A Pair of Threes

I’m 33 today. Thirty-three.

I find myself thinking about when I turned 13. For some reason that felt like a BIG birthday to me. I made my little sister take some pictures of me because I wanted to remember EXACTLY what I looked like the very day I turned 13 (I still have them somewhere). It’s such a weird birthday because on the one hand you go from kid to teenager, with all that word implies. On the other hand, 13 is such a spooky number. Everything about 13 is, in a word, fraught.

I haven’t decided exactly how I feel about 33. First, I love symmetry, palindromes, anagrams, and all those fun things with numbers. On the other hand, I’m really not 30 anymore. I’m in my thirties.

I keep reminding myself that Julia Child didn’t take her first cooking class until she was 36. I find inspiration in late bloomer stories. This is odd, since I am not, despite periodic self-doubt, a late bloomer.

For the most part, I’m on time for most stuff. I’ve been married longer than a lot of people I know (9 years in October). We don’t have kids — a number of my married friends do, but an equal number don’t. We are buying our apartment (Soon we will close. If you believe that there’s a nice bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you.), which feels both very grown up (we will own property, sort of) and not (it’s an apartment –somehow it seems a driveway would be required for full grown-up status).

And I’ve reached a point in my career where I get paid a decent amount to do a job that is very fun more often than not. This in stark contrast to my twenties when I made very little money to do jobs that were very much NOT fun more often than not.

So, I’ve decided I’m going to like being 33. Because, truth be told, what choice do I have?

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Barbie Says, Math is Hard

JupiterResearch recently released a study about teens online.  Among it’s many findings: teen girls go online younger than boys, and spend more time online.  This was reported in Direct magazine as surprising.

Really?  What is the assumption here that makes this news so surprising?  Today’s teenage girls didn’t get the memo that computers are supposed to be for boys.  No, they aren’t interested in gaming to nearly the extent that boys are (Jupiter reports that boys spend 150% more time gaming).  But are there people who still think computers are only good for games and spreadsheets?  What are some of the top uses of the Internet?  Email, chat, IM, and shopping.  Have the people at Direct met a teenage girl?  Personally, if the Internet had been around when I was in my teens I would have been in HEAVEN. 

I will concede that Google’s engineering offices are probably not heady with estrogen.  Yes, the interesting technology is still being built by boys and men, predominantly.  But the technology isn’t what’s interesting.  It’s what happens to the that technology in the real world. 

The average teenage girl in the real world likes to talk to her friends, buy pretty things, and read about what Hollywood stars eat, drink, wear, and buy.  When I was 16 I spent the majority of my waking hours talking on the phone, cruising the mall, or reading magazines.  If I were 16 today (perish the thought), I would be doing all those things, plus IM’ing and emailing my friends, checking out Delias.com, and reading gURL.com and Alloy.  The more things change …

So anyone who is surprised by this news has definitely missed a few meetings.  Yes, the engineers are still primarly men.  Yes, the CEOs are still mostly men.  But it is increasingly clear that these guys are working to benefit two big groups: teenage girls and the Moms who love them.

Frankly, I’m fine with you guys doing the heavy lifting.  Now where’s my Gold card?

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