The new job I began two weeks ago is now my old job. I gave notice to my manager on Tuesday and worked my last shift on Wednesday.
I think it was midway through my first shift that I was searching for the exit door. I looked up from a perfectly folded pile of sweaters and realized that I'd just wasted an entire hour of my life smoothing the creases out of cardigans that would likely end up crumpled on a fitting room floor.
I also became acutely aware that I was the only adult in the room.
The only one not living with parents.
The only one with a college degree.
The only one with a massive amount of bills to pay.
The other girls found my age endlessly entertaining. During a casual conversation in the stock room, someone asked me how old I am and if I moved to Canada with my parents. I laughed and told her I moved out of my parents' place more than 10 years ago.
It was as though I'd dropped a breadcrumb on the beach. The other girls swooped in like seagulls, cawwing rapid fire questions. I imagined Ride of the Valkyries playing in the distance.
Do I have kids? Why not? Do I realize that most people my age already have kids?
They giggled at my answers, marveling at how someone "so old" could look so young. I looked for the nearest rock to crawl under and die.
Then came the crushing blow - someone asked what I'm doing working part-time at Ann Taylor. Don't I have a degree? Why am I not using it?
I didn't sleep much that night. And when the call came from a competitor's store for me to interview for a proper management position, I lunged at it.
I got the job, which starts Sunday.
I will not be sharing my age with anyone there. Only pearls of wisdom. You know, since that's what us old folk do.