On the importance of punctuation

I got an email inviting me to a “Party for Hope-Free and Fun World AIDS Day Event!” from Planned Parenthood. I thought this was odd, but then, I guess AIDS is all about having fun then being hope-free. I did think they had been making progress with those miracle drugs, though….


I wrote about this last year, too, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to be my parent’s age, to come of age when sex didn’t, couldn’t, kill you. And I worry about the freshmen now, too; what would it be like to come of age under a Bush-funded health program? That sounds even worse.

I was in class today, teaching, and they all struck me as being so impossibly young. The professor I am co-teaching with has been doing this for thirty years and is used to the shock and bemusement, but it’s new to me. Strange to realize that I’m a decade older and how much that means; strange that I am closer to being in touch with all the rest of the faculty than with them. To most of the faculty, of course, I am still ridiculously young; if I had gone on for my PhD, I wouldn’t even be done with it yet.

But that doesn’t help me feel younger; my birthday’s in a month and a half, and it’s depressing me already. In some cultures, at this age unmarried, I would be an unsalvageable old hag, a spinster in politer company.

At least I’m an old hag who can afford her own apartment, who can do roughly what she wants, and who is guiltily looking forward to the next episode of Gossip Girl in thirty minutes. Huzzah!

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7 Responses to On the importance of punctuation

  1. randomdreams says:

    In some cultures — Victorian England — 23 was considered the event horizon. Age is funny, and not ha-ha.

  2. jtglover says:

    By 18, Alexander ruled Greece, and by 23, the known Western world. It’s all relative. 🙂

  3. meestagoat says:

    Being a decade older than my students is definitely weird to me. I realize it all the time when I think about certain cultural touchstones:

    They were 5 when The X-Files started!
    They’ve never heard Bill Clinton give a speech!
    Grunge means nothing to them!

    Every time something like this occurs to me, I get so weirded out. The X-Files one was the worst.

  4. randomdreams says:

    I was thinking about this some more and realized that there was only a very, very brief period in history where you could have random, anonymous sex without fear. Good antibiotics weren’t widely available until about 1950, so before that, syphilis could kill, and AIDS started showing up at numerous points around the world in about 1970 — so while people *thought* they had complete sexual liberation, they really didn’t.

  5. brassratgirl says:

    Good point! and there’s always been the threat of pregnancy or lack thereof, which I think is what the sexual revolution revolved around. But alas, safe, legal abortion and safe, legal birth control and disease-free sex never really lined up historically.

  6. brassratgirl says:

    Yeah, the last one does me in the most. You mean you *didn’t* have a picture of Kurt Cobain on your bedroom wall?! What planet are you people from?

    Oh yeah, the planet where they’re a decade younger than me. Bah.

    I have been assured that it only gets worse, too.

  7. brassratgirl says:

    um, NOT HELPFUL in making me feel better.

    heh 🙂

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