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A Brief Reflection on 21-year old Grandmas

By: Anni Ball

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a 21-year old grandma. I received a paperback copy of New York Times crossword puzzles in lieu of drinks on my birthday. If I actually show up to an 8am tailgate at a house, I’ll make a beeline for the couch to take my first of four naps that day. I love soup. There have been multiple times when I sent a tinder date home with extra food I recently cooked, not for purposes of having “something to remember me by,” but because yours truly was worried that she wouldn’t eat it before it went bad.

If you type “u” in my search bar, the first result is the UMich Canvas site, and the second is Urban Dictionary, because in all seriousness, I never know what the hell kids (the other college seniors) are saying these days.

Of course, once I find out, I’ll overuse the phrase. If I’m going to be a grandma at 21, I might as well be the cool grandma.

Read my (figurative) lips. No. New. Opinion.

The idea of being a twenty-something year old grandma is not novel in any way. Heck, you’ve probably seen an online advertisement for a Buzzfeed quiz titled “We Can Tell If You’re a Grandma Trapped In A Young Person’s Body Based On the Mismatching Pairs of Socks You Design” within the past week. People have become increasingly fond of the moniker, perhaps because they’re finally coming to terms with the fact that clubbing just isn’t fun, or because it stands in stark contrast to Vsco aesthetics and instagram eyebrows.

You always hear people talk about so-and-so being an old soul because they’re “wise beyond their years,” or can manage an insightful conversation without saying the word “like.” Yet being a twenty-something grandma isn’t equivalent to being an old soul, because including “grandma” in my informal title doesn’t completely negate “twenty-something”, and “twenty-something” doesn’t necessitate getting wiser or more eloquent anytime soon. So does the rise of the young grandma really reflect a resurgence in a quaint lifestyle, or are we just rechristening the phrase “growing up?”


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