When is it Time to Put Aside Childish Things?

We're getting too old for this @#$%!, Danny Glover.
Publish date:
August 12, 2011
growing up, aging, surveys, pigtails

When my friend and I passed an 80-something lady in the East Village with hair the color of a Kit Kat wrapper, we both agreed: We would like to be that lady when we grow up. It was very "Walk Lola Walk" and she was pulling it off. But I think if somebody saw me with that hair, they'd be like, "How old is that girl and why is she clinging to her youth like a runaway Chinese kite?"As the owner of a Hot-Topic-y tattoo who frequently sports pigtails, I have kind of a hard time gauging what's age-appropriate and what isn't. I try to do what feels right for me, because I went to one of those experimental pre-schools run by probable cult leaders, but sometimes I am legitimately flummoxed. "You have cybersex?" asked one of my friends recently. "Are you 12?" YES! Yes, I am 12.

And I admit: Sometimes I judge grown women who dot their i's with circles or wear headbands, but only if they are the monstrous new girlfriends of my exes. I also admit that people who collect dolls after the age of 10 and are not charming/old/gay/Southern wig me out a little bit. I realize this is wrong.But! The deeply indivual level of the dogma here is interesting. I have friends who are of the opinion that you shouldn't wear long hair after a certain age (exception: Aunt Meg from "Twister." Always.), or Eileen Fisher before a certain age. It is highly self-specific and ever-changing, much like teen girls themselves. So let's go old-school email fwd: fwd: fwd: here and do a survey.

I'm obviously not advocating "culture bashing" and I try not to mandate what other people do when it is not Thanksgiving (CORNBREAD: NOT A STUFFING), so I'm asking for your personal comfort level with some behaviors. Go ahead and fill in the age at which you stopped (or plan to stop) the following, or an appropriate comment, like "I'll never be too old" or "This was NEVER OK." I am psyched and afraid to read your responses because if I have to stop doing #14 I will probably replace it with a weird, grownup habit like collecting illegal cigars.1) Ordering chicken fingers.2) Kilts.3) Group shots with alcohol at a bar.4) Decorating with posters.5) Letting YA novels comprise the bulk of the reading you do in a year.6) Owning a bong.7) Bikinis.8) Enlisting a friend to find out if somebody likes you.9) Social network profile photos that you took yourself, of yourself.10) Tattoos and piercings.11) Fruit snacks.12) Hats with pompoms.13) Horoscopes.14) Sex with college students.