Wish I could come up with a stronger title for this one but really I have no clue how else to put it. See, on Saturday night I was downing tequila at the bar I where I spent at least three nights a week when I was a student at University of Pennsylvania. Surrounded by many of the same people, listening to most of the same tunes (Sweet Caroline, Build Me Up Buttercup, Mo' Money Mo' Problems, Vivrant Thing and a host of other random yet classic songs that made up the soundtrack to my college experience), and feeling pretty much like not a day (let alone 15 years!) had passed since I last stumbled out onto 40th Street after the oh-so-unflattering last call lights started to flash.
Fast forward to Tuesday morning, where I stood in front of a bunch of grown ups at the local elementary school where my daughter will soon attend kindergarten, espousing the importance of signing up for lunch duty and making sure to attend the summer playdates my fellow "K Committee" mom and I were planning for July and August.
As I walked from my folding chair in the third row to the front of the gymnasium-turned-auditorium, I had this flashback to Saturday night which subsequently turned into a fast-motion "This Is Your Life"-style video montage in my head of numerous and similarly un-adult-like recent experiences and thought- HOW THE HELL AM I STANDING IN AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WITH A CLIPBOARD IN MY HAND WHILE MY KID WHO IS OLD ENOUGH TO GO HERE IN THE FALL TOURS HER CLASSROOM?! I am not adult enough for this! Heck, I am wearing wedge sneakers, ripped jeans and a freaking SWEATSHIRT! And I ate Skittles I found at the bottom of my bag for breakfast this morning when my daughter wasn't looking. And I think I totally forgot to pay my cell phone bill this month, and we have no groceries in the house.
This weekend, everyone I knew from college looked the same. I mean, sure- some hairlines were farther back than I recall but, for the most part, I recognized everyone instantly. Maybe part of it is because my memory of those days feels so recent that my eyes auto-adjust to create a "15 Years Younger" filter on every face. (Hmm, there should be an app for that, no?)
On the flip side, new people I meet at my daughter's soon-to-be elementary school seem so adult! Like, they all totally know what is going on and as such, every school supply has already been ordered and organized on a shelf in a closet at their house with a P-touch label noting "For 2016/2017 School Year". When the women from the PTA stood up to speak about volunteer opportunities, I honestly thought to myself "Wonder which one my mom is going to be involved in" before realizing, this time around, I am the target audience to step up and organize book fairs and field days.
But, I have imagine that at least some of them feel exactly like I do. They wake up on Sunday mornings with a pounding headache from the previous night and let the kids watch 4 consecutive episodes of "Goldie & Bear" while they sleep it off; they sometimes put their own parent's name on the "Parent's Name" line when filling out forms at the doctor's office; they don't remember to water the flowers in pots next to their front door until it is too late and they come home to a wilted mess; and they wonder how on earth they are sitting in a gymnasium-turned-auditorium listening to some old chick in a bedazzled sweatshirt espouse the importance of signing up for lunch duty.