First World Problems: Party School

· by wendy · arizona

Let’s say you’ve just arrived at CVG airpor and you’re heading home through Northern Kentucky toward Cincinnati. Yawn, a highway. Big box stores, boring. Then you turn the corner on I-75 at the cut in the hill and BAM, twinkly high rises! Sparkly river. Lit up stadiums. This is Cincinnati’s most beautiful angle.

I got the same feeling when we came out of the mountains in Northern Arizona and hit these beauties….

After days of traveling through farms and fields, we finally found the desert. The sun was shining and not a cloud in the sky. Greenery turned to dirt and the plants got pokier. The air began to smell that familiar wood burning scent. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but it reminds me of keg parties. I guess that’s where I smelled it most often as a college student 10+ years ago.

And geeze, has it been over a decade since I left!? It still feels like my second home. I still have friends living there, who are kind enough to let us stay with them whenever we visit. Our go-to hang outs are still hangin’ in there and visiting them usually feels just like the good ole’ days. But, I have to admit, things were a bit different this time. We’re not spring chickens anymore.

Picture this scenario:

You’re in town for a make shift alumni party. The plan is to get together at a familiar Irish Pub near campus on St. Patrick’s Day. The invite states that the party begins at 11 a.m. and carries on until the next day. Um, did someone forget that we’re 35-ish years old? While you’d like to think you can still hang with the best of ‘em, an all day party is quite the lofty goal. You don’t have children yet but many of the attendees do. Are they going to have the stamina to party from morning ‘til night? I suppose those people that don’t get out much can shock you by making the most of their time away from the family. What kind of party was this going to be for us old Arizona State party school alumni?

Well, I’ve never “properly” celebrated St. Patrick’s Day kegs and eggs style, but it seems early is key for this holiday. So, we showed up at 11 to be safe and so as to not miss any of the action. We sat there for 2 hours. Crickets. Not a soul showed. There were no eggs. We left for wings at BW’s. An hour later I got the word that my friends had finally arrived so we returned. Two of the friends were pregnant. Two others needed to get home to the kids in a couple of hours. Most everyone went home by 6 p.m. This was like no ASU party I’ve ever been to.

Shocker is, I loved it. Even though it was not what I expected, I was relieved that I didn’t have to muster up enough energy to party like it was 1999. It took over a decade, but I think I’m finally moving on from college.

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