I experienced the shocking realization this week that I am officially a dinosaur.
In case you were wondering, the secondary definition of dinosaur is this: a person or thing that is outdated or has become obsolete because of failure to adapt to changing circumstances. I am not a giant extinct reptile, but apparently, by certain measures, I am the other kind of dinosaur.
At least according to the 25 year old coworkers of one of my girlfriends.
A viral post popped up on my Facebook feed entitled Nothing Says Over 40 Like Two Spaces after a Period. Intrigued, I clicked on the rather smart alecky post and discovered that unless you are using a typewriter, it is no longer appropriate to insert two spaces after the final punctuation in a sentence.
Are you kidding me? HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS?
I consider myself a fairly well informed person. I watch the news, participate in social media, read books and converse with a wide variety of people. I am aware that the world has changed significantly since I was born in the 1960s and I have enjoyed those changes for the most part. I have jumped wholeheartedly and enthusistically on all technology bandwagons. Our family owns multiple Apple products. I regularly use a laptop and an iPhone. I text, I email, I Facebook, I blog and I even occasionally tweet.
Even when I don’t join in, I have always maintained a certain awareness of popular trends. I know tattoos are currently popular and socially acceptable, though I don’t plan to get one. I also know that many women of all ages wear thong underwear these days. I am aware of the change, I even understand the appeal theoretically, but I am choosing to abstain from the wearing of thong underwear for the foreseeable future. Tried it, hated it, don’t get it.
For propriety sake, I will refrain from discussing the aggressive personal grooming habits of young women which are currently in vogue.
My point is that I have always thought of myself as relatively hip. Aware. Up to date. In the know. I try to dress fashionably, while paying attention to being age appropriate. If I choose not to wear a particular style, it is because I don’t find it to be flattering or comfortable for me…not because I didn’t know. If I choose not to eat quinoa, acai, kale or bone broth, it is because I don’t like it…not because I didn’t know.
SO HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THE TWO SPACES?
I was comforted by the number of my friends who shared in my incredulity when I
whined talked about this on Facebook. Most of us who learned to type on typewriters still use two spaces after a sentence. And most of us, all the friends I still like :-), did not know about the change. Many of us have no plans to change.
(For my younger readers, please google “typewriter” if you are not familiar with the term.)
I have been trying to use one space after my sentences throughout this post and it is a hard habit to break and a giant pain in the behind. Old dog, new tricks, blah, blah, blah.
Ultimately, the whole issue just serves as another reminder that I am officially middle aged. As much as I try to keep up, I have to admit that I have never heard of most of the bands nominated for Grammys in recent years. My knees creak like dried twigs underfoot when I go up the stairs. When I get together with my similarly aged girlfriends, we far too often find ourselves talking about weird body changes, mammograms and the best way to prepare for a colonoscopy. What would I do without my fabulously hilarious girlfriends?
While we often talk about how quickly our children grow up, warning younger parents not to blink and to treasure every moment, I find I am even more surprised by how quickly I grew up. Just a minute ago, I was in my 20s full of plans and potential. I turned around, taught a couple of kids how to use the toilet and drive a car, and now I am 50.
And you know what, honestly, I’m still full of plans and potential. Hopefully, I’m also a little braver, a little wiser, a little gentler and a little kinder. And aware that I have a little less time if I am going to get out there and change the world.
So, now is the time. Carpe diem, be brave, my middle aged friends!
I knew about this only because my daughter is on the newspaper staff at her high school. But as in this reply…I am choosing to use extra spaces in an act of defiance! So there!
Kelly Johnson says
I can definitely see the two spaces between defiance and so! Well played, sister!!
Yet WordPress corrected my extra spaces!