The Jewish holiday of Purim is coming up in less than a month. Purim is a pretty fun holiday. Not every holiday has dressing up in costume, giving gift baskets of treats, and getting drunk as part of its ritual observances, but Purim does.
So, it makes sense that I’ve started receiving emails about Purim events geared for Young Professionals. I’m on a lot of mailing lists and received several emails about events like this. And all of them, after promoting the awesome music and food and alcohol and costume contests that they were going to have at their event, had this:
For 20s and 30s only.Email/Flyer for Purim events I’ve been invited to
Now, this isn’t a totally ridiculous guardrail. If the organizers were to increase the upper age limit, they’d wind up with much older men creeping on the costumed young women half their age (keep in mind that “Young Professionals” effectively = “Singles”, although they generally won’t kick out the couples).
And Husband and I are both still within that age range (for now) so we’re invited. I shouldn’t complain, right? But it begs the question:
What happens after 40?
Well, the assumption is that after 40, you’d be more interested in the regular Purim service geared more towards families. That’s the trajectory most people’s lives follow, so this makes sense from the organizers’ point of view. Actually, if you think about it, so much of community is built on assumptions about who we are at certain ages – marital status, career/financial status, etc.
Except that a lot of people don’t fit those assumptions. There are singles, divorcé(e)s, widow/widowers in the community. There are people in marriages and homes that look good and socially acceptable on the outside but on the inside, that is far from the case. There are people who don’t have the means (financial, time, skill, etc.) to contribute in the way the community hopes and expects, and yet are still a part of it. This isn’t new. It’s always been unfortunate that the community ignores or mistreats those that don’t fit the mold. But it isn’t new.
I’ll probably go to one of these Young Professionals’ Purim events. It makes sense. The event is fun, and I am invited. It’s a very conditional invitation, but I meet the conditions.
But it feels like a countdown. To be honest, everything these days kind of feels like a countdown.