I was recently hanging out with one of my favourite twenty-somethings (yes I do have a few friends who were born in the eighties) at a birthday do. She is 24, hot (and mean cool-hot, not hot-hot, which I find uni-dimensional), great at her job, super-popular with the boys and quite an achiever. Unlike other girls her age whose chief preoccupation is what to wear this Friday, or what colour should they get their tints done or lenses changed to (yes, I know I am being mean, but there is a point to make), she gives the impression of not labouring too much about her look, yet rocking it. On most days.
I was more intrigued about her when I found out she was dating a fly on the wall till a friend told me the classic rule. Hot girl never dates hot guys. Anyway, she is not dating him any more, but from what I saw of the new guy from Facebook, he ain’t no Adonis either.
Anyway, this is not about him. Here was her dilemma: most of her peers were getting married or were on the verge and planning babies and all of that. So she wondered: if she didn’t take the whole relationship thing seriously, would she get left behind? Should she really stop serial dating and finding that one guy to marry and have babies with? She did say that she didn’t really need a guy to feel complete at this point, but what if she got left behind? She didn’t want to be single at 30!
This was new. In my days, 30 was when the alarm bells rang, the biological clock went ding dong, the parents went chop chop and the friends started dropping dead (read getting married and leaving you) like flies. So somewhere in the next few years, you eventually wound up getting married.
But 24? Seriously? I feel so out of touch.
Aren’t the young people supposed to raise the bar? Change the rules? Shift the paradigm?
In my time, 24 was about career angst and how to communicate with the parental units and how to find a way to make money doing something you borderline like. These days, young people don’t seem to be wasting time pursuing degrees that are so not them (I mastered in Pharmacy, but wanted to write, at 23). So career paths are clearer, less murky and at least you are not on the wrong road. But marriage? Babies? That was nowhere on the radar at 24 even in my time.
So are we regressing or what? Will the next generation actually have babies at 20 and be grandparents at 50?
That, to me, was the revelation of the decade.