worrying like this will really age me.

The truth is, I'm not getting any younger. It's not my birthday, it's not my anything, it's that I'm not the youngest anymore and I'm not dealing with that too well. Aging, like most everything else, is not something I do gracefully.

When I was in high school, I was Team Captain as a sophomore. When I was in college, I was an assistant editor of the college newspaper at 18 and editor-in-chief at 20. When I started teaching, I was 22.

I'm used to being young for my age. Does that make sense? Young for my position, I think that would be a better way to do it.

I'm not the youngest anymore.

I know this because my friend traded in her Jetta for a Mini Van.
I know this because for the first time EVER I was called "Grandma" by a student [I respond to Mom as quickly as I respond to Mrs. Allison. Grandma? Not so much.]
I know this because 1/4th of the teaching staff at my school is younger than me now.

Chuck, on the other hand, is very much the youngest at work.
I'm insanely jealous.
And he's the youngest by 20, 30 years in most cases. Ah, the life he leads.

It was at his work that the discussion about that high pitched "for young'ins only" ringtone came about. You know that one, right? It got a lot of press a year or so ago. Suppose-ably, the over 25 crowd can't hear it. It's real popular with the high schoolers. All the boys in Sioux City are using it (that was family joke. A PK shout out. Move it along, people...).

Any-who, Chuckles still rides that Polar Express and can actually still hear the sound.

He asked me if I could.
"Try it," he said in such a nonchalant manner that I firmly believe he knew the rabbit hole of introspection, terror, and gerascophobia (that's the fear of aging to you lay persons) that this would send me down and was kind of enjoying himself.

That's when the panic started.
He can. What if I can't? Is this going to be that whole "at one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years past it fell silent for all of them." Who knew Van Allsburg was actually talking about an ultrasonic ring tone? I'd always assumed the book was about Santa.

Sweating came next. I had to unzip the front of my footy pajamas (yep) and get the cool air flowing. Then the heart started racing. Then the shaking commenced.

The term hot mess came to mind.

I google reconned to find the tone whilst simultaneously having an age related meltdown and pondering mortality and the shelf life of Sherbet ice cream (how many freezer burn crystals are too many crystals?).

I found it.

It then took me another 5 minutes to actually start the thing.
I basically had to make peace with myself that it was OK.
Someday, I definitely won't hear the sound. So what if it's today.

I tried.
I did it.

I could hear it!

Really, I'm already having enough age related issues not being the youngest or newest anymore. This was the last thing I needed. I'm trying to remember all the things I learn from my friends, family, and colleagues who are older than me, wiser than me, and far better than me, and hoping that maybe I'll get to that level of divinity someday.

I doubt I'll ever be any sort of divine or gracious or wise like them. Heck, I'm just happy I can hear an annoying buzz. Life. Complete.

Now the question is, can you???

Here's the tone: You can hear it on the left side -- it says it's a download, but it's not. They lie.


  1. so rude. I couldn't hear it. Is this a joke like "if your hand is as big as your face, you have cancer?". If not, I'll blame 15 years of loud concerts.

  2. could not hear it....I was already having a mid-20s crisis...

  3. OK, I think this is bullshit. I didn't hear a thing and I suddenly feel foolish for even trying.
    I don't have kids what do I care about a damn ringtone.
    Not like I'm bitter or anything...

    I feel you though. I'm still one of the youngest in my field, by 15-20 years across the board. However, since I crossed the line into death and decay in August, I worry that won't coninue to be the case.
    And to make myself feel better, I've been reading FormerlyHot.com.

    It's true.

  4. I was always the "baby" at work (for 6 years). All the nurses I work with could be my mom. Now I'm a mom. And now there is a girl who just started who is talking about her "21-run" and I'm not the baby anymore. I totally feel ya.


Tell me about it. Oh and thanks for validating my life.

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