Teenage Mutant Hero Girl: One Woman's Awkward Step into Adulthood

The mutation from being a teenage girl to being and adult woman is never quite as instantanious as you might think. Girls, this is what you can expect from big cruel world of adulthood...
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The mutation from being a teenage girl to being and adult woman is never quite as instantanious as you might think. Girls, this is what you can expect from big cruel world of adulthood...

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Here’s me: Wake up, sun filters through the 25th floor windows of my penthouse (waay too much sun, I mumble), three board meetings (I’m cancelling two), wind ruffles my hair as I drive leisurely four hours post-morning routine – workout, healthy breakfast, wardrobe malfunction of plethoric proportions, namely “what to wear on a shopping spree”. With the BFFs. On a Wednesday. Morning, that is.

You just read Nirvana.

Here’s me: Jump off bed, get dressed for work, fake-curse at the insane traffic which would of course be conveniently blamed for my late arrival at the office in spite of my pathetic attempts at maniacal driving, ignore/side-eye Tenais in her ridiculously high heels while clacking “you couldn’t get the skirt a tad tighter, could you, hun”?, in gum-chewing rhythm to her sashaying hips.

You just read reality.

The Lady With The Crystal Ball told, no promised, me growing up from a teenager to an adult would happen Nirvana-style. The Lady With The Crystal Ball told me that just as it was for Cinderella, so it would fall upon me. For at the very stroke of midnight, I would lose a slipper, not literally, but metaphorically; something along the lines of “losing a T and finding a T”. I guess the mere fact that the quote sounded more like a plagiarised OompahLoompah phrase than a poetic and ‘fairytaley’ ode to Disney should have been false mutation prediction sign number one: this ball was clearly crystal-plated!

Instant ladylike mannerisms? Oh, please! I’d still saunter around the house in sweatpants and a faded tank, morning, noon and night, as against treating myself to a ritual of self-grooming and perfection in preparation for the day’s Duties of a Woman (as my mother so aptly put it). Only now, the sweats, my ‘uniform’ (again as my mother aptly put it) are strictly for the weekends. Blame the status quo: I am now an employee. Whatever the heck happened to the finesse and sensuality of a French lady that would instantly become my bloom and make me my mother’s feminine pride and joy?! At least I achieved a self-prescribed waist-lift (a.k.a. skirts and pants worn two inches closer to my actual anatomical waistline).

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Moving on. Swap childish crush on Bradley Cooper (long, deep moan) for healthy, realistic relationships with men I can actually see, feel and touch? So far, so not happening. Three weeks ago I nailed a painting to my wall. That dear nail has spent more time with the wall than I’ve lasted in anything close to meaningful with the opposite sex! I’ve also had more luck trying to pull the nail out of the wall with my teeth than I’ve had relinquishing the right amount of self-control for a healthy relationship (sounds like something Dr Phil would say, right?). Bradley Cooper is a beautiful man. For now, I’ll take my chances. The clock ticks, my mother reminds.

This mutation does have its perks though. For starters I don’t have to show ID anymore before I swig anything remotely dull-coloured from a bottle of any size, shape or colour. Or no wait, I don’t have to show ID any more period. I just have that swanky look that screams “grown-up”, is all. Why in my head that makes me feel like a younger Rosie O’Donnell I’ll never know! Again, I don’t have to or need to explain the where, who, what and whys of my life anymore. Like, all of a sudden. Right? Wrong! Major wrong! The less ID I have to show the longer the essay I have to write on my responsibility – or lack thereof – to the watching eyes of the world (classmates at grad school, snobby colleague at work, snooty boss, insufferable boyfriend, overly friendly neighbour … I did say the world, didn’t I? Suddenly everything that was formerly excusable has become explainable and everything that was once explainable has suddenly become excusable.

This one though, Lady Crysta-Plated-Bell couldn’t wish away for all the crystals in China! The gloriously evil grin that spreads across my face in satisfaction as I write this: we are both in the same hell! For the definitive rest of my female existence (somewhat), I am going to … you know what? Forget it! I have whined about this since my third junior senior science class. I whined about it all through my teen life (red blotch on my uniform). I am still whining about it in my twenties (sacred days when I can’t wear white to work). I promise I’m going to whine about it in my thirties (err … something will come up; damn, it just did!). The forties (grins in imagined inebriation) … life will truly begin.

Here’s a p.s. I just found out that in celebration of my new life, I shall be treated to a pity party, a post-traumatic afternoon tea, and an awkward dinner with the downside of emotions, all of which will last well into my fifties – and possibly, beyond (heavens forbid!). But then, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we? Let’s stick with … inebriation. P.P.S. I am certainly not referring to life in the Hamptons!
Forward five years. I’m a bleeding 25-year-old woman (the natural urge to miscalculate my age has set in). I have come to terms with the scientific fact that the opportunity to be an eternal size zero only happens to a lady once in a lifetime. Said genes hoola-hooped right past me when I nosedove into my mother’s side of the DNA pool. There must have been something ultra-magnetic about that pool sometime during my nine months pre-earth sabbatical. I swam and swam until … well, there ye have it – nothing a lifetime at the gym, a life without every kind of ice cream, and a certain colour-coded diet (ok, brown foods) wouldn’t solve. There’s a very long life ahead of me!

Here’s a promise: there is no outward mutation from ‘teenhood’ to young womanhood!
Yes, turning eighteen at the stroke of midnight might change your status from ‘minor’ to ‘major’, giving you the official/political right to start every sentence with “I’m an adult now”, replete with a government stamp of approval; you may have officially earned the right to vote, down unquantifiable amounts of booze, get your own apartment and have lots of sex (arguably). My postulation, however, is this: honey, no one really takes you seriously until that dreaded suffix has suffered an erosion in your life, time-wise. In other words, until you have “lost the TEEN and found the TWENTY”.

I still have a crush on BC. Someday, hopefully, like Katie Holmes I’ll fall in love with my dream man and he’ll loll about on Oprah’s Replacement’s couch to an Oompah-Loompah themed song, telling the world our tale of romance. Someday, I’ll finally appreciate the fact that at least ‘baby fat’ has been replaced by ‘lady fat’. Thighs and hips and boobs, oh my! Someday, I’ll fully understand the thrills of making decisions, accepting responsibility for my actions, believing in myself, gaffes and all, and realizing that loving every little imperfection in my life takes me one phase higher to becoming a better woman, a better ME. Something which, judging from my new advanced lifestyle, a very darling friend of mine labels ‘#peaking’.

I am not quite done, however. I only pinched my inner girl and a whole box of woman came tumbling out. So here I am living with the sudden realisation that no one in particular made me this promise of genetic, social, emotional and physical mutation. I made the assumption. I presumed the change. The Lady With The Crystal Ball lives in my head. I am going to smoke her out and snuff her. Dysfunctional, much? Maybe. I am but a mutant.

I have successfully graduated from boy shorts to leopard thongs. I am happier in my body, happier than I’ve ever been. I’ve shoved the sweats in a charity box and have taken a keen interest in dresses that are bright, colourful and womanly. The frab, mundane colours that formerly darkened the doorway of my wardrobe, run and hide upon sight of me, as I favour the brighter side of life, literally, during a shopping spree. With the BFFS. On a Saturday afternoon.

You just read now.

"I will grow up eventually. Someday." - Jennifer Aniston