It is not a secret that I’m 30 going on 80.
With my list of pet peeves growing longer by the day, I find I have to sit on my mouth more often than not.
I’m exhausted by Friday, and usually in my pj’s, makeup off, watching a trashy tv show by 6pm so I can eat dinner and get to bed early.
Slow walkers annoy me.
People who walk at the same pace as me creep me out and clearly have no sense of boundaries and are missing any semblance of awareness. As far as I’m concerned they can’t be trusted.
And don’t get me started on people who crowd the bar at Starbucks when there’s a ton of customers waiting for their drinks. Your name will be called in due time. Stop breathing on my drink, and wait your damn turn like the rest of us.
So it’s no shock that I feel like I get along with people who are older than me incredibly well.
I went to visit a friend of mine who was in the hospital for a brief stint only to find out she had a 94 year old roommate. I was there to see my friend, so was unconcerned with the stranger in the bed next to her until the woman started pointing at me and saying “Don’t ignore me. Come over here.”
Normally I’d come up with an excuse or pay no attention to her, but seeing as the old woman was in a hospital, I figured I would go say hello as she must have sensed that I was essentially 80 years old myself.
I smiled at her as I walked up, putting on my classic Carly charm, as she was one of my people.
As I entered her side of the room, separated by a thin, tattered curtain, she pointed an unsteady finger at me, and I knew I had made a huge mistake.
“I need you to drive me somewhere. I need you to take me back to Tacoma. I’ll pay you $50 if you get me out of here right now.”
Apparently I looked like a patient smuggler.
“I’m so sorry. I don’t have a car,” I said to her, which isn’t a lie, so I didn’t feel quite as terrible that I didn’t have to explain that the issue was more along the lines of I don’t abduct complete strangers from the hospital.
She looked at me skeptically.
“I’m sure you know someone with a car who would drive me.”
I weirdly went through my mental Rolodex of friends and thought I probably have a few people that I’ve known at some point in my life that would consider this offer. I quickly shook the thought out of my head. Now was not the time to be questioning what that says about some of the friends that I have.
“I’m so sorry. I don’t think I can help you.”
I was riddled with guilt. She didn’t have anyone there with her, and she didn’t want to be in a hospital. Could I really blame her for asking me to commit a crime?
But I didn’t know her whole story so I told myself to brush those feelings aside. I walked back over to my friend’s side of the room, who was laughing at me the entire time of this exchange.
I seamlessly started a conversation with my friend, when the old woman peered around the curtain at me, which was easier to do since I was seated in a chair at the foot of my friend’s bed.
“What have I ever done to you?!?” she yelled, scaring the bejeezus out of me.
“Nothing,” I said. “I don’t have a car, and I took two buses to get here. I’m sorry I can’t help.”
“Why are you being such a…” she paused, narrowed her eyes, and mouthed the word bitch at me.
This was the point at which I wondered if she and I had actually crossed paths before. It was as if she knew me.
“What you’re doing is illegal you know!” she yelled.
I looked at her, blinking like the bitch I am, wanting to explain that I’m confident it would be illegal to smuggle a 94 year old woman I don’t know out of the hospital and drive her to Tacoma, even if I was thinking that I could treat myself to a mani/pedi with that $50.
“I’m not your nurse,” I said. “I’m so sorry, but I am not the one keeping you here.”
I went back to my friend and felt bad for abandoning the woman, though to be fair, she scared the shit out of me.
But I considered it a life lesson learned: even though I exhibit 80 year old behavior does not automatically mean that all nonagenarians like me.