ok, i have to get this off my chest.
i have a birthday coming up. it's not actually coming up for another two months, but if you look at my profile (go ahead, look, i'll be here when you get back), you'll see that it's one of those round numbers, which is usually supposed to mean something.
the last one that had any effect on me was my twentieth, which i disliked because i felt it carried the expectation of adult behaviour. i shook that off reasonably quickly and, while i'm hoping this one will be the same, for now it's hanging before me like an execution date.
i don't really feel my age, either physically or mentally (a lot of people would probably say that i don't act my age, either). but the longer i'm around the more i'm reminded, as a good friend of mine frequently tells me, our society is built around the adoration of the young. although i hate to make these sorts of distinctions, i'd say that it's more true for women than it is for men. the phrase "eligible bachelor" is frequently applied to men who are well advanced in years. you don't hear too many women referred to as such. to be perceived as attractive, vital and worthy, women are supposed to be younger. (i'm not simply referring to the perceptions of the average and dull, either, but those of people, particularly men, who are intelligent and whom i respect.)
what bothers me most about this is that it bothers me at all, since, on an rational level, i know there's nothing i can do to shape perceptions at large, and i'm going to age whether i want to or not. i like to think that i'm beyond these sorts of things. but if we were all controlled completely by rationality, the world would be both less troubled and less interesting.
i'm going to do my best not to get whiny about this over the next several weeks, since i know it drives me crazy when people get mopey about things that they can neither change nor accept. at the very least, i am moving closer to menopause, when my hormones will rise up in a volcano of inverse puberty and rearrange my brain chemistry so that i no longer care.