My dad once told me that getting older is weird because in his mind, he's been the 18-year-old version of himself for the past 45 years. I get that, on an obviously much smaller scale. In my mind, I've been the 22-year-old version of myself for the past four years. I look at recently tagged photos of myself on Facebook and can't believe that's what I look like. In my mind and in the mirror, I'm always 2007 Meg. And aesthetically speaking, 2007 was a good year for me. I was always either in class or working in the design lab, so I only ate like a meager piece of turkey and a hand full of Bugles everyday, plus 20 cups of coffee a Klonopin or two before class to shift me back to neutral. I was so fucking thin. So fucking unhealthy, and so fucking thin. Also, New York hadn't happened and my entire life hadn't fallen apart yet, so my body chemistry still had a few more years before it would be raped and pillaged by antidepressants. Now I look at pictures of myself and think I just look like a tired and puffy version of the old me. It's depressing. Which is ironic. But mostly depressing.
While I can always get more sleep and wean myself off my meds (which I've started doing! 360mg to 27.5! Sure, the Prince of Darkness occasionally tells me to burn things and cut myself, but guess who can fit into those skinny jeans again, GIRLFRIEND???), I can't change how I feel. And despite having the maturity of a HOOF ARTED? t-shirt, I find myself feeling old more and more these days. Here are some recent examples:
- I saw that Lara was on gchat the other night and I knew she had just come back from her big end of year...grad school...art...instillation...thing, so I checked her status to see how it went. Upon reading something to the effect of, "I think I just kicked ass!", my 100% honest to God reaction was to say, out loud, to no one in particular, as I was alone: "YEAH BABY, VeRy ShhhhhhhhAgAdELiC!!!" in full Austin Powers voice. The absurdity of what I had just done startled me. It was like a bat had flown in the window. I jumped, my eyes went wide in horror, I made a little "meep!" noise—I couldn't believe what had just happened. I was, and frankly still am, so confused where that came from and why my body's natural reaction upon learning good news was to bust out a 14-year-old pop culture reference. The only way it could have been better is if I had said, "YEAH BABY, VeRy ShhhhhhhhAgAdELiC-A-ZIGGA-ZIG-AHHH I DON'T KNOW IF YOU HEARD BUT THEY CLONED A SHEEP AND THE ENGLISH PATIENT JUST WON BEST PICTURE AT THE OSCARS THESE THINGS ARE INCREDIBLY RELEVANT HALE-BOPP!!!!"
- At 2:56 this morning, I had to physically restrain myself from tweeting the following: "WHAT?? Was anyone else not aware that Vincent Prince hosted "Mystery!" before Diana Rigg?!"
- I had dinner with my family this past Tuesday night and it somehow came up that I had just written and abandoned a blog post about how I spent an entire night looking at a map of the United States on googlemaps, being continually blown away by the discrepancies between where I thought everything was and where it actually is. At the end of my little schpiel (which included the observation, "The Mississippi River? It's long. It's like, fucking long, you guys. It goes from Minnesota to the gulf of Mexico. How do you even begin to wrap your mind around something that?"), my mom looked at me, made a little joint-to-mouth-I'm-smoking-a-doobie hand motion and laughed. And the thing is, I wish. I wish I could chalk spending an entire evening alone in my apartment being mind-boggled by a map of the United States up to drug use, but I can't. Because truthfully, I can't think of anything more in character than to be home alone, on what is quite possibly a Saturday night, laying in bed, drinking back-to-back bottles of soda water from my beloved Soda Stream, watching "Twin Peaks" reruns on Netflix, and musing to myself that Bermuda is quote, "way the fuck out there". That, my friends, is the Meghan Rowland experience. Once upon a time it involved Jägermeister and questionable decisions, now it involves hydration and a geography lesson. Obama's president. Bin Laden's dead. Progress.
- As you may or may not know, my sister owns my apartment and used to live here before she moved in with her now husband. In our building, the sweetest little old Ethiopian woman works the front desk on Saturday mornings, and every time I see her, we have an extremely uncomfortable conversation about my sister. Every. Saturday. Morning. When I moved in after Becca moved out, it was always, "Hello May-gahn. Is your sister engaged yet?" After she got engaged it became, "Hello May-gahn. Is your sister married yet?" And now that she's married, it's, "Hello May-gahn. Is your sister pregnant yet?" Ooof. Rebeccca is not pregnant. Nor does she want to be for at least a few more years, which means that I have at least a few more years of enduring this conversation.
"Nope, ha ha, Becca's not pregnant yet."
"Ha ha, I'm not sure? Definitely one day though." [JAB, JAB, JABs the up button for the elevator]
"What does her husband say?"
"He mostly just talks about football and artisan beers." [JAB, JAB, JAB]
This past Saturday, however, things got personal.
"Hello May-gahn. Is your sister pregnant yet?"
"Nope, not yet."
"Well, I guess they did just get married. Are you getting married anytime soon?"
"Ha ha, no, I'm five years younger than Becca, so I've got some time. I'm not even dating someone right now. I'll probably get married when she gets pregnant, off in the distant future, ha ha."
And that's when the sweet smile on her face disappeared completely and she—hand to God—crossed her arms and slowly shook her head at me in disapproval. Right. Because damn those harpy Rowland sisters! Sitting up there in 401, flinging their fertile eggs off of tiny little spoons and onto the streets, defiant in the face of certain spinsterdom, despite one blatantly being married and the other being...choosy. When will they learn? WHEN WILL THEY LEARN?!
- Speaking of my apartment, I love it, but I despise my couch. It was a hand-me-down from my sister, it's six-years-old, I left a straightening iron on one of the arms once in 2008 and melted the shit out of it, it's pilling, slip covers never fit on it properly, blah blah blah—it's a piece of shit and I want a new one. That being said, are you aware of how expensive couches are?! It's absurd! Even if I go down to Sticks 'n Stuff and get a shitty sofa that some Persian guy just came all over, it'll still cost me like 300-bucks. I can't get over it. So now, I'm obsessed with couches. Things like, "Well, that's a handsome couch!" fly out of my mouth when I go to friends of friends' house parties. I want to talk "couch shop" wherever I go. "Where'd you get your couch?" "How much did it cost?" "Is she a convertible or a British two-seater?" "Mind if I take 'er for a test sit?"
A few weeks ago, I found myself watching an episode of "The Price is Right" at the gym on mute. When it came time for the showcase showdown, per usual, one option was the "flashy" showcase with a motorboat and a jet ski and a week in Tampa or some shit, while the other was a modest living room set. In this particular episode, the first showcase presented was the living room. As the contestant stood there trying to decide if she was going to bid or pass, I put myself in her shoes and thought, "Are you fucking kidding me?? It's not even an option—take the living room! The couch is huge, you get free carpeting, and you can always just sell the hutch on ebay or something. God, I would kill for that couch. What idiot would actually pick the speedboat? It's so impractical. I can't even imagine how much money it would cost to store or dock at a marina, not to mention tax and insurance." And I can honestly say that that moment is the oldest I have ever felt in my entire life. Because when I was a little Meglet staying home from school, eatin' Kix and watching "The Price is Right", I lived for seeing those doors fly open and hearing Rod Roddy shout, "—and a NEW CAAAAAAAAAR!!!" Nothing was as exciting as that. Nothing. I always wondered who those suckers were that wanted a living room set over twin Harley Davidson motorcycles and a trip to Baltimore. And now, at 26-years-old, I am that sucker.
...I'm going back to staring at a map of the U.S. now, because Michigan's mind-boggling little top hat that in no way touches Michigan is easier to digest than my life at this point. Good day to you and go Wolverines.