“Girls are crazy until they reach 26,” I heard uttered from the office adjacent to mine last week.
This was coming from a conversation a cluster of female co-workers were having about relationships. The statement above was something a man said to one of them in regards to dating.
None of them disagreed with the statement. I thought about it for a second and shook my head, “Yep, whomever this wise man is, he’s right. We’re all bat shit-crazy when it comes to relationships until we turn 26.”
This sentence stuck with me long enough to write a post Monday declaring the end of my quarter-life crisis. It would be negligent to not admit that the quarter-life crisis and the bat-shit cray-cray are synonymous with one another. Men have their own challenges to deal with at this age, but instead of lunacy they usually have to deal with being selfish and confused dickwads. Or rather, we women have to deal with it.
Selfishness & Confusion mixed with Craziness & Insecurity does not usually bode well, so dating in your early 20’s typically creates drama fit for a telenovela.
I sort of went through this as an early twenty-something in a morally-questionable city (Los Angeles) and I’ve seen younger friends and acquaintances go through the same thing: you meet a dude, he seems into you, you kind of dig him so you give in to his advances, he plays it cool, so you play it cool in return, you guys hook up for a month, he tells you that he’s not looking for anything serious, you think you’re cool with that, he’s clueless to the fact that you’re not cool with it, after awhile you start to call him for emotional support, he starts pulling away, you ask him what’s up, he doesn’t return your calls, you drunk text him, he responds that he’s too busy to date, you drunk call him, he doesn’t pick up, you try calling 43 more times, he doesn’t pick up, you pass out from drinking a half a bottle of cheap vodka underneath your bed, he goes on with life, you don’t, he is already eying another gal, you are proud of yourself for letting 4 days go by without contacting him, he has forgotten about you, you text him after day 5 to see if he wants to meet up for coffee, he responds an hour later, that hour seemed like an eternity to you, he agrees, you start devising a plan to win him back, he wonders why the hell he’s getting coffee with you, you show up to coffee drunk and in your best American Apparel side-boob dress, he’s more interested in the barista working behind your right shoulder, you ask him how he’s doing, he says “great!”, you start crying because you are not doing great, you’re doing terrible and you miss him and his semi-indifferent embrace even though he only called you at 2AM on Saturdays when you happened to both be drunk.
During moments similar to this in my life, I wondered what the hell was going on with me. I came from a sweet and supportive family, I was confident, I was smart, I was not ugly, but yet I was acting kind of desperate. The more a guy didn’t want me, the more interested I was in him. It was like the teenager that was so sure of herself was replaced by a drooling insecure young woman who had no idea what she was doing. I felt very alone with my dilemma for I did not hang out with enough girls to realize that this was somewhat common behavior in your early 20’s. It wasn’t until I came across a Rolling Stone article about the hook-up culture at Duke University (which has since been deleted from Rolling Stone archives) that I realized young women had some seriously f’ed up views on relationships, casual sex, and how women should be treated and behave. Smart, beautiful, and intelligent women were deluding themselves into lowering their standards and it still comes as no surprise to me today when I hear of a woman that fits that bill who has difficultly with men. My male friends tell me all the time, “She’s wonderful, but she texts me 20 times a day/thinks I’m seeing other girls/reads my emails/gets drunk and yells at me/wants to move in after sleeping together once/held me hostage at her house.”
So why is it that we girls are “crazy until we reach the age of 26?” (I’d like to add that though I say “we”, I’ve never done any of that Courtney Love shit listed above).
If you weren’t one of the “lucky” ones who has known exactly what they wanted out of a career and relationships since birth (and by “lucky” I mean, just wait until the day comes that you wake up at 40 and realize that you hate your job, hate your spouse, and have an aching desire to become a bartender at a gay resort in Bermuda), you mostly likely spent your late teens and early 20’s trying to desperately figure out your path in life and who you wanted to take along for the journey. But the truth is, you really have no idea, so you make poorly devised decisions based off a hodge podge of what you think you maybe want, what you think your family wants, what you think yours peers or partners want and what you think society expects. This combination creates a constant internal pull that makes you unsteady with your actions- i.e certifiably looney tunes. Chances are yo momma didn’t go through this because she was married in her 20’s, dudes were more respectful, people didn’t sex it up as casually, boobies didn’t exist on TV, and people grew up in more religious households.
Gosh, I sound like an old lady.
Maybe it’s because now that I’m past 26, I cringe when I think of the young lady who had zero understanding of modern youthful courting. If you know a female in her early 20’s, do her a favor, slap her upside the head when she starts getting all weird about a dude she’s casually hooking up with and tell her that she’s better than all that. Let’s hope we can change the idea that “girls are crazy until they reach the age of 26” to “damn, girls are so not crazy!”
Do you think I’m crazy for saying that many girls under 26 are crazy, or do you agree?