Acting My Age?

Why is that young girl trying to fire roast tomatoes in her mother’s kitchen? And why is she alone? Shouldn’t an adult be nearby supervising her activities? Why can’t she just play with an Easy Bake Oven like a normal girl? Why is that boy so concerned with upcoming Black Friday flat screen TV sales? Isn’t he too young to get credit anyway? Shouldn’t he be playing video games or pushing around a Tonka truck or something?

These are just a few of the questions I find myself asking on a regular basis during the daily barrage of television commercials. For some reason, I see children everywhere… acting as adults. They’re buying furniture, cars and carpeting. They’re calling for an exterminator or trying to figure out what to do about their leaky roof or their 401k. And I can’t help but want to scream: “YOU’RE TOO YOUNG TO WORRY ABOUT THIS $#*@!”

Or am I just too old?

Within the last five years or so I have discovered that the characters on TV, whether on the news, starring in the commercials or playing that of a leading role have all gotten dramatically younger. REALLY. They are younger. Start paying attention if you don’t believe me. They used to be older than me. The people playing moms and dads LOOKED like moms and dads — they most certainly didn’t look like ME. The people playing doctors and cops and attorneys LOOKED like mature doctors, cops and attorneys.

And I always looked up to them. Literally and figuratively. They were taller, wiser, grayer, more experienced and well versed in the ways of the world. They had to make the big decisions like where to invest their money, when to sell the house, from whom to purchase car insurance. All I had to do was be young and not worry about such things.

Which is why I find it so shocking that these roles are being played by people who not only resemble me… but who are YOUNGER than me! Near as I can tell, this problem is only going to get worse. TV people stay the same age forever. But I will keep on pulling away and pulling away. One day I suppose the women in the osteoporosis / arthritis / adult diaper commercials will look younger than me. Perhaps by then I won’t be quite as shocked. That or I’ll be too tired to care.

I guess it’s true what they say about staying 18 forever… in our own minds. And that’s probably a really good thing. Because no matter the number of candles on the cake or lines in the mirror we should always be too young to see ourselves and our contemporaries actually acting our age.

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13 thoughts on “Acting My Age?

  1. JT says:

    Joanna, I am so with you on this, I have a secret desire… I hope I never act my age :-)! That being said I will always find it difficult to take advice or instruction from someone who in my opinion could have been someone whose diaper I changed! 😀

    • haha 😀 Thanks JT! In hindsight I wasn’t sure if this post hit the mark with the point I was trying to make… but I’m glad you got it and told me so. It is just so odd to see yourself surpassing the “players” on TV who were always older than you 🙂 First it started with athletes, realizing that a 37 year old pitcher or quarterback is REALLY reaching retirement age… but now it has crept into the “mommy / adult woman character” arena and that just freaks me out!

  2. This is such a great article. You’re totally right about these roles getting younger and younger. I was actually just thinking of writing about this the other day, but I think it’s awful how much we glamorize “growing up” to the youngsters. Unfortunately, it comes with BILLS and RESPONSIBILITIES. Frankly, I wish I could still spend my days coloring.

    • Thanks Katie 🙂 I don’t know if they are getting younger (probably are… youth sells) but it is more the fact that I can’t see these “adult” figures on TV as YOUNGER than I am. I was always the younger one… and it creeps me out.

  3. “Near as I can tell, this is only going to get worse.” BEST line in the whole post. LOVE it. You have expressed so well what we all feel when we begin to be the “older” ones. It IS a shocking revelation. I remember when it started happening with me. It just creeps up and then BAM…you realize what is going on. And it “ain’t” pretty. But thank goodness, we are not alone in our journey. :O)

  4. Donald Miller says:

    You had me wondering what was going on right up to that “Or am I just too old?” part. I haven’t watched television in years. So, I was imaging a new trend in commercials having its faddish day. Little kids, looking cute as they do grown up things, while convincing us to by a Swiffer. Yep, I’d buy the stupid thing if I had swiferbrains, but I don’t.

    But you are correctamondo about the life-cycle. I sometimes I see a little kid with an infant and I wonder why the mother isn’t supervising the kid. Then I suddenly realize that the little kid IS the infant’s mother.

    • I know Donald! It is amazing how I think “That person is too young for… and THAT person is too young for…” and then I realize that it’s just little ol’ me — getting older. 😛 Bleh.

    • Yep. That’s how it starts. First it’s the professional athletes and then it’s the “young” characters on the sitcoms and before you know it… you’re “older” than the moms in the commercials. UGH.

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