By Jon Weidman

I’m turning 25 in a few days, and this is the question I find myself toiling over more than any other. I’m worried. I wouldn’t say I’m having a quarter life crisis—at least not in the traditional sense, since my concern lacks the black-and-white urgency associated with that word, and it has little to do with the fact that a quarter of my life is over (who the fuck lives ‘til 100, by the way?). If you scroll all the way down to definition 3A under “crisis,” Merriam-Webster describes most accurately what I’m currently going through:

“an unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending; especially: one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome”

Is this when I transition into the phase in life in which I have to not be poor for girls to pay attention to me? HAS THIS TRANSITION ALREADY BEGUN?

Unclear, but here’s what I know.

The years from 21 to 24 constitue a blessed age bracket. Some peak in high school, some peak in college, some peak as children and then age into vicious swamp monsters (see: Amanda Bynes). Not me… I’m all about 21-24. “Post-grad,” they like to call it—a magical time when no one expects anything from you except loan payments, some vague sense of ambition, and reassurance by example that humans can still have fun. You can get into any bar and sleep with any woman. The world is your oyster.

But I’m starting to wonder if this oyster-state is contingent on the absence of one giant expectation: money. I have none, and I’m about to turn 25, and I’m suddenly worried about it.

My value proposition to the women I meet is—effective or not—simple. Here are the things I can afford to do: talk about books; play contextually appropriate music (just don’t ask me what kind of music I like); drink a lot without becoming useless or violent; make you laugh, hopefully; roll a joint.

Here are the things I cannot do: buy drinks; buy dinner; pay for taxis; give gifts; blow.

At what point do the items in ledger two start to outweigh the items in ledger one? At what point do boyish charms spoil into unattractive childishness? When is my unfurnished, graffiti-covered rooftop no longer an acceptable substitute for a cocktail lounge? When will my drugs of choice fall short of my peers’ standards?

IS IT 25?

Being poor is my greatest privilege. The ability to pursue interesting-but-not-necessarily-lucrative uses of my time is a luxury unknown to the third world, and one I appreciate profoundly. The ability to nurse a $3 Rolling Rock while conveying, semi-convincingly, one’s self-worth to a pretty girl through creative exaggeration is a lavish indulgence exclusive to young people privileged enough to live in a place like New York. I know this isn’t going to last forever, so the question is: How much longer can I string it out?

Is 25 the beginning of the end?

What does my future hold?

How old is too old to be poor and still get chicks?


Featured image courtesy of Pro CPR Blog

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