Thirty, Flirty, and Fertile (Part I)

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Recently, my roommates and I (all of whom are over 30 and single) went to a 90s roller skating party.  At first, we couldn’t think of  what to wear. We decided to look online for inspiration. Suddenly many bad fashion memories came back to us.  The Jennifer Anniston haircut. The little plastic circle that you could slip onto your t-shirt to make it look almost like you tied it, but not quite. The hat with the big sunflower it that could have come right off the show “Blossom.”

My roommate Jess decided to go for the mid 90’s grunge look. She had a morose spirit hanging over her that was obviously inspired by Pearl Jam. Jess dressed the part perfectly with cotton leggings, converse, and an oversized flannel shirt. (I recently learned that the flannel shirt craze was inspired by Kurt Cobain. When Cobain was asked why he wore them, he said “I live in Seattle. I get cold.”) The little detail that pulled Jess’ look together was a velvet ribbon choker with a cross on it.  She parted her bangs down the middle, put some black makeup around her eyes, and wore bright red lipstick.

At first I was amused when I saw her outfit.  I thought to myself ” that looks just like what I wore almost every day when I was in college.”

Then, I had my first freak out of the night. ” THAT LOOKS JUST LIKE WHAT I WORE ALMOST EVERY DAY WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE!” What? How could this be? How could we be going to a decade theme party and I was having flashbacks of my high school and college days?

I started counting backward. Twenty years since the early 90’s. TWENTY YEARS?  Is it possible? I began to realize that going to this party was the equivalent of my mom going to a “Remember the 60’s” party when I was growing up.  I honestly couldn’t believe it.

I calmed myself down, gathered up my courage, put on my florescent orange shirt, applied a ridiculous amount of hairspray,  and headed off to the party.

I got even more freaked out once we got there.  This rollerskating joint  looked like every single rollerskating place I ever went to when I was in middle school.

The orange carpet. The disco balls and lights that put patterns on the dance floor. The brown roller skates that have dangerous orange shoelaces that are way too long.  (Doesn’t anyone even TEST those roller skates? There are CHILDREN wearing these things, for heaven’s sake!) The people going at very high speeds who suddenly swerve around the gateway on the verge of crashing, flashing a smile at you to cover up the fact that they are about to knock six people over. The couples holding hands. The awkward people inching forward very slowly along the walls, trying to pretend they have some semblance of balance.   The inevitable game of crack the whip where a line of people skate around in circles, forgetting that the unfortunate person at the end of the line is rolling so fast that they could at any moment be propelled against the wall.

I went out to skate and found myself wondering (in a very teen-agery way)  if anyone was watching me. I was quite cognizant of the way I smoothly ran my wheels across the floor, how hot I probably looked in my 90’s shirt with one sleeve, how all the 25 year old guys there probably had no idea that I was in High School in the 90s because I still looked so young and vivacious. But those thoughts all stopped abruptly because my too long shoe laces got caught up in my wheels and I fell flat on my face.

Just like in middle school.

After I brushed myself off and started making another lap,  I started listening to the music that was playing.

Even. More. Freaked. Out.

I know Ice Ice Baby was from the 90’s It seems like it belongs in the 90’s. The same goes for Milli Vanilli and Can’t Touch This. But what about Mr. Jones by Counting Crows? Semi Charmed Kinda Life?  One Headlight by the Wallflowers? It does not seem like fifteen plus years since I first heard those songs.

I came home from that party feeling pretty old.

People say to me all the time “Well, age doesn’t matter. It’s just a number.”

You know what my response always is?

“Tell that to my uterus. ”

….To Be Continued

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18 thoughts on “Thirty, Flirty, and Fertile (Part I)

  1. Kate, thanks for posting your blog! I am over thirty and single (divorced with no kids). I completely feel the same way as you describe in your blog.
    I hate to be the one that corrects you, and the comment “tell that to my uterus,” but the nurse practitioner in me has to clarify that it is actually our ovaries or eggs that age and have a “biological clock” so to speak. I know this because I work with mothers and new babies every day and am ever reminded that 35 is considered “AMA” for advanced maternal age. I occasionally tell myself and my eggs, “It’s okay, we got a few more good years, and if the clock ticks out I will just adopt.” I figure that my eggs feel less pressure that way :).

    • I’m only 22, so I’m not yet at the age where I’m really listening closely to the ticks of my biological clock, BUT I heard something super encouraging once:
      Since the Lord is sovereign over time, He is sovereign over our biological clocks. He will do whatever He wants for us when He deems it appropriate. This might mean having a child at 40-plus. But since He’s the master of time, He’s got it covered. :]

    • And I love you sooooo much. You bring me a lot of happiness (wink wink.) Truly, you are one of the dearest friends I have ever had. 🙂 There’s no place like a blog to announce your undying affection for someone.

