I forgot how much fun college is.
Not the classes. No, I'm talking about the roughhouse walking between the dorms and dining halls, the trying to sneak in a bar on your fake ID or a great rack, or playing silly card drinking games where you shotgun too much beer and learn way too many personal things about people whom 10 minutes previously you thought were just like you.
Last night I masqueraded as a college co-ed at the nation's Number 2 party school (I think my host reminded me of this Catch-22 quality no less than five times) and I had a blast.
I got hit on by a guy 10 years my junior (don't worry. He was legal) and crashed a college party where the hosts had burned their couch inside their apartment living room no less than a week before.
Yeah, they're not getting their deposit back.
This weekend I'm visiting my youngest sister Mixster at Ohio University, in a little village called Athens, sitting in the southeastern corner of the state (they call it "Harvard on the Hocking"). Right now Sleeping Beauty is worshipping the mattress, while I struggle with my only six hours at a time sleeping pattern that's come about because of my whacked out work schedule.
It's funny. Hearing my sister talking about how her biggest worries in life include how she's pulling a C- in Psychology, and how one of her best guy friends admitted his undying love for her after he invited her on the fraternity ski trip.
She has no idea what it's like to scrape along the last four days before you get a paycheck, especially when the hits keep coming in the mailbox... bills nagging you, reminding you of your fiscal responsibilities.
Mixster also lives in this idyllic life where she doesn't worry about crime, poverty within her community or the way global politics sometimes have a way of making you take it up the ass in your local neighborhood.
College is this beautiful bliss state where most of the guys are handsome, girls drink for free, and some kryptonite force field puts a smackdown on the real world at the campus line.
I admit: ten years before Mixster, I was living the Life of Riley in the big Lexington K-Y. Just this past week, I told the kind people who paid every dime to send me to UK (my "workin' hard" parents) that it was the best, most expensive party I've ever been to. They were able to let out a huge belly laugh, considering I graduated a million seven years ago.
Somehow, between all that Beast and Nati Light, between the shady games of Asshole and Waterfall, I did some growing up. Not growing up in the sense that I felt capable and able to manage all my responsibilities. More like, growing up in the sense that I felt I could be as cool as I wanted to be. After years of having my nose in the books and working the Madrigal Choir circuit (did you know there's a big demand for that sweet-ass acapella sound?), college gave me the opportunity to let my social sense of self get a little bigger.
I became comfortable with the fact that I could be the girl who can tell a dirty joke well. I discovered what it was like to use my sex appeal (read: my DD chest) to my advantage. I discovered that I could be sexy at all in the first place. I found out that it was okay to pour yourself in the talents God gave you, while realizing I was never going to become a professional mathematician.
All of that partying, all of the growing did wonders for my sense of self, and I wouldn't trade any minute of it.
Even the I-want-to-die splitting headaches that came after the nights of dancing on the coffee table at the SAE house.