Thursday, October 1, 2009

Age Stratification--Highlights of a mildly wild almost-decade

I really feel old. Well, I don't FEEL old, but I feel like people look at me as ancient relative to them. Maybe it's being in the college atmosphere again at age 29; maybe it's the gray that has popped up in my hair since deployments became a part of my life; maybe it's that my friends and husband are all hitting the big 3-0 and it's around the corner for me.



Last night I saw a tv show and then today a professor was talking about living wild and crazy in your 20s. Does all the fun stop when you hit 30? I mean, if age IS just a number, then what's the deal with this? My definition of fun (as well as the practice of fun for me) has changed throughout the years. But I think maturity is GOOD thing, not a bad one. You can still grow on many levels and keep a sense of excitement, right? At first, after hearing all of these references to having fun in your 20s, I thought that maybe I had missed out on something. And then I started freaking out because I have less than a year to get the fun in. Then reality (or whatever my social construction of reality is) hit me in the face. I HAVE had a great time in my 20s--just like I did in my teens--and just like I hope I will in my 30s, 40s, 50s...and hopefully into really old age!



So I decided to take this opportunity to reflect on some of the highlights of MY 20s...starting at age 21 (21 and 5/6 to be more precise) because that is when Buzz reentered my life...and THAT is when I allowed myself the opportunity to redefine my life and take it in a positive direction. And that direction included LOTS of fun (with quite a bit of craziness--I did enter the USMC family at age 22).



Just to (probably over) qualify the list below, this by no means discounts the fun I had before my 20s--like the infamous "ice cream summer" I spent with my cousins, aunt, and grandma where we got ice cream every day as a kid, Sarah and my summers in high school with Shoney's weekends, beach week with my best friends... Nor is it to in any way discount or minimize that my 20s held absolutely the best, most important, magical time in my life that has made me who I am, was the best decision I have ever made, and filled my heart with a love that words cannot even begin to explain--becoming a mom. AND I want to reiterate that great moments didn't all have to include alcohol--like the "Cheers night" when Buzz and I went Walmarting and raced to put fans together for his mom, watched Cheers, and I realized he was the one in the simplicity of the moment; or the many Sonic, Exchange, Walmart, Food Lion, Commissary, Target, Coldstone, Old Navy trips I have taken with my girls; or the homecomings from deployment when, for a minute, time stood still in the arms of my husband and my daughter.



Qualifying over--here's the list:



Walking to the liquor store in multiple feet of snow with some friends AND Sampson because we drank all of the alcohol in our houses and needed more. (Best line of the night--our neighbor backed his car down our street where he had just passed us and said "I thought you were high schoolers!")



Screaming the SpongeBob SquarePants theme song at the top of our lungs in an old-ass car full of Marines and wives while bar-hopping.



The E-club in RI (too many random stories to recall here)



Buzz getting his microphone taken away during a botched attempt he and other Marines were making at a John Denver song on karaoke at a redneck bar in RI (yes, there are redneck bars in RI) by a butch lady.



At that same bar, having an older woman (lacking in some teeth, but I'm not judging) sexually assault one of our friends while telling him that she reminded her of her son.



Playing life-size chess (drunk) on a ship somewhere between FL and the Bahamas.



Drinking in the front yard with Brad and Erin (you would have to live in base housing at NAS Jax to fully appreciate the gravity of this one).



Doing the wave at the Deli to my dad's friends' band and spilling drinks--so many memories from that night.



Lots of commissioning parties.



Breaking bowling lanes in Jax (AKA the REAL Jacksonville).



Dressing up at the Mario Brothers for Halloween.



Gangsta New Years 09!



So they're not THAT exciting...no one got arrested or streaked or did anything TOO regretful (which is all what people apparently consider to make it a "good" story). And this is by no means an exhaustive list. But it was all SO much fun!!! And I have lots of good memories from my 20s and hope to make some more this last year of the awesome decade. But I hope that there is even more fun to be had as time goes on...I mean, it seems that with time, you can have all of that fun and even more with the knowledge from all of your previous successes and mistakes. The possibilities for what's to come seem amazing! Plus, isn't 30 the new 20?!? I'm just getting started!

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