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Since when do I have nothing in common with a 21 year old?

Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2010 in Legitimate concerns

Crikey. On Thanksgiving, my brother informed myself and various other family members that he got his girlfriend pregnant. Shocking, no? Ok, let me phrase it this way: On Thanksgiving, my 33 year-old brother informed myself and various other family members that he got his 21 year-old girlfriend that none of us have ever met in the whole 3 months they’ve been together pregnant. And that they were going to get married. To quote my brother, “She’s the one” (To quote my mother, “Look at a 21 year-old for too long, and she’ll end up pregnant”). Naturally, I’m excited and jealous, both, simultaneously. Excited because I never thought the day would come when my brother would have to grow up and be a man. Having a wife and kids was only mentioned in the same sentence as my brother’s name when jokes were being made. This was exciting. I was going to be an auntie! Nice. Jealous because I want to have a baby. My husband and I have been trying for awhile now, with no success. The jealousy quickly passed, and gave way to only extreme elated-ness, just as it should be. I started thinking of my brother being a daddy. How very wonderful.

Fast forward to now, present day. It’s a week before Christmas. My brother and his fiance have been married since Thursday (as in a few days ago Thursday). His now wife, lost the baby two days before that. It’s been a hell of a lot of ups and downs in this past week and I’ll admit there have been quite a few tears (for losing the baby, and not being able to attend my big brother’s wedding). But that’s behind us now, everyone seems settled, happy, and ready to celebrate Christmas. I’m now faced with the challenge of purchasing a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law, whom I’ve never laid eyes on or even spoken to. In fact, only yesterday did I see a photo of her for the first time (the wedding portraits, of course). Not only am I purchasing a gift for someone I’ve never met, but I’m attempting to buy a present for someone who was not that long ago a teenager. Again, I exclaim “Crikey!”. Thinking smart, I ask my brother what his wife might like. He says she needs a sweater. Something to keep her warm. And she likes pink. Ok, this I can do–no problem. Yesterday, while shopping, I have the foresight to snap a picture of the sweater I had planned on purchasing and sending it to my brother, asking for his approval. That was a big fat negative, I believe his words were “She would never wear that.” I had picked out a pretty reddish/pink long sweater with big buttons and a belt. I imagined it would look great on her, knowing what I knew of her physical appearance. Strike 1. I pick out a heather gray cowl-neck sweater, snap another shot, and send it off. Strike 2. Ok, a pinker-than-pink ribbed sweater, plain, but pretty. Stttteeeeerriiiike 3, you’re outta here. At this point, I make the call. “Brother, where does she shop?”, I ask. His reply was shocking and inconceivable to me: “Um, she really likes Pac Sun and some store with the number 21 in the name….I mean….she’s a kid…..well, not a kid…but you know what I mean….”. Yeah. I knew what he meant. Screw it, I had my husband pick up a $50.00 gift certificate to Pac Sun while I waited in the car and drove around until he came out because we couldn’t find a parking spot. I have to laugh, because upon his return to the car, he says “Those aren’t our people, honey”. No shit. I felt kind of bad that I was now so old that I couldn’t relate to a 21 year-old well enough to know that “duh, Pac Sun is THE place to get clothes”. So old that I had written Pac Sun off as a silly store for teenagers, filled to the brim with sunglasses and ugly shirts. I’m 30. That’s not really that old. And I guess I have to honest that never in my life would I have ever considered buying any of my daily attire at a store like Pac Sun or Rue 21. The problem I have with my sister-in-law shopping at these stores is not that they are her preference and she likes them, that’s her style–that’s fine. It’s that her shopping at these stores mean that not only do we currently not have anything in common–we NEVER would have, not even when I was 21, because when I was 21, I still was never THAT young. I’ll hold off on assuming too much before I ever even meet her in the flesh, but this situation does make me a little nervous.

I am happy, though. For the both of them. I hope they have a nice long life together, I hope they have lots of babies, and laughter and happiness.  And I can’t wait to meet her!

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