My oldest daughter returns home next Thursday after completing her first year of college. Some of you may remember when I wrote about her turning 18, and, later, when we first brought her to college. As if these experiences weren’t traumatic enough for a mom who still thinks she’s 32, Life has decided to give that knife that’s already stuck in my back one more twist and remind me YET AGAIN that I’m getting older by revealing my offspring’s obvious maturation. Yep, even I must admit that the kid has grown this year. She learned how to use her credit card (sigh), signed a lease for her first apartment, and joined the sorority of her choice on her own merit. She even managed to land a job for next year completely by herself (I didn’t even know she was applying for the position until an hour before the interview! This is huge, people, huge!) She has learned how to successfully balance work with pleasure (I think), and has also come to appreciate the value of networking. And today, as I looked at a picture of her and some of her sorority sisters from a recent event, I realized that she is not a little girl anymore. She’s not even a kid. Somewhere along the line she became a young woman, and of course this makes me proud but, at the same time, just a little nostalgic. Because, seriously, when did we get to be “middle-aged”? And by ‘we’ I of course mean you, too, because I know most of you who read this are in about the same age bracket as I am (and if you aren’t you will be soon….)
But, instead of getting all sentimental about things and whining about my lost youth, I thought I’d illustrate how, really, my life isn’t all that much different from how it was in college (I just get to stay in better hotels now. Mostly.) Here, for your reading pleasure, are the top ten ways my mid-life is a lot like my college-life.
- I still don’t get to take a shower in the privacy of my own bathroom. Without fail, every time I get into the shower someone (and when I say ‘someone’ I am, of course, including those of the canine persuasion as well as homo-sapiens) feels the need to enter the bathroom and have a conversation with me. (Yes, I do talk to dogs. What?)
- I still think Ramen noodles and mac & cheese are viable dinner options. I also think it is perfectly acceptable to consume said meals directly from the pan in which they were prepared.
- I still have roommates (see #1 about the whole canine/homo-sapiens disclaimer).
- I still throw keg parties. Said keg may contain ROOT beer, but, hey, it’s a keg nonetheless.
- I still have to answer the House Phone. However, since I have been a fully initiated member of this fraternity for over 20 years now and am no longer a pledge, I DON’T have to take detail messages. You want to know what the phone call is about? Answer it yourself.
- I still want to be in a band (anybody need a female vocalist?)
- My car still advertises collegiate and extra-curricular affiliations.
- I still seek out establishments that offer good happy hour specials.
- I still carry fake designer purses (and some real ones. No, I’m not going to tell you which is which.)
- I still enjoy hanging out with Charlie!
So, there you have it. Who says college kids have all the fun? We mid-lifers have things pretty good, too. And, as Kathy Bates said in “Fried Green Tomatoes”, we have better insurance (and better wine).