There’s university co-op student in my office. She makes me confused about my age. I know I’m not old. I’m young, I’m hip, I’m still a mid-twenty-something. She does weird things, though, that make me feel a lot more than five years older than her. She says things like “You’re not that old” that leave me shaking my head and wondering how old she thinks I really am. Chances are, we watched some of the same cartoons growing up and both liked Britney Spears.
She never used MSN for anything other than emojis in high school (whatever that means). We use the newer Office version of it, and I tried to explain to her that it’s just like MSN. I’m not sure how she can consider herself a well-rounded individual if she didn’t spend her formative junior high and high school years chatting with her youth group and school friends online after school and on weekends via instant messenger. How did she communicate then? Texting? Snapchatting (whatever that is)? Instagraming her lunch? Facebooking or MySpaceing?
She wore a romper to work in her first week here. And she pulled it off so well that for a nanosecond I thought that maybe I could wear a romper. Because she didn’t look like a child, she looked like someone who knows how to dress and can somehow make a bodysuit/romper look like office appropriate attire. And all the while I’m trying to make tank tops and sandals into work clothes because they don’t constrict the bloat.
Regina doesn’t have any official standalone Starbucks locations. This is important because neither the student nor I are actually from this city. We both come from places where Starbucks are like seagulls; yhey’re everywhere and always in eyesight. Here they’re only in certain grocery stores, Target (may it rest in peace), and there’s one at Chapters that’s considered the “real deal.” I used to work at Starbucks so I know that Chapters Starbucks locations are not the “real deal.” At least they never used to be and I’m carrying that bias with me because I’m a Starbucks purist/elitist. And there’s actually a coffee shop close to my work that makes better iced Americanos (it’s a big deal) than Starbucks and has amazing peanut butter cookies. But I’m not talking about that, I’m talking about the fact that Starbucks is hard to find here and a quality beverage from one of the poser locations in this city is even more rare.
So. Our co-op student saw that I had Starbucks after lunch one day and, being from the civilized Starbucks-are-like-seagulls world, got excited and asked where I found a Starbucks. She then jokingly commented about us “basic” people getting so excited about Starbucks. And I chuckled along because I’m young and hip and totally cool (minus the internal space heater currently bbqing me from the inside) except I totally didn’t get it. What does “basic” even mean to the university kids these days? I asked one of my other co-workers if she understood the lingo and she was just as stumped as me.
I’m deeply concerned that I’m now too old for the lingo. But at least I can interpret “fleek,” which I think is just the new basic generation’s version of “fetch” but don’t tell me if I’m wrong. I just want to be as fetch as possible.