Suburban Snapshots

I'll Pass on the Jäger
Nips, Thanks

Friday, March 22, 2013

A few weeks ago Steve and I stopped into a liquor store near our old Boston apartment. We were the only people through the door without an ID check, likely the only people in the store who were alive the last time skinny jeans were a thing.

But I don't think it was even age that was the most striking difference between us and the other patrons, it's that Steve and I are parents. Age could never define me more than having a child has. My 20s were good, my 30s have been amazing. I'll be 40 in September and I'm okay with leaving those decades behind.

Back in '98 when I used to print photos. Steve my then-roommate at left, my boyfriend at right. Spoiler: I didn't marry the boyfriend.

Still, you don't age out of those earlier decades and become brand new every 10 years. Your former selves grace you with lessons, regrets, and pleasures that you keep, even as everything changes.

I still turn the music up in my car so loud the mirrors vibrate, but sometimes it's Justin Bieber.
I get together often with my girlfriends; sometimes I still drink too much.
I still spend too much money eating out, and I spend even more on groceries for my family.
I still care what my body looks like, though I've finally stopped fighting its topography.
I still flirt with men, but with the experience to know I'm not missing anything.
I get more invitations to 40th birthdays than to weddings, and they're at least as much fun (and so much cheaper).
I enjoy sex, and the fact that I don't have to work very hard to get it.

The man I dated in my 20s and married in my 30s is his best yet approaching 40. Our marriage has been improved by age and strengthened by trials, because we are both imperfect but adult enough to accept each other as individuals.

So while chasing a 4-year-old around a liquor store occupied by only college students didn't exactly make me feel youthful, I wouldn't trade positions. Sure, I got a little nostalgic for those days when we thought we were broke and weren't really, when we had all of 3 regular bills, when we actually had to figure out how to spend free time.

But I stood in line to pay for our beer with the same guy who stood next to me the last time we were here -- back when we both still got carded -- trying to contain our new, small person who wanted nothing but all the eye-level gum, content in knowing exactly where we'd wake up in the morning.

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