This past weekend my husband and I sprung for a babysitter and went out to dinner. We left at 8pm after we tucked the kids into bed, and I told the sitter that we'd be home by 10pm. We're rebels, you see.
Dinner went quicker than planned, and at 9:15pm we were signing the check. But nonononononononononono, it is a blasphemy to return home earlier than expected when one has a babysitter. Going home at that point was not an option. So instead, I suggested we find a bar to grab a drink.
And there it was, like a beacon across the street - Public. I had never been there, but it seemed easy enough.
But oh yeah, it was St. Patrick's Day. And oh yeah, we're near American University and I think I was a good decade or more older than 90% of the bar patrons. And oh yeah, I ordered a Pinot Noir which was disgusting because who orders a Pinot Noir in a college bar on St. Patrick's Day?
We were out of place and could barely hear ourselves speak. But I'll be damned if I was going to waste a glass of wine, even a crappy one.
Surrounded by the college students, I couldn't help but feel my age. My God, it feels like just yesterday I was there. And then, snap, over a decade has gone by and I am just a spectator, trying to get down my drink so I can meet my self imposed curfew.
I felt old. In a bittersweet, I don't want to be back there necessarily, but nonetheless I can't believe I'm over 30 sort of way. I've never been one to dread birthdays, but lately, I have noticed a host of triggers that are reminding me of the disappearance of my youth.
The fact that some American Idol contestants were born in 1994 makes me feel old.
The fact that I have officially stopped watching MTV's The Real World, and all permutations, makes me feel old. (But I still watch Jersey Shore. I'm not that old).
The fact that I consider sleeping in to be anything past 7:30am makes me feel old.
That fact that a cup of coffee has become a necessity and not a luxury in the mornings makes me feel old.
The fact that I graduated from college 12 years ago makes me feel old.
The fact that if I had married my high school boyfriend we would have been together for going on 18 years makes me feel old.
The fact that if we have another child, I will most likely be of "advance maternal age" upon delivery makes me feel old.
The fact that I scoff at the animation quality of the Disney films I watched as a child, such as Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, and Pete's Dragon, makes me feel old.
The fact that Madonna is 53 makes me feel old.
The fact that my baby sister spoke at an academic conference in France this past weekend makes me feel old.
The fact that my parents are grandparents makes me feel old.
The fact that my grandmother has been dead for over 9 years makes me feel old.
The fact that the numbers 529, 401k, and 1090 have special meaning to me makes me feel old.
The fact that I am now back to my pre-baby weight and I still sport a nice, round muffin top, makes me feel old.
The fact that I am admitting to myself that my bikini days may be over for good makes me feel old.
The fact that I actually hear myself saying "If you don't finish your vegetables there will be no TV tonight," on a somewhat regular basis, makes me feel old.
The fact that my family very well may be complete makes me feel old.
The fact that I have come to terms with letting certain dreams go makes me feel old.
The fact that I have two (let me repeat that - TWO) children who call me Mommy makes me feel old.
Very old. At times, unrecognizably so.
But so incredibly lucky at the same time.