I joke about being too old for going out, but the world just seems to nod in emphatic agreement.
Sunshine and i went to see some South Dakota bands -- The reddmen and The Weather Machines the other night, at the Towne Lounge. Sometimes, no matter how many slightly annoying midwesterners you know you're going to encounter, you just have to represent. And i don't mind representing for some shadow of the oldschool punk bands i used to try to hang out with back in Rapid City. Except when i get called oldschool myself.
I was chatting up a girl who Sunshine knows, who was visiting Portland, while we waited for our drinks. We started going into the whole rigamarole of who we know and what year we graduated from the same preppy, over-it-i-am high school. When i told her what year i graduated, the response made the world stop for a moment.
"Oh, you look good."
"Excuse me?" I asked, as if i hadn't heard that phrase uttered a hundred times -- to people like my mother!
"You look good for your age," she said again, clarifying things to the point of making them seem all the more blurry. These are things you just don't say to a woman, on the eve of her 31st birthday. She was probably referring to the fact that i don't have wrinkles, but i do have zits. So she must have been soooo confused about my true age, until i cleared it up by telling her that i graduated a full nine years before she did.
But then i have to chalk it up to the differences between our cultures. Yes, the cultural differences between the Pacific coast, and the rest of the middle-land. When that girl goes back to Rapid City, she's going to encounter women my age, pushing noisy grocery carts down the aisle at Safeway, complaining about their trucker husbands and four kids.
Here, women my age have careers, friends, dreams, and revolutions. So i guess that's how i justify that whole terrifying scene at the bar. Happy birthday to me.
(btw, i apologize to my dear midwestern friends for this commentary. it's only a way for me to feel better about myself, not to beat down the place you choose to live. kisses.)