Dear cute 20 year old girl from the Mexican restaurant,
We heard you.
We heard you tell us to "shut up already" as we were paying our bill. And we're sorry... sorry that you felt we interrupted your meal. I promise, we never intended to disrupt anyone. And also? We weren't that loud. Believe me... I've been to "Girls Night Out"s before where I know we've been obnoxious. In fact, there have been nights I've felt like I should leave an apology to other patrons or staff because my friends and I have been too much. But Monday was not one of those nights.
There were only 7 of us. Not a huge crowd. And all of us had "earned" the right to be there. We'd come from long days where we'd taught children, or served the needy, or worked in an office, or helped at our kid's school. We'd put in the hours at our jobs and in our homes. We'd fed our families before we left, we'd made the proper provisions for bedtimes. We'd answered emails and returned text messages. We'd exercised and cleaned. We'd dealt with crying kids and screaming kids and playful kids and needy kids. We'd completed our days. And we'd earned that first pitcher of margaritas.
And we shared stories. We compared notes on children and schools and vacations. We laughed at things that doctors should never say- in the midst of serious stories of pain and loss. We made connections through our sisterhood of shared experiences and friends in common.
While we might not be as "cute" or as "young" or as "trendy" as you are, don't fault us. Our laugh lines and stretch marks are earned. Our hair may be colored- not to be "ironic"- but to cover some grey. And we work a little harder to wear the short skirt that you might be able to slip on without thought. We remember being your age- in fact, we talked about it just that night- and we honor where you are. So while you may not give pause to where we are in life, you'll get there.
You'll have pain and hurt and joy and love. You'll experience things you never thought you would. You'll continue to make friends even though you are certain your best friend making days are over. You'll look back at hairstyles you have/had and cringe. You'll wonder why fads were ever popular... yes, maybe even some of those now. You'll make choices you never imagined making. You might even choose to drive a minivan- God forbid. You'll get jobs. You'll change jobs. You'll wish things were easier. You'll look at your body and wonder when you got those laugh lines and stretch marks. You'll tell your hairdresser to stay away from the "ironic" blues and to go back to more your natural color. You'll hit the gym so you can wear that short skirt... but honestly, you won't want to buy one *that* short anymore. You'll have more grown-up taste.
You'll have friends you disagree with. You'll have conversations that wound your heart and you'll swear not to bring up "that topic" with her again. You'll see your ex and you'll be thankful for all you learned from that relationship, rather than being heartbroken/thrilled/anxious that you saw him or her in public. You'll watch people fight on Facebook about topics that were awesome all-night thought provoking conversations once upon a time. You'll wonder how your family can make you so crazy you could scream... yet you'll say things just as maddening as they do. You'll find joy in gardening, baking, and cleaning. You'll pay people to do those tasks because you realize you don't care to. You'll have daily phone call check-ins with your BFF. You'll go weeks without talking to her/him and know that something's just not right in your world without their voice.
At the end of the day, you'll look forward to getting together with other people feeling the same way. People who are tired from making their mark on the world... and who just want to share a few laughs and some chips and salsa. And you'll see some hipster giving you the stink eye and maybe you'll remember giving us the stink eye, too. But when you hit that point, remember that you were once young and inwardly focused as well. Wish that hipster well, and enjoy your second pitcher of margaritas.
You've earned it.
One of the "old" ladies who you "shushed" at the Mexican Restaurant.