Thursday, January 14, 2010

Coming to terms with my cool status

Andy and I are surrounded by college students. There aren't a lot of people our age up here. Our friend choices are college students or people five to ten years older than us who are great, but have kids and think we don't want to hang out because we are childless. The result is a hodgepodge of friends who don't really make a group. But recently we have managed to finally find our "group" of people. People that can all get together instead of us making separate "play dates" with them individually.

Only one member of the group is a college student. She's dating a non-student friend that Andy and I went to college.with. She's very nice and not at all like a college student so we grandfathered (pun!) her into the group.(I mean no offense to college students, but as Andy and I haven't been in college for five years we just don't live a college lifestyle anymore. In other words, we're old people.)

So anyway, this friend, Allison (I've talked about her before), hosted a party last night with her roommate. They called it a "back to school potluck" because their classes have started back from holiday break. She invited us and the rest of our "group" even though we aren't in college. She was being nice and taking pity on us old folks because we're lame-o losers who never have anything to do.

It was going to be very low key and we all decided to go. Let me add here that if any of us had decided against the party everyone would have bailed. We're old. We're afraid of the rowdy youngsters. Strength in numbers.

Since it was a potluck I spent yesterday afternoon baking and making yummies to take to the party. I couldn't just do one thing. It's not my style. I'm a classic over-do-er.

Then it came time for me to get ready to leave. I went to my closet and changed clothes about four times. Then I freaked out. What was I supposed to wear? I haven't been to a college party since... well, since I was in college. And even then I didn't know what was cool because I started dating Andy long before I entered college so I stopped caring about what was cool a long, long time ago. I didn't need to impress anyone in college. I already  had my man. I was "cool" at parties when I was in college because I was one of them. I didn't even have that to fall back on anymore! I was having a serious moment there in my bedroom. I didn't want to look like the old person I am, but I also didn't want to look like I was trying too hard.

After a moment of horror it occurred to me that I'd just given myself the answer to my dilemma. I already had my man. Andy and I have been together for ten years and married for three of those. These days he's just happy  if I get out of my pajamas. Who cared what I wore? I certainly didn't, and all of a sudden that comfy black t-shirt I'd worn all day looked like a ball gown. I picked it up off the floor and threw it in the dryer for a minute to try and get some of the lint and bunny hair off. That sort of worked. Then I threw it back on along with a little makeup and I was ready to go.

I told the other married couple in our group about my epiphany when we met up with them and Leslie totally agreed with me. "Isn't it great?" were her exact words to me. Clearly she'd gotten to that point long before me. I guess I'm a little slow on the uptake.

We all piled in a car and off we went. Once at the party we formed "the old people's corner" and only mingled with the college students a little bit. They were nice, but we just didn't have a lot to say to them. I stopped caring what people were majoring in about the same time I walked across the stage to recieve my diploma. So that question was out and what else are you supposed to ask a college student?

The intent was to stay for as long as was polite and then head out. We didn't want to wear out our welcome and were sure that we would just be in the way of the rowdy youngsters.

So there we were in our corner. Talking and laughing and having a good time. We noticed a couple of moments when we were whooping it up and the rest of the room had gone quiet. Everyone was looking at us, wondering, I'm sure, what the fogies could possibly have to laugh about. And then we realized we were the only ones left. The old folks outlasted all the younguns. And we all got home by ten thirty, so those college students are weak-sauce. Or maybe we learned a long time ago to pace ourselves.

Either way I came to accept my older person status and I'm alright with that. I welcome it. I don't miss college a bit. And it looks like we may have formed a new tradition in our group. The "old person pot luck dinner" is going to come around again next month. Younger folks are welcome, but they'd better be prepared to hold thier own with the fogies.

1 comment: