Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Old Ladies

I'm not one to get all hung up on getting older.  Age is just a number, right?  And besides, I feel young.  I still get IDed occasionally.  I can (sometimes) fit into clothes I wore in college.  I read US magazine and watch Jersey Shore.

But last weekend?  Man, did I feel old.

I should preface by saying that this past weekend was one of the best I've had in a while, notwithstanding my middle-aged-ness.  I went to Penn State for a long overdue girls weekend with four of my best friends from college.  I had been looking forward to this weekend for a LONG time. I couldn't wait to be with old friends, take a break from reality, and pretend that I was a carefree, happy go-lucky, college student whose greatest stress was where to get my next drink.  After the year I have had, I needed this.

Just the sight of it was refreshing.  Arriving in State College that first night felt like coming home. Sure, it has changed a little.  But looking at my friends and looking at the campus and breathing in the air - it was easy to pretend no time had passed.  I was back there again.  And it felt so, so good.

Of course, I assumed that everyone else would assume we were college students.  I mean, we could blend right in, right?

Um, no.

On our first evening there, we headed to Cafe 210 West - one of our college staples.  As we sat down at our table, I took a look around and noticed that people looked... well, young.  They ALL looked young.  And I also noticed that we were getting some weird looks.

Eventually a "young" guy came over to our table to sit down.  Oh, of course, I thought, we were going to get hit on.  This happens in college, right?  After some witty banter about where we were from, he did it.

He asked how old we were.

It all started to come together quickly.  I noticed the guy's friends in the background snickering.  I noticed others looking.  I had a flashback to being 21 in the year 2000 and doing something similar when "old" people came into a Penn State bar.  And I realized.

I think this kid had been dared to come over and ask how old we were.

We weren't fooling anyone.


We had fun with it.  We not only told him our age, but disclosed that between the five of us we had 11 children.  I think I even showed him pictures.

Remember what it was like when you were in college, and you heard that someone had kids, and it completely freaked you out?  Like, they are OLD!  And how you would never even consider socializing with such people?  They were foreign people, alien if you will.  They were on a completely different planet.

That was kind of his reaction.

Eventually a bunch of other people joined our table, sharing in the disbelief of our collective age and offspring.  We actually had fun.  But you have to bet that the next morning, we were the joke of the night.  Aka, "Holy crap, do you remember hanging out with those old women last night? They were born in the 70s!  They had kids!  Shit, we were only 9 years old when they graduated from Penn State."

Yeah, they were definitely saying something like that.

The rest of the weekend followed a similar theme, including the following:

- Not getting IDed at various bars, despite Penn State being the strictest place I have ever lived in terms of underage drinking (aka, I didn't set foot into a bar until I was 21).
- Being called cougars (!) by a bouncer.
- Being approached by several other boys (boys, not men), on some kind of "dare" no doubt, to ascertain our age and purpose for being there.
- Asking for directions to a bar that had apparently been closed for several years, and receiving the answer that "Who actually went to The Big Easy?  That bar sucked!"

There could have been other instances, but perhaps I blocked them out.

At one point in the wee hours of Sunday morning, I turned to my friend Gina and asked her:  "Do you think there will come a time when we are too old to go to bars here?  Do you think that time has come?"

Gina, in all her wisdom, assured me that no, that time would never come.  That we will come back to State College over and over again, until we are old ladies, and we will be proud and have a kick ass time.  Which we always seem to do.

And anyway, I think we look good for a bunch of old ladies, don't you?

In some cheesy bar/nightclub that wasn't even in existence when we were in school.
Love you girls.  Until next time.

**(And no, this post is not going to delve into the doom and gloom that has been Penn State these days - for my opinions on that, you can click here.  But suffice it to say I am Penn State proud and always will be.)** 

**(KBell and Lauren, we missed you tons.)**


  1. One of my college friends is getting married next year, and she lives less than an hour away from our college town. I suggested that we do her Bachelorette Party in our college town, hitting up our old bars. My friends seemed pretty skeptical, but I think I'll direct them to this post and see if it makes a difference :)

  2. My hometown is just outside of State College. My H.S. friends and I still hit up the bars over there when we go home. I feel old, but still have fun.

  3. Cafe 210 will always be where I had my first "legal" drink (2005)and the first bar I go to on weekends back to State College. I love seeing the older alumni on big weekends like THON,homecoming, and blue/white. And by the way, I used to go to the Big Easy, or Sleazy as we called it, all the time!

  4. Oh, how I miss the Cafe and its gallon jugs of "iced tea." (Remember when tossing back an "iced tea" was perfectly socially acceptable?) It also took leaving State College for me to realize that in other places you need to specify what type of beer you're requesting when you order a Lager. Love this post for bringing back fun memories. We used to go to the Sleazy too!


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