So your a 40 year old who plays dress up, likes cartoons, gives themselves lots of labels, and runs a tumblr blog making posts about still being a virgin among other long ass boring posts that no one asked for.. such a special snowflake. Might be time to grow up sweetie.— A lovely quote I received on Tumblr yesterday
Sigh. I've addressed this "weaponizing maturity" thing enough times on this blog that I don't think I have to to into it again. Meaning I don't think I need to defend or explore what makes me "an adult" who is already very much "grown up" (sweetie~). But I will say this.
Nobody is fooled into thinking people who say things like this are trying to help.
Have you ever gotten a comment like this? Where at face value the words are life advice, but they're delivered in a smarmy, condescending way that reads like an attack?
Make no mistake. People who talk like this are not telling you what you should do because YOUR life needs help. They're talking to you like this because THEY are not comfortable with your life.
THEY think (nearly) forty-year-olds like myself should not do stuff like wear costumes for events, enjoy cartoons, or discuss sexuality issues on Tumblr. (And of course I didn't miss the implication when this person tried to shame me for "still being a virgin"--it's all part of the package, you know, because sex in a specific prescribed way is part of having an adult life don't you know.)
Do I strike you as someone who is uncomfortable about her life or ashamed of any of her activities?
So in what universe does someone like that expect their shaming attempt to work?
I am so ridiculously long past the point where shaming me for acting "inappropriately" for my age will have any effect on me at all. Except for, you know, posting about it sometimes, my everyday life is utterly unaffected by what norms people expect me to adhere to. Furthermore, one could argue that my adult life is incredibly successful. I live on my own terms, with some restrictions like, you know, having to go to work and experiencing minor everyday inconveniences like anyone does. I could certainly be considered less successful if you apply external measures to my success, like "well I believe a forty-year-old woman should have a partner by now, and some kids, what's wrong with you, you don't drive a car, you don't have a lucrative career in your chosen field, wow what a failure." But do any of those expectations have any bearing on my goals? No.
Those are goals someone else decided I should have. Experiences and achievements someone else says I should pursue. Values someone else expects me to hold dear. And as an adult with a reasonable amount of life satisfaction and numerous completed goals, I hear comments like these shouted behind me now and then and just kind of turn around with my eyebrow cocked, thinking "You want me to what now?"
Maturity is hard to define, but I've long described it as partially incorporating responsibility and security. I'm able to take responsibility for my life and I work, pay bills, and manage my household appropriately. I also have enough extra resources that I can help others now and then. I'm secure in my position in life to a reasonable degree, I'm happy with who I am and have no big holes in my personal life, and I have a lot of fun. I'm fulfilled by my creative pursuits and my relationships. And while I continue to chase some goals I have not yet achieved, that's the nature of life; I can be happy and satisfied while I pursue these goals, and I'm balanced and secure enough to do that.
Might be time to grow up sweetie.
People like this can't recognize that they're talking to a grown-up who isn't susceptible to their shame-based peer pressure that sounds a LOT like how people talk in high school. Would a mature person see a message like this and see it as a wake-up call? Of course not. That's laughable. Infantilizing people in an attempt to control them and put them in a corner is a pretty common technique weak people use. Immature, petty, unhappy people are very well known for being overly critical, becoming inappropriately invested in others' lives, and handing down judgmental commentary about other people's choices. Think about the kind of person who sees a woman enjoying her life and chooses to reach out with a message that says "stop it."
Sounds an awful lot more pathetic than the way they tried to portray me, to be honest.