is it rock so hard every time? I'll tell you why. It's to get you to love me. Love me like a Snickers, I'm beggin' ya!

goodfather - In my 40s I hope to nap as hard and as often as I did in my early 20s!

rhea - My Tool Man asked me how long I intended to refer to myself as a girl. I said forever!

papatv - I've got a coupon if you want to meet for the early dinner at Denny's sometime.

kimmy - I'm going to try and steal her away later this week. My newly adopted daughter, that is. Not so much the dog!

kat - That's because I like to say I look like I'm 27, though I suppose I should start saying I look like I'm 28, since my birthday is coming up!

bee - All I kinda wish to be smothered with is cake. Cake and maybe a couple well-thought-out presents.

Seriously mama - Then I am definitely going to rock my (finger quotes) 30s (finger quotes)!

zip n tizzy - I've kind of lost track, too. Tool Man says it's because I'm old. Nice. Because of that, I sometimes forget how long we've been married.

dc urban dad - Damn, I just want a rascal scooter to cruise uptown in!

bejewell - WTH?! Your sister, may she rest in peace! :)

bunny - Me, too. Now, if I could just get my own 11 year old to like it.

Real Live Lesbian - You're welcome! Also, yeah for the forties!

Carolyn - Your logic is always fantastic! Bright sides are super bright!

Savage - Oh, another very good book suggestion. And all the other things. :)

ES - Dear heaven on earth, I think I am in love... :)

Sherendipity - As long as we can split a dessert and I can take half my dinner home for lunch tomorrow, I'm there!

Madwoman - Put your daughter on a loop and let me play her telling me I'm 30 over and over again!

San Diego Momma - The porn hair is always a nice touch when you're wanting to look younger. I just need to color the grey out of mine first! My 41st bday is Nov. 15th!

mom and wife - Eh, I say we're totally cool, regardless of the age!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

dcd - You've been smart to keep the kids confused (kind of like how I did when I totally missed three of you in comments)! I once very nearly had my oldest son convinced that I was Wonder Woman, and that while he was in school, I flew around in an invicible plane. He was so close to buying it, but, unfortunately, my husband refused to go along with me, dammit!

April - OMG. I'd have been speechless! The world as we know it will one day never be the same because of all the young ones coming up behind us who don't have a clue what we're talking about!

Stiletto mom - Ah, I thought I felt someone watching me.... :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

41 is the new Jonas Brothers.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Lipstick Jungle said...

I think you have forgotten that I have been a hot mess since I was 33 - so Im all over that!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 4:01:00 PM  
Blogger That girl from Shallotte said...

I've been thinking about cancelling my Blender subscription because I have no idea who the people featured on the cover are. I have never heard a Jonas Brothers song. I am spending the next few days pretending to understand the vernacular of my 17-year-old stepson. Therefore, I am waaaaaay older and far less cool than you, missy!

Although I must say, the age-guesser at the state fair told Steve he also had a "much younger wife" and I squealed with delight! I'm exactly one month younger than Mr. Sweetypants.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 1:02:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

BP Dad - Aw, if only they were that legal...

Lori - We shall toast our big hot messes!

That Girl - Let us run away and, when the time comes, get adjoining rooms in the nursing home. We can then decorate the room with pictures we rip out of copies of Blender, for, even though we won't know the artists, we'll still think them cute and 'angsty'!

Sunday, October 26, 2008 10:54:00 PM  

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