I posted a birthday greeting to Sanjo [a previous flatmate whose real name is incidentally similar except for one letter discrepancy to a famous actor/model in the Philippines].
He responded with my birthday greeting on facebook: “Thank you ate jen.” -which made me cringe and fall in my seat. Ate is a filipino term used to refer to an elder female sibling or to address an old woman. Hold up. Don’t even get me started with the word old or I will punch you on the face! He just turned thirty one! I’m just a few years older! That’s not fair!
And for chrissake why is everybody calling me ate jen in the flat??? When did this catastrophe happen?!
The term ate in Tagalog literally means older sister which is totally fine [at first]. But having thought about it and having it resound in my ears whenever they try to talk to me, it sort of presses the underlying issue that I’ve been trying to withhold for so long; the possibility that I can now be older than anyone else in the room and that I no longer belong to their age bracket. I am no longer a young adult. I’m an adult! I would have to be addressed now with an additional title attached to my name for them to be politically polite. Otherwise these generation of pokemon goers would feel like they are disrespecting me if they call me on first name basis. It’s one of those unfortunate filipino things that we have been accustomed to. I mean Westerners and Europeans don’t have such cliches. They call each other by name. Period. Who gives a f*ck about age?
If it’s someone from high school or even say college calls me ate jen, that would totally be acceptable to me. But for people in their mid twenties and belongs to a working class who are most likely to get married pretty soon and have babies? Not cool.
When did I become older than anyone else? Last time I check I was Penny’s age with a small knapsack strapped at my shoulders and a pair of converse. It felt like as though I was twenty five and I suddenly dozed off, woke up from a very bad hangover and found my thirty something year old self staring at me in horror on a full length mirror. Who are you – old lady?!?
My best friend Madison was also ranting a little on facebook:
“Not so long ago I was just babysitting these five year olds. Now we’re debating about Brexit. Jeez.”
I’m just so glad to know that someone is also on the same journey as mine.
“What do you mean you just found white hair?” she complained. ” I had my first strand last year. I dyed it!”
We stopped talking when we hit the topic on freezing our eggs. It’s just too much to handle.
When I asked my flatmates to search for Torn in the karaoke list a few weeks ago, they were all like… “Who’s Torn?” – which made me realized that I am no longer relatable. That or they’re just plain Stupid. Who doesn’t know Natalie Imbruglia!??
This has magnified the concrete facts that follows [ and most probably this is how my conversation with my sixteen year old niece would be like:]
- I had a collection of different cartridges like pacman and super mario brothers and played them on a family computer with two controllers attached to the pad. You mean we have to be physically together to play together? I’m sorry. I don’t get it.
- I watched Wonder Years, Small Wonder, Doogie Howser MD, Baywatch and [with shaded memory of] Perfect Strangers with my siblings. You mean Barney Stinson played little young doctor?! That’s so cool!
- I listened to songs of Natalie Imbruglia, Lisa Loeb, Savage Garden, Hanson, TLC and of course the rest of the boy bands. Wait a sec. TLC or TMZ ? Lisa Loeb or Lisa Kudrow? Because I know a lil bit of Lisa Kudrow. Phoebe Buffet who played smelly cat at Taylor Swift’s concert?
- I rotated a pen inside a cassette reel hole in an attempt to save my favorite songs that I have recorded from the radio. Why do you have to record it? Is it not available in itunes?
- I had one of those Cabage Patch Kids named Coraline. You mean Coraline – the 3D animation that starred Dakota Fanning..
- I wanted to have a pet like Falcor. Is that a shih Tzu?
- I had a collection of Sweet Valley Twins, High and University. Lemme check those titles on Kindle.
- I had a supply of Magnolia Chocolait in a bottle. Starbucks??
- I had a slambook. Uhm.. Icebreaker??
- I had a pager. Why were you a doctor?
Photo Credit: Pinterest, Cinemaautopsy.com, pinoyexchange.com, ifixit.com, endormitoire.wordpress.com
Daily Prompt: Youth