And then your nephew turns 21.
Now it wasn't the fact that one of my sister's sons was turning 21, the same thing happened to his brother a year and a half before. But this time, this particular nephew, made me realize I was old. I was actually kind of surprised how I felt about it.
The kid goes to my alma mater, Purdue. And he was PSYCHED, as any red-blooded college boy would be, to be able to go to the bars. And I was PSYCHED, because him turning 21 on a Thursday meant I finally had an excuse to go back to my favorite bar on my favorite night. Aaand then I realized I'm a mom. And I look it. I instantly started fretting over my wardrobe. I'm a mom, who works in a business casual office, who cares absolutely nothing about what her neighbors, co-workers, and strangers at Target think of me. So I had to go shopping. (of course!)
I was nervous and excited all week. OMG, there is going to be a whole bunch of 21 year old girls who are single (Because it was Valentine's Day, and who else goes out to the bars on Valentine's Day other than sad single people?) 21 year old girls are hot. They'll be dressed to the nines and do their hair and make-up in the cool new way and they will see me and think, "WTF is she doing here? Who does she think she is?"
We pre-partied at my nephew's house, and as soon as I opened the bottle of Bud Light THAT HE BOUGHT ME, I started to feel better. These were just kids. Sitting around taking shots of some disgustingly cheap blueberry flavored...vodka? They went out for a smoke and I shook my head, thinking that they have no idea that they'll wake up one day and be 35 and still smoke. (No, not me.) They talked of awesome house parties and which bars they were going to and we also talked about gluten. Yep, we sure did.
And then, then the moment came that I had been waiting for. We went to the bar. And even in the parking lot, I felt fine. I was wearing kick-ass cowboy boots, had more money in my pocket than a dozen college students combined, and I was going to see my buddy Bruce. Even if he didn't have time to sit down and chat with me, I have never had a bad time at Bruce's place. And then I got carded!! (OK, to be fair, they card everyone. Literally. I once saw a 60 year old woman get carded. She laughed, and the bouncer apologized, but seriously, they card everyone.)
We sat down and I took in the scene. Hot girls? Check. Miniskirts? Wow, check check and check. Baby-faced boys? Check. Hot 21 year old boys? CHECK. (I had kind of forgotten about that little perk.) I went to the bar and pushed my way to the bartender, because I have CASH and these kids don't! And I'm buying real beer, not that cheap ass Keystone. (And yes, if you are wondering, the real beer is Bud Light in a bottle.) I saw Bruce mingling with all of the hot chicks and the people who obviously were musical in some way, considering they were practically writing songs together. Then, of course, I had to pee.
And waiting in line for the bathroom is where I saw this. Hint:look for rolls.
As it turns out, I had no reason to worry about what those 21 year old girls thought about me. Because I became Judgey McJudgerson once I actually opened my eyes. The girl in black, OK, she can pull that off. The girl in purple is toeing the line a bit, and don't even get me started on the girl in black and white. I snapped this picture and I didn't even care when the girl in black said "truuuee looooove." Oh wait, she just glared at me.
I remembered that I am smart. Maybe not smarter than them, but definitely wiser. I may be a frumpy mom of two, but at least I am not wearing a dress that is clearly two sizes too small for me, in a pathetic attempt to impress the boys on Valentine's Day. And while these college kids have "their whole lives in front of them", I am secure in my family and friends and, with a Bud Light in my hand, myself. I felt sorry for all those college kids who were there hunting. I was there to have a good time. Just like I always used to. I didn't have a 7:30 class the next day. I didn't have to walk 10 miles up a hill just to get home. And I certainly didn't live in some disgusting old apartment run by a slum lord. Even if they were there for a good time (like me...not like that), I knew that my bed was most definitely more comfortable than theirs.
So I went back to my table, didn't even notice if anyone gave me any looks, and participated in the piano bar with my nephew. Because that is why I was there. Certainly not to impress anyone. (However, it certainly helped my case when Bruce said hi to me in the middle of song and my nephew freaked out. And a little bit later, when he got picked on by Bruce in a fantastically awesome way, it definitely helped when his friends looked at me and said, "Just how do you know him?")
THIS is why I went, and will go back whenever he wants.
NO, his hand is NOT on my boob you sickos.