Thursday, August 02, 2012

Growing Up

I miss being young.

Sometimes at work, I feel like people are all so grown up that I find myself being a little boy again. The average age of my colleagues is somewhere in the vicinity of 32, and I might possibly be the youngest, but I've always thought of age as just a number. When you're an adult, you can't be that different from a guy who's ten years older than you.

Boy was I wrong.

In my university, people talk of their boyfriends/girlfriends in a fling-y kind of way, like they don't know where it's going but they don't really care. At work, however, people talk very affectionately of their girlfriends (most of my colleagues are men) and they're at a point in their lives where they need to take the next big step which is either getting married or having kids. Yesterday I was telling a guy about how I plan to travel around Germany during my free time and he said, "You're so lucky to be young. I remember at your age, I went to the tanning place almost every week, I partied a lot, I travelled whenever I felt like it. I even shaved regularly. And now everyday it's work, every night it's sleeping early at 10pm, and every weekend is spent with my girlfriend who lives in Frankfurt and who's starting to ask me when we're getting married. And my razor doesn't recognize me anymore."

One time I was in a car with another colleague who didn't look a day after 23 but who turned out to be 31. He told me he lived with his girlfriend and they just moved into a big house with four bedrooms. I jokingly said, "4 bedrooms? Are you guys planning to have kids or what?" He looked at me, in all seriousness, and said, "Yeah, we're planning to have at least two kids. I want to have more, but my girlfriend is the one who's going to carry them so she'll have the final word on how many kids we should have." Wow.

Since my town is really small, I always wonder what people do on the weekends. I asked this one guy with whom I always speak English because he lived in the States for a couple of years so his English is pretty good. He said, " On the weekends? Oh, I do a lot of carpentry because I love building my own furniture. This weekend I'm going to build a coffee table because my girlfriend thinks the one that we currently have is too small."

Building furniture sounds really grown up to me.

And today, we played beach volleyball after work and the smallest thing I did would be rewarded with a round of, "Good job!" or "Schön!" ("Nice!") or "Gut gesehen!". They only did that to me, maybe because I'm the new, shy intern and they thought I needed some pick-me-up so I could loosen up a bit, but it really made me feel like a little boy surrounded by adults who cheered him just because he managed to avoid colouring over the lines with his crayons.

I miss the days at uni when someone goes to the bathroom for more than 10 minutes and when he comes back, everybody will be like, "How big was your submarine?" or "Did you repaint the bathroom walls with your explosive diarrhea?" or "You sure you did a thorough job wiping your ass? Because now the whole class smells like shit."

Now, whenever someone disappears to the bathroom a bit longer than the time needed for peeing, no one really cares. I'm probably the only one there thinking, "He probably just gave birth to a big, brown and spiral stinky baby," and giggled in front of my computer.

Yeah, growing up is no fun.

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