If you were to pass me on the street, you’d probably think: “Oh look, there’s an average woman. She’s wearing average clothes and has average hair. She hasn’t quite mastered keeping lipstick on yet. She’s probably got life sorted though.”
If you were to meet me, you’d probably think: “My God! This woman is deeply sarcastic. Is she making fun of me? (Probably). Is she being mean? (I don’t think so). She can be quite funny though. And, look! She’s bought me another drink!”
If you got to know me, you’d probably think: “Yes, this is a woman who’ll tell me the truth. This fiercely loyal friend of mine won’t mince her words. She gives half decent advice. She’s had experiences. She’s got her head screwed on the right way. Plus, I know she can be relied on for a good party every so often.”
If you were to analyse my life, you’d probably think: “Good job. Check. Pays her own bills. Check. Independent. Check. Intelligent. Check. Logical. Check. Good network. Check.”
For all intents and purposes, I am a fully functioning member of the adult world. I have suffered my way through my traumatic teens (“no one understands meeeeee! You have no idea what it’s likeeeeee!”). I have partied my way through my tiring twenties (“work, play, play some more, work. What am I going to do with my life? Should I care what I’m doing with my life?”)
I’m now in my trouble-free thirties. As I’ve explored before, these are the calm years, the sorted years, the years where I care less about other people and more about myself. These are the years when I’m independent enough to do anything I want, and yet knowledgeable enough to know what I want.
Except when the 14 year old girl appears.
She appears at the most inopportune moments. Mainly just after the logical side of my brain has found peace with a situation. When the logical side of my brain knows the correct course of action and is busy getting on with it. When I think I’ve figured everything out.
But why hasn’t he texted you? Why hasn’t he been in touch? Does he like you? Why doesn’t he like you? Is she prettier than me? Should I call him? If I wait 3 days will it look less desperate? What does he mean when he says “See you soon”? Does that mean he’s going to ask me out somewhere? Why wasn’t I invited out with him and our mutual friends? Why was she invited? If I like a status of his on facebook will it mean he thinks I’m stalking him?
She’s been out in full force in the aftermath of Turkish boy. Conversation since he visited has dried up a little. Having been used to having daily contact with him, it feels very strange that he’s not in touch as much.
The logical side of my brain doesn’t mind that much. After all, I’ve admitted to myself that it’s probably not going to go anywhere. He lives in Istanbul, I don’t. He’s too nice, I’m not. There are too many cultural differences bla bla. The list is endless. The logical side of my brain is ok with this. The logical side of my brain knows this is the right way to go.
The 14 year old doesn’t seem to listen to reason. She’s pissed off that this guy isn’t texting as much. She’s pissed off that he doesn’t seem as interested as he once was. She deliberates whether she should get in touch with him. She crafts a text message without sending it. She obsessively checks when he was last on whatsapp (“He was online an hour ago! Why didn’t he get in touch?”). When he does get in touch, her stomach turns over.
The 14 year old is ruining my life.
And it’s not just with Turkish boy. She’s like it with the boys who are friends, too. She gets jealous. She makes logical and rational nuttycow drink too much and end up in a snotty, sobbing mess at the end of a night (a delightful evening a couple of weeks ago when Bad Influence came over for a John’s Club meeting - one day I may divulge the full story of how I ended up crying down the phone to Fursty Ferret at 4 in the morning).
14 year old gets stroppy when things don’t go her way and when men don’t do what she wants (such as adore, worship, and obsess over her). 14 year old makes rational nuttycow question her every move. Makes her feel as if everything she does is wrong.
14 year old is a pain in the neck.
And yet she doesn’t go away. I thought that, with my 30s and this new found sense of peace, the 14 year old would slowly grow up. She’d realise that hey, it’ll happen one day. There’ll be that boy. He’ll like you for who you are. Calm the fuck down. What does it matter anyway? I thought 14 year old would start to understand that.
And yet there she is.
Ah well, maybe if I get her hooked on ponies, she’ll start obsessing with them and leave me alone.