Vodka Metamucil Please

I finally understand how my mom felt when I made her go into Hollister with me during my formative middle school years. Old.  She would walk in, complain about the loud music, and tell me to stop buying XXS t-shirts (like sorry, for trying to squeeze boobs out of my chest any way possible). At the time I thought she was being overdramatic. But now, years later, I pulled the exact same “I’m too old for this” stunt at a bar this weekend.

Last year I was charmed by the interns and their youthful ways. Their fake ids, their business casual clothing, the way they spoke to bridge and tunnel men like they were human beings. It was charming and innocent and oh-so-cute. I mean, there were definitely moments last summer when I wanted to go all Hocus Pocus on them and suck out their souls, just so I could experience one more day as a carefree college student. One more night out where my only worries were if I really wanted to do a subway-walk-of-shame in the morning. No bills to pay, no work email to check, no insurance paperwork to go through. Just intern nights of pure bliss and figuring out the line between sounding fun and oversharing when talking to your boss. But this year I’ve gone all curmudgeon on their little “Which NYU dorm are you living in?” asses. And my Friday night behavior proved there was no going back.

I smelled them before I even saw them. The scent of mass-ordered Jager bombs is unmistakable. Then, I  rounded the corner and heard them. High pitched squeals of “OMG Rachel, I can’t believe my ID worked?! Can you believe we’re in a bar!? What should we order? Cosmos, cosmos right? That’s what people order at bars?!”

Finally I saw them. All huddled together in the back of the bar, grinding to the cover band’s not-really-grindable songs, and spilling their drinks everywhere. And I know I’ve gotten old because they all looked like they just graduated first grade. I’ve never seen fresher, more enthusiastic faces. Nor have I have ever seen so many guys without any apparent facial hair strutting around the bar and actually getting girls. Like, whoa, what? Was I okay with baby-faced lovers in college? I swear if some of the kids looked any younger, they would be wearing jegging diapers.

Then again, I was acting so old and superior, I might as well have been ordering vodka-sodas with a splash of Metamucil. I wasn’t moving when they tried to get around me at a bar (it’s like helloooo, say excuse me), I wasn’t smiling when they were making out inches from my face, and I most certainly was not entertained when one of them tried to address me without saying ma’am first.

And while feeling old usually makes me feel all depressed and AARP-y, this time it felt good. Like, I’m not in college anymore and I’m not a total idiot and I kinda know what I want to do with my life. I mean, when I was interning, I thought I wanted to be a television writer. How unrealistic was that!?! (Well, apparently not unrealistic enough, because I changed my mind and decided to be a blog writer. Which worked out because I always wanted my career to answer the question, “What’s the least realistic career aspiration that’s ALSO the hardest to explain to people born before 1975?)

I excitedly called my mom with my “I’m okay being old” revelation.

“I’m an adult!” I yelled into the phone with enthusiasm.

“I’m at Lowes buying new fertilizer, I can’t hear you, can I call you back?” She replied.

Which made me realize that she sounded old. And my big adult revelation  went out the window. No matter how old I feel, there will always be people who are older than me — and therefore think of me as naive and young. I mean, here’s a woman spending her valuable weekend time optionally buying fertilizer. Which made me realize that I’m going to spend the rest of my life looking back at points in my life saying “wow I was so young back then.”

Like I’m sure when I’m writing this blog 19 years from now in holographic form, I’ll be like, “oh Jenni, you had no kids and you had no mortgage and you had no idea how to find a quality-budget fertilizer, you were so young and stupid!”

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