It’s time to face the sad truth that I’m not the new kid on the block anymore. There’s a whole generation of adults younger than me. I see them everywhere. They drive. They shop. They even have kids of their own. So be it. That’s the circle of life, right?

Sometimes it’s not a problem. I fully expect lifeguards, camp counselors and the manager at Forever 21 to be younger than me. Likewise, I expect doctors, judges and the president to be older than me. Whenever those roles are reversed, I get confused and mildly agitated. Like when you see someone who looks like a celebrity, but you can’t quite figure out why you recognize him. Maybe he was on an episode of Law & Order: SVU? So you just stare. Or you look, look away, look again, look away again and continue with that pattern until you finally ID him.

So I was at the doctor’s office last week. Not to fret, I’m as healthy as a horse. Just a routine checkup. However, they had to take a blood sample and my nurse was fourteen years old, sixteen tops.

I knew she couldn’t possibly be that young, yet I searched her face for traces of acne. The theme song to Doogie Howser began to play in my head. I bet she didn’t know who that was. Was this chick old enough to drink? Or even vote?

I tried to relax, but my life was on the line. I eyed her like a hawk. For the record, I don’t enjoy getting stuck with a needle under any circumstances, but this was especially frightening. Sure, she must have graduated from nursing school, but when? That morning? What if she screwed up and injected an air bubble into my vein and I died? Or she twitched and somehow broke off the end of the needle into my arm? Though I never watch these procedures, I did this time. Just in case.

As it turns out, I’m still alive. No air bubble. No broken needle. She didn’t even have to stick me more than once. It was then that I realized I might be prejudiced against these young people.

Not children. They’re a different story altogether. Have you talked to a kid lately? They’re crazy smart. Just the other day, I was going over a hypothetical situation with one of my tutees. We were discussing a story wherein a little boy, Marvin, bicycled everyday after school to the nursing home where his grandmother was recently sent to live. Surprise, surprise, she wasn’t taking well to her new environment. I asked Sam what the grandson was hoping would happen to his grandma. His response?

“He’s hoping she’ll forget.”

Okay, I might have snorted. As it was, I definitely had a stream of tears running down my face I was laughing so hard. He was absolutely right. Well, not really… The story was trying to stress that the little boy wanted his grandmother to make friends, but let’s take another look at this scenario. Wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier on everyone – Marvin, his family, the nursing home staff, even Grammy herself – if she simply lapsed into dementia and didn’t know where she was anymore?

So children are great. In fact, I hope no one under the age of ten is reading this because another sad truth is that I’m glad I’m not you. Growing up, I had John Hughes and Cabbage Patch Kids. What have these kids had over the past decade? Osama Bin Laden and the Great Recession. Talk about getting the short end of the stick.

But I do fully discriminate against anyone who grew up on Boy Meets World and Beanie Babies. Can’t really fault me for that.

Image: africa / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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4 Responses to “Can I See Some ID?”

I have had this exact experience having my blood drawn at the doctor’s office by someone who looked like they might be wearing a training bra. It’s VERY unsettling. But I see these 16 year olds driving cars and think “get that baby off the road!” I think the problem is ME not self-actualizing my own age…

November 17th, 2011

Yay! I’m glad I’m not the only one who freaks out when someone wayyy younger than me is in a position of importance. Thing is, I don’t feel old! And I don’t think we ARE old, though I’m sure sixteen year olds would disagree. 😉

November 17th, 2011

I know what you mean about not feeling old but 30 is the new 20 and rich forty is the new poor 30 😛

November 21st, 2011

Haha! I love that! My new motto… “Rich forty is the new poor 30.” 🙂 Something to look forward to!

November 24th, 2011