You know how some people tend to worry about “dating themselves?” They worry that by revealing certain facts or events in their life, they’ll make themselves seem much older than the people around them. So they’ll qualify a statement with, “I might be dating myself by saying this, but…
- …I had a rotary phone in my house.”
- …I went to Woodstock in the ’60s.”
- …I had an awful perm in the 80’s.”
I’m sure you catch my drift. Basically any distinguishing fact that might reveal their (often times more advanced) age to the others in the conversation.
Sometimes, I swear I date myself in the other direction. Backwards dating, if you will.
I’m one of the younger people in my office, which isn’t that surprising, since I just graduated from college a little over a year ago, and I also still live at home (which I love, by the way. Can’t beat the home-cooked meals!). But these two factors often lead to me accidentally dating myself and unintentionally calling attention to how much younger I am.
Co-worker: “That pasta salad you brought for lunch looks delicious, Maura.”
Me: “Thanks! My mom made it for me.”
Co-worker: “How was your weekend?”
Me: “Pretty good, watched a Law & Order: SVU marathon with my parents.”
Mostly, it’s pretty humorous. And I’d like to think that I don’t “backwards date” myself enough that they don’t take me seriously in the workplace. But I think the best evidence of this situation occurred this summer:
I had to have some surgery on my right foot in July, which meant that I wasn’t able to drive for a few weeks. Luckily, my mom is a teacher and off for the summers, so she was able to drive me back and forth (And let me tell you, my hour-long commute four times a day is no picnic…thanks for the rides, Mom!). Since I work at a school, she was once again “driving me to school.” Backwards dating, step 1.
Once we arrived at work, my Mom would walk me in, helping me with my bags. I was on crutches, but also had a very stylish walking boot and surgical shoe, so I was always carrying all of that stuff with me. I’m not the most coordinated person, sans crutches, so it really was for the best that my mom carried my stuff in, while I handled the walking scenario. That was really enough for me to handle, at that point. Backwards dating, step 2.
So every day for about a month my mom drove me to work, and walked me in, carrying my belongings. Which, let the record show, I sincerely appreciated. Until the day she decided to water my office plant.
My coworkers sent me a “Get Well” plant when I had the surgery, and I happen to have a cute, round, plant-sized table in my office. So I brought the plant in, because it fit perfectly on said cute little round table. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much where my attention to the plant stopped. My office is also pretty warm in the summer, so unless this plant was something normally at home in the Amazon, it wasn’t going to fare well without me watering it. Which I never really got around to. So one day, my mom takes it upon herself to tidy up my office a bit (she’s the most organized person I know, so I’m thinking she couldn’t resist), and that included watering my plant.
Too bad the plant was in a basket, and all the water and a good amount of dirt spilled right through the spaces in the weave of the basket, onto my beige office carpet.
So there’s my Mom, mopping up the floor of my office with paper towels from the bathroom, as I beg her, “Please, please just leave and let me do this. Please. They already think I am 12 years old. This is NOT GOING TO HELP.”
Backwards dating, complete.
To avoid this situation in the future, I’ve started watering the plant myself. How do you think it’s looking?
Full disclosure: I pruned off all the dead leaves and flowers before I took that picture.