Sunday, April 30, 2006

We've Come A Long Way From Boxed Wine, Baby.

It probably comes as no surprise to anyone but myself that after my year of weddings (which you could really stretch out into a five year span of time that pretty much everyone I know has become engaged, wed or with child.) I have found myself a bit awash in memories as of late.

The other night I had a dream that I was back in High School, except it looked like a summer camp I attended when I was in grade school. And the student population was comprised mostly of people I went to college with. The only real memory I have of this dream (aside from the pack of house cats that chased us as if through and episode of Scooby-Doo) is of my asking Seth "Does this mean we have to go to college again too?"
To which he answered with a sly grin and a ruffle of my hair - as he was so wont to do during college (what? really? no.) And say "Well, yes. But only for a little while Jen."
In my dream I was comforted by this. That Seth would be there too. That we would all be there again.

And before you start with your "Aw, Jen's missing her glory days." Let me assure you that there was very little actual glory involved in those days. Mostly, it seems in retrospect, illusions of glory. We all thought things were VERY important back then. "Back then," by which I mean you know, before adulthood. BA. Bah. Who am I trying to kid? I'm still not really an adult but compared to...say 10 years ago...I am a hell of a lot closer these days.

Remember how important every party was? How imperative it seemed that so-and-so thought you were cute? Or handsome? Or at least talked to you once, just once? Remember all of those nights, trying to figure out where to go with no place to go? The seawall, the park, the streets of lower Manhattan? Into the mountains, out into the fields, gulping down pixie stix sludge and running in circles for a couple of hours?

Over the last few years, I have seen many of the people I shared these adolescent pleasures with achive some really adult milestones. Do people "achive" milestones or do they just stumble upon them in the road? I don't know. Probably about 50/50 depending on the size of it, I suppose.
Attending weddings, watching babies be bathed, going out for drinks in a fancy, hotel bar: sharing these relatively brief events with people really makes me nostaligic. Not so much for an age, or a period of time. It makes me nostalgic for the presence of these people in my life. I wonder, what would it be like to be an adult with these people?
Now that we have our own incomes, no longer dependent on an allowance or a curfew or worried about getting kicked out of places we really shouldn't be, what would it be like to spend time with these people?

In my day to day life, with the adults I know...And, uh yeah I know it seems like I am giving us A LOT of credit using that word, guys. But you know, chronologically speaking, we certainly fit the criteria.

Anyway, as I was saying: In my day to day nothing terribly exciting happens. There are occasional dinners out, shows to see, movies to watch, sporting events to rally around. We, for sure, throw a vicious party every now and again. I am not under any expectation that anyone I originally took "The Purity Test" with is doing anything they consider terribly exciting. It's just the change of dynamic I am really interested in.

Now that we are no longer preoccupied by fake IDs, adolescent dramas and insecurities, how much has spending time with these people changed? How much have our dramas and insecurities changed? Me? Mine just don't seem so dramatic anymore. Thank god. Of course, I'm not married. Nor do I have any children. My big drama last month was the cat maybe being sick. And how were we going to take her to the vet and still afford to buy the queen sized bed we had been planning for.
See? Not even NEARLY as dramatic.

It figures now that I feel better equipped to deal with the sort of drama and insecurities there were in high school and college I just don't have them anymore. I have different ones. Ones I maybe never even dreamed of "back then." So I wonder how we would cope.

Remember how important it was that everyone liked your girlfriend? No, I mean YOUR girlfriend. Do you remember how bitchy and obnoxious it was possible for us to be when we didn't like her? Yeah, it's a little different now. We're a lot more subtle with that shit.

Most of the time.

Remember how important it was that every party we threw was The social event of the year? Or how upsetting it was not to be invited to The social event of the year? These days, if there's a grill and a beer it's a good party. No one passes out in the bushes anymore. No one is caught making out with someone else's boyfriend. No one even gets handcuffed to armchairs anymore. Are we still having a good time? Hells yeah! Does it take me two days to fully recover from a good party now? Hells yeah! Do I still know how to party like a rock star? You better believe it. Do I still dance like one? Not on these knees I don't.

A better question: Would I still enjoy spending four hours in a Jones Beach parking lot without tickets to the show, just enjoying the ambiance of the crowd? No, not so much. But we can actually afford tickets to the show now! Even if our parents don't like the group! It's an awesome power.

That's it I think. Adulthood, it IS an awesome power. Making our adulthoods everything we ever dreamed they would be, I don't know if that's possible. I guess that's what the new drama is. Our ideas of pleasure and happiness are more complex now. More sophisticated, if you will. After all of those years feeling and thinking we were adult and sophisticated, I wonder what it would be like to actually be adult and sophisticated with those people.

As long as, you know, it doesn't interfer with The Simpsons.

1 comment:

hszoo said...

Perspective is a funny thing isn't it? Priorities changes, fears + insecurities changes, our ideals and style of living settle a bit. That's not to say that we don't still dream, live and love with passion. We've just figured out how to make it work in our lives. And we've realized that this is our life - we make the decisions, and we choose what matters to each of us.

Then again, know people in their 30's who still think there's a "cool crowd"...
now i need more coffee and a smoke.