Are we getting old or are the people who are getting married, own a home and having babies getting younger? Sally Sampson wonders if the innocence of these young adults is actually ignorance...
Sometime last week, I visited City Stars on a mission to buy some baby clothes. I know I’m petite (haha -very funny), but no they weren’t for me or for the imaginary bastard child that wakes my mother up in the middle of the night, prompting her to check that the key to my chastity belt still hangs round her neck.
No, I was buying a gift for a friend of mine who’s having her very first baby soon. And going from store to store and rummaging through stacks and stacks of baby clothes, I was hit, once again with the following realization: “Shit! I’m getting old!”
Old might be an overstatement…older is probably more what I mean, but still…
I now look around me and it’s not just people in my age group that are getting married and reproducing, it’s people who are younger than me! I mean people fricking born in the early 90s are walking around with rings on their fingers and big ass swollen bellies saying shit like “You should come visit me and my husband at our villa sometime next weekend. You can stay in our guest room if you want!”
“What??? You mean like a real house and not a tent made from couch cushions, bed sheets and pegs in front of the TV in your parents’ living room? Shut the fuck up!!!”
Yes, in case you missed that, kids born in the 90s are married with kids and are investing in property. Thank God this isn’t America, otherwise who knows how many people that last sentence would’ve prompted to go out and buy a gun.
Seriously though, when did this happen and how long was I out for? Was there a glitch in the Matrix?
Now, I just want to clarify a few things at this point:
a) I’m SOOOO happy for my friend who’s having her first baby. Could not be happier for her…like genuinely. And I’m not just saying that so she doesn’t unfriend me for life.
b) I’m not highlighting all of this because I desperately want to be married with a mortgage and a kid or two knocking about. Far from it actually…
c) I know that I probably shouldn’t panic too much because in Egypt the average age for marriage is significantly lower in comparison to other countries anyway. (And this is of course, on a side note, because, unless we marry our youth off ASAP, heaven forbid, sexual relations might take place out of wedlock and then what would become of the world?! Sure, people in the West do that kind of thing openly, but they’re pagans and infidels all of them, not God-fearing folk like us who know how to hide and lie about the fact that we all do the same shit anyway…)
When I was walking about the baby stores, and looking at the little onesies, the bibs, the changing tables and the I Heart my Mommy shirts, I could see the sales assistant eye-balling me and scanning my hands for a ring, trying to work out whether I was shopping for myself or for someone else. I know I was probably overreacting, but I wanted to turn around and be like ‘WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? CAN’T YOUSEE THAT I’M A BABY! IT WASN’T THAT LONG AGO THAT I NEEDED A BIB TOO, YOU KNOW…AND GUESS WHAT? SOMETIMES, I STILL NEED ONE!”
Is it just me, though? In all seriousness, I look around and I feel that in order to grow up, it’s critical to experience life first; that it’s important to meet new and different people, step out of the box, leave home, make mistakes, get your heart broken, try things you know you probably shouldn’t, discover things that you need to go out of your way to encounter, gain knowledge that you can’t find in books…
Nevertheless, glancing around me today, I see so many toddlers (in my opinion) throwing themselves left, right and centre into lifetime commitments (like manacling themselves to their partners for life) without even thinking of the alternate routes that lie ahead…
I’m not saying that you need to become a well of knowledge and experience before you can consider yourself all grown up and therefore ready to commit, but just starting on that path pushes you out of the corner that you’ve been bred in (Nobody puts Baby in the corner) and helps shred the veil of innocence (and ignorance) that you have over your eyes. But to make life-altering choices before taking even the first step along the path of life, that, to me, is not just absurd, but plain old fucking stupid!
One of my biggest fears has always been making a life-changing decision, without grasping the consequences of my actions. I am young, but I am old enough to have witnessed people who have stunted their growth by making rash and foolish decisions without ever realising that they could’ve made different (and better) choices if they had taken a step back and witnessed the full extent of their inexperience.
I’m not saying being a grown-up means that you’re immune to making mistakes or that you are always aware of the consequences of your actions, but at least if you’ve witnessed some of the weird and wonderful things the world has to offer and hopefully learned a thing or two in the process, then you have a fighting chance when it comes to avoiding the landmines that other inexperienced folk walk right into, smiling like morons.
It’s time for me to clarify a few things again:
a) Not everyone who gets married and has a baby is a moron.
b) Not everyone who gets married young and has a baby is a moron, because age and inexperience are not necessarily directly correlated. There are people who are young in age, but who have experienced more than the average retiree.
c) If you feel like you’re a baby, and you get married and have a baby because someone made that decision for you or because society has pressured you into it or both, then you’re the type of moron that I’ve been discussing in this article. You know who you are…I’m not going to point any fingers (you know which one I mean…)
Just give yourself time to work out who you are, what you want and more importantly, what you don’t want, before you choose to skydive without a parachute into a life where the winds toss and fling you about as they like as you gradually plummet towards an almost certain death. You owe yourself that much.
And don’t get married, just so you can have sex that’s not haram! Don’t be a fucking idiot! Whether you do it or wait, being horny is no excuse to throw away the opportunities this life has to offer. That is all.
Reading this back to myself, it turns out I give some pretty good advice. Maybe I’m closer to being a grown up than a baby after all. Hold off on the proposals though because I’m going to be too busy setting up my castle. I have an important tea-time meeting with the council of fairies and goblins as to the inner workings of my kingdom, so I’ll be indisposed indefinitely. Cheerio.