So, I've been feeling old lately. Not like pass-the-Depends old, but more like, "Shit, that's in style again?" old.
There are obvious signs of age...lines on my face that weren't there before, a metabolism that used to be my friend and now betrays me any chance it gets, and early morning stiffness that takes about 15 minutes to dissipate. (Seriously, all I want at 6:30 a.m. is a fucking cane.) Then there are other signs like the fact that you find yourself looking backwards...a lot.
"Hey! Remember when we blah, blah, blah? Or, the time we went to blah, blah, blah?" Yes. I'm one of those "Remember when" people now. And then there's the music. Lately, I have listening to stuff I listened to in high school and college more than checking out any new stuff. (You know things have gone awry when you've listened to The Cure more than once in five-day time period.)
Occasionally, I'll hear from out of nowhere,"Gosh darn whipper snappers! They don't make music like they used to!" I'll roll my eyes, glance around to see who let the old fogey in, and then realize that I'm by myself. That was my voice and, yes, my words. I'll glance down and see two confused faces looking up at me and realize it's only the first of many times I will leave my children scratching their heads.
I grew up a child of the '80s and '90s. I spent my childhood with scrunchies, Smurfs, and the Cosby kids. I spent my college years swimming in an intoxicating mixture of self-empowered angst and youthful exuberance, which exploded in a flurry of plaid and Doc Martens. What I remember most about 17 to 20 is dancing. Lights, music, friends, laughter, and dancing. Driving home at 5 a.m., watching the sun come up, laughing at the poor shmos on their way to work as we made our way home, feeling the wind on my face and not having a care in the world.
The freedom, spontaneity and absence of responsibility during that time can never be duplicated.
Then it was time to grow up. But I really didn't want to. So, I went to graduate school in Colorado. Man that was a great decision. With the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, the party continued. I emerged with a master's degree and a killer hangover. Got a job at a paper and moved in with two girlfriends, while Cyndi Lauper continued to be the soundtrack of my life 'cause, you know, girls just wanna have some friggin' fun.
Then it was really time to grow up. Moved home to the D.C. area for better job opportunities. Met, or shall I say re-met, my husband. Part of my past (my little brother's childhood best friend), it was easy to see a future. Falling in love is one thing, but falling in love and seeing something beyond the giddiness of infatuation is something else entirely. I knew. He knew. Cliche or not, that was it. This time, I was ready to grow up.
So, I get it. I'll never be that young girl again with no one to think of but myself. No longer will I have the raucous laughter and silliness of youthful irresponsibility punctuated by a soundtrack of loud, throbbing music.
Today, I'm a mom and wife first. I have responsibilities. I have commitments. I have love.
That is, except for Fridays mornings in my car. After dropping M off at school and J off at Grandma's, I turn up New Order, really loud, roll the windows down and...dance.