Sunday, April 13, 2008

When I Was 22 I Thought 34 Was Old

A couple weeks ago our friend Ben sent out an e-mail inviting all of us to go see the comedian Daniel Tosh in concert. We're all pretty hip, and enjoy the gift of laughter, so a lot of us said we would go. Then Ben informed us the concert didn't start until 11 o'clock at night. I should have known something was up then, since it was also on the grounds of the University campus, but instead I girded my loins and said I would still attend -- as long as I could take a disco nap during the day. Most everyone else dropped out, citing kids or parole officers. I should have realized they were the smart ones.

You see, Daniel Tosh's performance was not just a random concert planned at the U. It was part of "The Grand Kerfuffle" -- the annual student body festival that basically revolves around being young and able to stay up for hours sustained only by caffeine, ecstasy, and the belief that death is only for people over 30. And that brings me to this week's list of five:

Five Ways Being Around College Kids Makes Me Feel Not Just Old -- But Decrepit

1. They Called Ryan "Mr. Hoglund" Well, not really, but they would have if Ryan were that kind of teacher. Yeah, we ran in to at least five kids Ryan has taught. And these kids weren't just freshmen either, they were graduate students. Every one of them started out their conversations in the same way -- "Hey Ryan, what are you doing here?"

2. They Were Taking Part in Weird and Disturbing Activities When I went to the U the annual spring festival was called "Mayfest" and usually included lots of booths where you could buy tye dye and hack sacks, and featured at least two reggae bands. Oh, how times have changed. The headliner of this years fest was a band called "Shiny Toy Guns" that play (according to their website) music that is electronica/indie/rock. Huh? Does that include banging on pots and pans? And the big event at the end of the festival was a "foam party." For those of you unfamiliar, it is exactly what it sounds like, a big pit filled with foam where kids dance and do other things I don't want to think about. I'm just hope the foam was less soap and more of the contraceptive variety.

3. I Fell Asleep And I wasn't the only one! Five us went, and I saw at least three other people in our group nod off at one point or another. If you think about it though, we all had put in a full day at work and only one of us had gotten a disco nap. All of those kids probably had at least one class they slept through, and I bet they can all drink caffeine after 6pm without feeling jittery or having digestive problems. I'm glad I enjoyed (and enjoyed, and enjoyed) coffee in my 20's because it is not my friend now.

4. Nothing on Campus Looked Familiar I cannot believe how much the grounds of the school have changed in the past 12 years. The bookstore is different, the library is different, the student union is different, the grounds are different. The only thing that looks the same is the Performing Arts Building, and that should have fallen down years ago. The changes made me feel nostalgic, which is just a fancy word for old.

5. One of Them Called Me "Ma'am" As I was sitting down I tripped, and wasn't able to catch myself, and I fell onto the kids in front of me. One of them turned around and said "are you okay, ma'am?" Enough said.

Yeah, I know, I write a lot about how old I'm getting. And yeah, I know there are millions of people older than I am who don't want to hear it, because they've gone through it before me and didn't complain half as much. Well, great, they deserve medals for stoicism. But I will not be going "gently into that good night," but instead will "rage against the dying of the light" (I learned that poem in college). Of course, once the light is gone I will be going to bed. I need at least eight hours or I am useless...


Cate said...

Hell Lib, I go up to the U and I feel old.

Amanda said...

Oh Lib, you are old. Very old. So old you should change your name to Methuselah.

Valerie said...

You are my hero. And younger than me.