28 October 2010

At what point do you stop being referred to as a "girl"?

So, I'm in an open plan office, and the 3 ladies who sit near me are 8-10 years younger than me. One of the older men who works near by walks past every morning and says "morning girls"!! I find this amusing. I often wonder if people can tell I'm a mother of 2 in her mid-thirties? (Exactly in my mid-thirties, I might add). I am such a bad judge of age, but can others guess where I fit? 

I should add that I don't feel old, and I love being the age I am. But I am beginning to feel that sense that certain opportunities are going to get hard for me from now... It may be more a circumstance thing (ie 2 young kids) than age. I hope so - I hope I'll always be open to new challenges, expanding my mind, meeting new people. But I recently saw this website about words from other languages that can't be translated into an equivalent english word, and "Torschlusspanik" (from German) kind of made sense. (I also like the word "Jayus" from Indonesian!!).

But I digress. As I was saying, I sit near 3 twenty-somethings. I don't want to sound condescending - they are amazing young women. One of them came up with this website, has marketed it to law schools around the country, and earns a supplementary income from it. But I am feeling a definite generation gap here. Some of them still live at home with parents, saving money. I had to expain to them what YUP-pies stood for, and DINKs. And they still care about concepts such as being cool, and having their personality quirks (that we all have, don't we?) understood.  I suppose I am accustomed to being one of the younger ones, like the little sister in the office, and it is a suprise to find this is no longer the case. I suppose it gives me an idea of how my older friends and colleagues have viewed me up until now...


alison said...

Ooo yes, I am beginning to feel the generation gap at work too. Definitely don't feel comfortable as a 'girl' any more, and sometimes I feel like a big sister again, mentally rolling eyes when the younger ones carry on :). But it's fun too, I kind of get a kick out of being one of the older ones.

Where is gets odd if having people older than me who are further down the hierarchy. It mucks about the rule that, up till now, anyone older is automatically better at stuff than me.

BSharp said...

I think makes work life a bit easier, understanding about these different levels and stages.

But goodness , don't get me started on the girl/boy man/woman thing. I've never -really- been that fussed about 'girl' (except a brief and humourless phase when I was about 19) and will generally still cop it cheerfully. But ooee try getting on the internet dating bandwagon - or don't, as you are actually married - but suddenly men and women who are pushing 40 are referring to themselves as 'boys and girls' again. WTF? Not a great sign. I'm a grown-up and I want to be treated like one, thanks! So once again I've become conscious about language specificity in this particular area.

J said...

yes it's funny the whole age and what it signifies and then what it actually brings in terms of perspective or changes. I am in a semi age related melt down about grey hair at the moment. Which oh hello is a super superficial concern I know, but...am thinking 'what, I have to deal with this now, like an old woman?? I'm only 34!!'. I am also feeling the generational difference at work, where due to a new round of recruits I am definitely a few mini generations older, I find myself picking and choosing when to join in on the social activities, but get a kick out of still being invited.