Monday, August 5, 2013

Pulling The Age Card

(Out of curiosity, I googled "pulling the age card" and found a blog of an 18-year-old who said she was sick of people thinking she didn't know what true love was because she was young and defended her relationship of 4 months. Two months later was a blog post titled "Forever alone" about the pain of being single again. Awkward...)

I've been working on making assumptions about people and jumping to conclusions. A friend of mine and I talked about this just tonight...making a snap judgment about a person for whatever reason (age, cleanliness, facial tattoo, wearing a fedora). Even if I'm absolutely right and the person turns out to just like I thought they would, that's not the point. I need to give people a chance like they should give me one. We all deserve the opportunity to completely screw up first impressions.

I do, however, fully agree with Louis CK's bit from his new special "Oh My God" that if you're older, you're smarter. "If you're in an argument with somebody and they're older than you, you should listen to them. It doesn't mean they're right, it means that even if they're wrong, their wrongness is rooted in more information than you have."

With that in mind, I don't pull the age card on people often. But I had to once about a month ago. I was going to let this thing go that a 21-year-old had said to me, but it was the third condescending thing he had said in about an hour. He was talking down to me essentially because of a lack of information about me, but he knew that I'm on probation and I wash dishes...and I don't think he really was doing it on purpose. Rather than try to burn him in front of other people to satisfy my ego, I talked to him alone to express something to know, to be civil...and to satisfy my ego.

This is what I said to him:

"Hey listen, there's something you need to understand. I know right now you have a lot going for you, and your life is starting to take off. You're 21 years old, and you have the energy and cockiness of your age. When you're 25, you will look back at how you are now and you'll say, 'Wow, I was kind of an asshole and thought I knew everything. I know so much more about life and who I am now.' 5 years after that, you'll have an established life, be financially stable with a family most likely, and you'll look back and say, 'So much has changed, and I really didn't know what I was doing sometimes, but I made it. I'm glad I make better choices now and settled down.' Well, I'm 10 years older than that second you in the future. So don't fucking patronize me, kid."

I don't necessarily recommend that approach, but it cleared up his tone quite nicely. As in, he doesn't talk to me at all now. I'm comfortable with that.