Growing Up and I've Lost My Edge

I’ve lost my edge. If I were in the band U2 this would be a serious issue.

But, I’m 30 years old so it’s about par for the course. Last week I even sat down with the panel from the Organization For Trendy Adults to confirm my status. I know you’re all familiar with OFTA, but for the sake of any readers in the distant future or from far off lands I’ll provide some additional context. OFTA, despite its four letter acronym, is not affiliated with any government branches which might be why its decisions are held in such high regard. It is a governing body. It’s made up of trendsetters; artists, entrepreneurs, and the occasional auto mechanic who really “gets it.” In the days leading up to one’s 30th birthday, you must apply to OFTA to keep your hip status into your adult years. It’s not mandatory. There’s no need to apply if you’ve never been hip, just skip the process altogether and save your money on the application fee—which you can spend on your average, but perfectly acceptable life.

But for those with something to lose, an extensive vinyl collection or a library of deep-cut indie films, OFTA must decide. The tests are rigorous yet the results are ultimately completely subjective and up to the panel. It’s like joining Mensa but instead of carefully calculated IQ scores, the cool kids in the cafeteria all grown up get to decide if you can keep sitting with them. You’re probably familiar with OFTA spokesperson, George Clooney. He’s undeniably too old to be cool by regular standards, but he’s got that OFTA seal of approval. It should be noted that mistakes are occasionally made. Johnny Depp should have had his OFTA access revoked, but at the time of his application the bracelets, bandanas, and wigs seemed charming.

Needless to say, I’m not George Clooney (or even Johnny Depp) and I did not pass. I made it through the written portion of the exam, but I’ve always been good at taking tests; a red-flag for the panel, I’m sure. In hindsight, I was dead in the water as soon as I responded to “how are you?” with “not much, you?” Social interactions are hard at 30.

I have three weeks to take an inventory of anything that was cool and appropriate for my 20 year old self, but isn’t going to cut it for adulthood. Then I have another 10 days to sell or donate anything of value and use any proceeds to buy more age-appropriate items. I already have my eye on a nice tie clip. I’ve never had one but have recently had the urge.

So far my list includes:

  • Seven witty and/or ironic tees
  • A vintage leather jacket
  • Three artist-signed screen prints of iconic movie scenes

I’m beginning to think I should never have bothered applying to OFTA at all. It was really only because my fiancé applied and I figured they’d take us as a package deal. But now she’s OFTA approved and who knows where we stand. Will she still love me when I’m home watching Netflix documentaries and she’s out at a new speakeasy drinking hard liquor from the appropriately shaped glass? What about when she wants to go to the adult science fair she heard about but there’s a golf tournament on TV that I’m vaguely invested in? We’re not going to make it.

So if you’re single, reading this, and OFTA negative, then we should totally hang out. I would love to get to know your take on the current weather and slowly fall in love while discussing our 401K portfolios. Until then, I’ll just be here ironing my new sweaters that I got a great deal on. 

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