As some of you know, I went to college at the University of Delaware WAY back in the early 1990s (gasp!!). I started off my college career as a very shy, homesick girl with HUGE “jersey” hair in a “triple” (3 girls crammed into a dorm room made for 2) on the first floor of the Russell A dorm.
While I can not remember the names of all the 40+ kids that lived on that floor in the fall of 1990, I can actually remember a few.
There were my neighbors, Paul and Dan who were a little OCD with Taco Bell. Julie and Dawn who lived down the hall, the annoying sorority girls who lived across from me and this tall, lanky kid from NY named Jeff.
Whereas I tended to hide in my room, Jeff was a fixture in the hallways talking to everyone and anyone. He was sarcastic and loved to do this joke about Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog.
Over the years I would see Jeff on campus and we would chat. He was a writer for Delaware’s newspaper The Review and by senior year he was the editor.
After college we exchanged some letters (yes, we had to write letters and mail them with a stamp) before losing touch.
Life went on, I got married, had some kids and then came Facebook.
Voila there was Jeff after all these years.
Jeff Pearlman was now a “famous” author AND writer for Sports Illustrated. He was married to a woman he completely adored and had 2 beautiful kids.
Over the years, we exchanged messages and I read Jeff’s posts and blogs on Facebook. While I couldn’t always relate to the political or sports-related ones I could always relate to his blogs on family and kids.
This past April, Jeff did a blog in honor of his 41st birthday here. He reminisced about celebrating his 21st birthday 20 years earlier at the Stone Balloon in Newark, DE.
After reading it I was instantly transported to my own 21st birthday also spent at the Stone Balloon.
May 20, 1993 was the series finale of the beloved NBC sitcom Cheers and I remember cramming in the Cristina Towers lounge with friends watching the finale and saying farewell to Sam, Norm, Cliff, Woody and Carla.
Afterwards, my roommate and walked to the Stone Balloon and took our place in line with some friends. I was holding my ID tight anxiously waiting my turn to get inside.
When we walked in, I felt disappointed or let down. The inside of the famed Balloon looked like the basement of a fraternity house not the mecca I had heard about for years on campus.
It was hot and dimly lit packed with co-eds drinking beer. The music was blasting and I happily downed any shot given to me. Finally I was 21!!
Funny, I can’t remember what I wore yesterday but somehow I can remember a drunken night 20 years ago.
That YOUNG, drunk girl had no idea that 20 years later she would be a mom to 4 boys living in suburbia and driving a mini-van.
Young Me had no clue about “life.” That it a mixture of joy/sadness/humor and strength.
The good eventually outweighs the bad and everything happens for a reason – even if that reason isn’t always clear.
I won’t lie, there are times I wish I could go back in time and be that young, naïve 21yo again - except with the knowledge I have now.
I would tell her to loosen up, follow your dreams, never give up and most importantly be happy.
Stop comparing yourself to others, appreciate your true friends and family and all the little things in life. And know that you are not as bad as you think you are (lol).
Thank you Jeff for this little trip down memory lane and for allowing me the use of your blog.
Thanks for reading, enjoy your Tuesday.