Because I’m Only 23, These Hobbies are Quirky Not Square

Because I’m Only 23, These Hobbies are Quirky Not Square

1. Wearing frumpy second hand shop sweaters

While the oversized, pastel-colored Bill Crosby tributes I pick up at hipster consignment shops appear frumpy and dated on women over 35, they are acceptably quirky and adorable when I sport them with leggings and ankle boots. These hideous commodities were produced and hit their demand/value peak before I was even born, therefore no one can claim my fashion choice is a misguided failure to clean out my closet or “keep up with the times.” Instead of “Throw that dowdy thing away,” popular society tells me “Nice vintage sweater. Way to go against the grain!”

2. My Martha Stewart Living subscription

Five alternative recipes for classic cobbler? Yes, please! Seasonal decorating with homemade candles? I can make time for that. Step-by-step felt crafts? I just ran a yellow light on my way to Jo-Ann Fabrics. I don’t have a backyard, therefore I don’t have a backyard tree to embellish with star-shaped paper lanterns, and God knows I don’t have the income to purchase fresh herbs on a biweekly basis…Yet when I peruse the magazine section at Barnes and Noble I walk right past Cosmo and People and go straight for the Bible of domestic indulgence. On any given Saturday night If one of my peers suggested getting the hell out of whatever noisy bar we’re in to kick back to some HBO and pastry baking, I would be the first to comply. Fortunately, at 23 this makes me a “homebody,” unlike at 46 when it will make me…46.

3. My love for rocking chairs

I get easily bored and restless if I sit in one place for an extended amount of time. Unlike other twenty-somethings, I do not expel this extra energy through running or recreational sports. I take it out on rocking chairs. Show me to a Lazy Boy glider and I can easily sit through a back to back screening of Gone with the Wind and the original Doctor Zhivago without complaint. The Target employee who helped me load a rocking chair I purchased for my college dorm room gave me a sympathetic look and discouraged me from lifting the heavy box (the chair was part of a nursery furniture set). People passing by my dorm probably assumed that I used the WD-40 on my dresser to get high, but on the contrary it was used liberally to prevent the ear-piercing squeak of an overworked rocker, an aggravating sound I am now totally deaf to.

4. Talking to/about my cats

My family has two cats, Jack Rabbit and Scarlett O’Hara, which we adopted from a family friend who rescued them from the woods behind her house. Technically, this would make them feral-bred. As a shamelessly proud pet lover, I am not above: greeting them like infants when my mom offers to hold the phone to their ears so I can say hello, manipulating their paws in human actions (like waving goodbye to visitors or dancing to music playing on TV), and referring to them as partners in any activity I am currently doing in the same room they’re in (i.e., me on the phone: “Hey, what’s up? Nothing much, just watching Sister Wives with Scarlett). This admiration is not limited to my own cats. I have been known to gravitate towards people’s house cats at parties, holding them on my lap for the duration of the evening with I sip drinks and socialize. Today my cat obsession qualifies as a nerdy but enduring love for pets and warrants “crazy cat lady” jokes from friends. Years from now it will qualify as a sad grappling for companionship, and warrant careful suggestions to give online dating a try.

5. Reviving dated adjectives like “square.”

See above.

– Katya Karaz