  2. If I’d been drinking anything when I read the last line, it would have come out of my nose.

    And while I agree that God is sovereign over our eggs, the truth is, due to the nature of the fallen world, there are many sad things He allows to happen as we age. Now, I cannot speak to the deep, painful grief of not bearing children. I am grateful that God has blessed me with kids (through His grace, there was nothing that made me deserve that blessing!) but my planned life of studying and practicing medicine is not happening like I dreamed. It’s so good to be reminded that other people are also grieving, that I’m not the only one who feels deprived. (And, to be reminded of the blessings I have which I often forget are blessings!)

    At this age, life suddenly feels so fleeting, and what seemed to be a lot of time to do everything when I was 20, is no longer enough. There isn’t enough time. I know God has made me with the passions and desires and talents that I have. And it doesn’t make sense that He’s called me to something else! But I know that, for now, He has.

    Can I trust Him to be in charge of my life? In the world-view of my youth, I would say, of course! This would mean that I would give something up, and that later He would bless me with it. But as I feed myself with Scripture, I’ve learned that God is less concerned with fulfilling my desires during my life on earth than He is with purifying my faith. Can I trust Him? Can I trust Him when I don’t understand Him? Do I really believe what’s written in 1 Peter 1? That I have a living hope, an imperishable, undefiled and unfading inheritance? That the tested genuineness of my faith is greater than purified gold? The truth is, I’m seduced by our world, even our Christian culture’s focus on the here and now, and I often stop living as if eternity were real. As I grieve the life God has called me away from, I have to constantly feed myself on His Word to not give up hope.

    I grieve the life I wanted. But I want to grieve as one who has hope. I trust that heaven will be like in Safely Home (Randy Alcorn’s fictional account of heaven). I trust that God CAN fulfill my desires for endless years. And I can remind myself again and again of His goodness. I can trust Him.

    • Kara, you are such a beautiful, amazing woman and I have always admired you. I remember several times in High School when your kindness brought hope to my day. I can understand why it has been hard to have such big dreams and end up in a small room caring for children. I on the other hand, have had the opposite life. I have gotten to do a lot of amazing things and traveled a lot and was able to do what I loved, but have been exhausted of that and wish I could be in a normal life with a few kids and a husband. I had a friend tell me a few years ago that every person has several careers in their lives. They change and morph and you find yourself in a completely different place than you were 10 years ago, with a completely different career (one of them being motherhood.) So maybe we shouldn’t be so scared of getting older….maybe getting older will allow us more opportunity to do things we dreamed of because it brings us to new season. maybe I will have the career of having a child, even if it is adopted with no husband which was not my plan, and maybe when your kids are older you will be able to do some other things you dreamed about but in a different version than what you imagined. Or maybe none of our dreams will look anything like what we imagined and won’t come true and we will still come to terms with the fact that we have good lives. We shall see.

  3. Right??? I was 27 when I was standing around after an event with a couple of singles and a very wonderful married woman colleague. I don’t remember how it came up, but she ended up going around the circle with two questions “How many kids do you want?” “How old are you?” to the other two singles who were several years younger than me she answered “You’ve got time.” When she got to me, I said I always pictured a family similar to my own (4 kids). “and how old are you?” “27”. *beat* “You’d better hurry up!”

    We all laughed, but it’s true. I love my dear friends who say there is plenty of time for me, but facts are facts. My dear friend who just had her second child at 35 got sent to genetic counseling, and as she was telling me about how hard it was, I just heard the clanging noise of “…and you haven’t even MET someone yet….at this point you will be very very lucky to have your first at 35…if ever.”

    I try to focus on other legacies that I can leave, but it is quite hard sometimes to forget the aging ovaries and the current impossibility of that precious legacy.

  4. I love the 90s flashback! Sadly, I relate all too well, from the poor fashion choices to freaking out that the 90s is to us what the 60s is to our parents. How on earth did that happen?

    As today is my 32nd birthday, I’m keenly aware of time marching on. I feel very hopeful about this year, not for any particular reason. But in the back of my mind, I do wonder if children will be in my future.

  5. Oh, the 90s. I totally agree with you about the freak-out-inducing nature of realizing that they’re several years back; when I talk to my students about things that they have no connection to from the early 90s, I hyperventilate a little in my heart.

  6. Pingback: Thirty, Flirty, and Fertile Part II « The Sexy Celibate

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