To please the future birthday girl here

There's quite a long discussion on one of Maita's calendar entries. Okay, so it is about her birthday, and how unbelievable it can seem for someone to turn twenty without looking like it. Coco had to come in and twirl the entire conversation, when the topic silently shifted to body weight (and it isn't my fault, to boot). And, somehow, it happened.

I'm turning twenty in two years. I know a lot of people dread this figure - you're no longer a teen, and along with it comes a shedding of all the stereotypes those television shows forced down your throat. Saturday afternoons meant irresponsible love stories, constant hanging out in some sports bar that has a pool table and a condescending server, and sappy scenes in the classroom played out with whatever's making the rounds of top 40 radio. Well, they're stereotypes - supposedly wrong - but once you turn twenty you're supposedly more responsible now. You've learned enough in the last decade, you've supposedly outlived all the spontaneity, and you're going to grow up.

Yesterday Cuyeg turned twenty-one. No biggie on anybody's part, actually - just me sending a greeting with another stab at his age. Last year there was a much bigger fuss, if anybody remembers. And today, it's Ariane's birthday - at nineteen she already seems ready enough, or maybe it could be because of all the things I've spent my time thinking of. I don't know whether they're worrying, at least slightly, about what they are going to bear now they add another year to their age - although we all grow up in every passing moment, which could render birthdays useless - but maybe the pressure's coming from somewhere. Or I'm blowing this thing up again, as usual.

Sometimes it surprises me that people think I'm older. The people at the forums think so; I attribute it to a zany attempt to sound smart, or knowledgeable, to the topic at hand. Someone actually thought I wrote like I'm in the middle of being twentysomething. But back home people think I'm very immature - I can relate to cartoon characters, and somehow manage to have fun with toddlers (although that is a normal thing, especially if they're just that adorable). And yes, right now I am cleaning up my act, although eventually it will seep through.

Stereotypically, you insert some really childish man who's managed to become an executive for an advertising agency. I see bean bags in pastel colors and hot chocolate instead of coffee, but no person jumping around. And it hurts when people just judge you for whatever you exhibit outwardly - the jumping, the teardrops, the tantrums, the fashion sense. You become goofy only because you love Patrick Starr. You become childish only because you cry when you fail algebra. You realize everybody else is wrong because they've got flaws they won't admit - everybody does, right? Even if you wear a stringed bikini, you're bound to have extra dimples in your legs, eventually.

I don't really worry about turning twenty. However, I'm not going to offer the scratchy celebrate life excuse to the heavens - maybe live the moment sums it all up better - but outward appearances may seems sufficient enough to reflect growth, and still I'm working at it. True, I do cuss out loud at home whenever some noisy campaign vehicle passes by, but I'll take it as me invoking my freedom of speech. I guess my energy is a buzz, and it leads to more things getting done, or otherwise (ironically). I think people are misunderstood, and that's why I manage to reach out until I give up, and I know I have on so many people. They failed to do that previously, or at Virginia Tech, or at some sidewalk. If I turn twenty, I might be the same old me - true, thirteen weeks is all it takes for one thing to become a habit - but maybe appreciation should come next, right?

When I typed in my latest reply to that discussion about Maita's weight, and Coco declaring it's simply "mabigat", I started to wonder whether some people may think I'm weirdly trying to cuddle up with the person who I know best for inadvertently declaring that her CGPA is a 3.9. Then again, maybe I'm just a cuddly person, and cuddling up means something different for me, while others think I'm merely sucking up to someone for no particular reason at all. Then again, I got some most thoughtful award back in elementary - and yes, I do remember that - so maybe that all comes to play.

Before I know it, I became a "gentleman". Now I'm unsure whether that is really true.

And your responses...

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