You guys–I may have figured it out.
Here I am, almost 42, entering peri-menopause and lamenting over the fact that I did not misspend enough of my youth. I apply a nightly regimen of creams and lotions in order to hold back the creeping lines, and all in the name of youth. That thing we were too cocky to hold on to when we had it, and now scramble for like free TV’s on black Friday.
But I’ve discovered the secret. It was right in front of me ALL ALONG.
For months now, years really, I’ve been carefully gathering data and only the finest anecdotal evidence, in a triple blind study. Disguising myself as a horribly pragmatic adult with seemingly mature decisions to make daily, and even going as far as producing offspring to further solidify my claims as a boring adult, I’ve been able to observe in all but pure invisibility, the actions and words of the seemingly young. The Uber-hip yoga-moms with their large sport utility vehicles and non-GMO orange slices for soccer practice. The virulent breastfeeders and their crunchy manifestos. The sensitive fathers teaching their sons to pour tea before participating in group sob-and-drum circle. I’ve watched them, I’ve listened, I’ve eaten their tofu and spirulina. I have gazed upon their seeming agelessness in the face of crows feet, paunches and age-specific multivitamins and I’ve distilled their secret to one simple philosophy.
In order to be young, you must ACT young.
Now, I don’t mean the carefree joie-de-vivre of embracing life to its fullest–to experience the things you were never quite brave enough to do in your youth, to live so authentically that no one, not even the Dalai Lama, could doubt your sincerity. No–that is far too complicated, and we all know that no one can actually DO that. Why, it would mean telling the truth, and owning to your weaknesses and taking responsibility for you own thoughts and actions. NO NO NO! It’s much simpler!
You have to harken back to the days of high school, and dare I say it, middle or jr high. When I say you must act young, I mean that you must adopt a lifestyle that is selfish, egocentric and maniacally dramatic–and the fountain of youth is yours for the taking!
And lucky for you I’ve got a guide here on how to achieve that level of adolescent immaturity! This secret was entrusted to me by a team of German scientists, who have been studying Americans now for 20 years in order to bottle and contain this sweet youthful nectar. They wanted to make sure the secret was seen by as many people possible, and so chose me as their viral ambassador. Trust me–these five little rules will change your world.
1. Be confident. Even if you are completely ignorant of a topic or situation, you have to BELIEVE that whatever you have to say on the topic is completely relevant and needs to be heard by everyone around you. Do not worry about silly things like well-documented facts or scientific studies. What is important is the contents of your mind and the volume at which you speak them. If you are online, make sure you post your opinion multiple times in different places, even using ALL CAPS if no one will take you seriously. Remember that whatever you think about the topic is the most important argument that has ever been made. Do not allow yourself to be ignored.
2. Do not, under any circumstances, use manners or polite conversation. This goes along with #1. If people cannot accept how you speak or what you say, then they are old and stupid, and it is your duty to name-call and curse at them, insulting their age, heritage and fashion sense. People who cannot accept the language of the young are obviously 2 steps from the grave, and their opinions shouldn’t really matter. Who cares about civil discourse or letting others voice their opinions?
subset 1: never take other people’s needs or feelings into consideration. YOU are the epitome of youth–and it is YOUR needs and feelings that need to be heeded. I mean, if we had to go about being considerate of everyone’s feelings, you might never get heard or even noticed!
3. Be offended and butthurt whenever possible–especially if you are being ignored or criticized, or if someone thinks differently than you. The only thing more impressive than confidence, is the speed at which you can show you are hurt by what other people think about something of which you really have no opinion. Especially if it has nothing to do with you at all. Practice your disdainful outrage. Perfect your puppy dog eyes. Learn to threaten others with the oh-so-effective “I will block/unfriend you” argument that has been known to bring facebook followers to their knees in abject fear and horror that you will no longer pay any attention to them or grace them with your biased opinion. Indeed, scour blog and facebook posts, searching for someone posting an opinion and think “how can I make this about me?” I’m sure you will find a topic or idea that you can tie directly to religion, politics or sexual orientation, and from there, you have your platform for spouting your opinion. It may seem daunting, but I promise, with a few ill-chosen words, you can prove your immaturity with very little work and garner a great deal of attention
subset 1: being hurt if someone fails to compliment you. If they cannot make the time to compliment your new profile picture, or how AMAZING your last post was, then you need to let them know how hurt you are by their lack of support.
subset 2: accusing others of being immature. remember–if someone strongly or loudly disagrees with you, they are obviously acting TOO young, and need to be reminded to grow up. This needs to be said with confidence, and some disgust, to really get the point across.
4. Tell people’s secrets and talk about them behind their back. But not in a grade school way. Try to remember the nuance of high school–don’t use people’s names directly, but be clear enough that people know who you are talking about. Couch all this language in “concern” so that people don’t just think you are gossiping. No–it need to appear that you are really “concerned” about someone and wouldn’t really “mention any of this” if you weren’t. Chew your lip if possible, or type “*nervous laughter*” so that those who are listening in don’t think YOU are the bad guy. This is an art–and don’t worry if you don’t grasp it right away. You can always refer to rule #1 & #3 if the situation turns ugly and you are accused of gossiping. And if that doesn’t work, make sure to comment on their sadly out-of-date hairstyle.
5. The fifth and final trick to staying young is really the simplest: NEVER think before you speak. Simply blurt out the first thing you think without apology. Be willing to ignorantly jump to conclusions without hesitation. Because remember–whatever you think is important, and other people have the right–no, the NEED to hear what you have to say. Maybe by spewing an offensive and unreasonable opinion, your youth will rub off on them, and you can bring the joy of youth to someone so old and mature that they would never THINK to say anything so ignorant or offensive. It’s not only a way of life, its a method to force youth upon the unwilling and make them hip again!
These simple methods, along with listening to modern radio stations, shopping at Forever 21 and Hot Topic, playing sports that no one else your age is even trying to play and mismanaging any interpersonal relationships you may have, can bring you the joy and life purpose that only immaturity can bring. AND? You can legally drink! Which adds a whole new level of inappropriate behavior to the five rules above.
Seriously, who needs botox? If everyone adopts this behavioral regimen, we will be fresh faced with dewy optimism in no time, returning us again to the greatest nation status and the envy of every third world around!
For the finest of examples of this behavior, please look at Facebook, and most social media. A few minutes in should make you aware of the masters of these methods right in your own social circle, and you too, can join the Youth Revolution! See you there!