Monday, March 21
Age is relative
When you're a kid, the entire hierarchy of you and your friends is based on how old you are, how old they are, your relative physical size and what your parents let you do (long bike rides, which movies are allowed, etc.)
But when you grow up, that line vanishes. Every adult looks pretty much the same age until they start to really wrinkle up, which hits different people for different reasons. Age in years doesn't mean much anymore. Age in accomplishments does. Because a lot of the time, accomplishments = maturity.
We've been joking that instead of age, there should be levels or ranks, like in games. Being single and in work or college is rank 1. Getting married is rank 2. And each kid you have is another rank up after that. (I'm sure people could come up with a really elaborate life-scoring system and it would be a hoot.)
But it's one of those things that you can't measure by stuff. We know lots of people with great jobs and lots of stuff who have only attained rank 1 or 2 of the Maturity Scale. And we know lots of people who don't have as much stuff who rank 4 or 5 on the Maturity Scale.
We were lamenting how some of our friends are so hung up on money that they aren't bothering to have kids. And they're already our age (early 30s). I've read a lot of places that statistically, if a woman works and has all that stress, she's pretty much sterile by the time she's 40. And that's when our money-centric society says that it's time to have kids.
And tossing that on the Maturity Scale, you wind up with these adults who have all this money, yet missed all the valuable rank-ups in Maturity.
Of course, it's an imperfect illustration, because I know people who have several kids who are so immature it's positively frightening. We ponder those people and try to figure out where they went wrong, so we don't copy their mistakes.
But as young adults, my husband and I are constantly baffled how nobody our age is having babies. We make friends with people our age and get lectured on how we need to use more birth control. And we look at them and think that maybe they should be using less.
So I find myself seeking the friendship of older women, because they can relate to me having young kids, and I can relate to them because they made it through this (sanity intact!). My husband has a harder time finding man-friends who want to play the games he does, and yet shares any interest in Life-Rank-Ups.
Heck, if anybody knows of a church in town that has small groups that play Dungeons and Dragons and other roleplaying games, I'd be there like a shot. Because I think that's where we're going to find like-minded people.