Blue with HENvy
My firm is in the middle of a major computer changeover – the entire firm is switching to Windows 2010. Thrilling right? This week is Princeton’s changeover so there have been random IT people roaming the halls training, installing and troubleshooting.
I’ve had the opportunity to interact with a couple of the IT crew this week and they are all cut out of the same mold – the arrogant/sarcastic mold. I actually asked the IT Manager if there is a sarcasm class they are required to take (he said yes by the way).
Anyway, the other day my computer acted up and the only person available was Patrick, aka “IT Kid” (he looks 19). He was nice enough but not very helpful (he told me I didn’t need a database that wouldn’t open). However, he was cute and dressed like he was straight out of a JCrew catalog, a rarity in my office, so I was fine if he had to hand around a little while.
I was listening to Pandora and reviewing documents when I head IT Kid
flirting chatting with one of the secretaries. He was telling her all about his baby niece and his brothers and how he had gone to school in Delaware. Delaware? Did he just say Delaware? I went to Delaware! I needed to investigate.
Casually I left my cube and attempted to get myself into their conversation. I waited for an opening and blurted out Hey, did you go to University of Delaware? IT Kid turned to me, with his HUGE blue eyes, and said Yes, I JUST graduated in May.
O-M-G he was 23 years old and freshly graduated! Ahhhhhhhh!!
Before I knew it we were talking about Kate’s and Deer Park and how the Stone Balloon was no more. I asked him what fraternities/sororities were still on campus and if anyone lived in The Towers anymore. IT Kid’s face lit up when he talked about bar tending at Grotto’s and his upcoming visit to Delaware to see some friends.
Heck, he even offered to get me a t-shirt at the 5&10 next time he was there. And when I said to get a large he said nah, no way you are a large – cute right???? Hey, I take a compliment when I can get it.
As I was talking with IT Kid it hit me, like a ton of bricks, how truly old I was. I graduated from U of D in 1994 (holy crap) and here was this child who had just thrown his cap in the air a couple of months ago. I could be his mom, or maybe an older sibling or cousin and all at once I was envious, sad and shocked.
Envious of his youth and all he had ahead of him. He is 23yo and ready to take on the world. No responsibilities except maybe rent and where to go out on Friday night. His entire life is before him like a blank canvas. Remember those days?? Oh my how youth is wasted on the young!!
IT Kid has no idea how good he has it. He can hook up with whoever he wants, dabble in different careers (and girls) to see what “type” he actually finds enjoyable. He can come and go as he pleases because his life is his own and he can make of it whatever he wants.
The Kid talked about being a “god damn independent” (in terms of greek life) and moving to “the city” into his first apartment and it made me sad. Oh the things I would do differently at 23 if I knew then what I know now!
When I started college I was shy, awkward and homesick. I cried for ours on my bed wishing I could go home. OMG what a waste!! Sure, I eventually outgrew my home-sickness, joined a sorority and made friends but still, there is so much I wish I could have, would have done.
I would have gone on spring break, had at least one one-night stand and I sure as hell would have done a keg stand!
I hope I don’t come across as a Debbie Downer, I am happy. I’m married and a mom to 4 amazing boys. Heck, there are even times I am proud of how much I have grown up since the days of crying in my cramped dorm room.
It took me awhile but I learned what a real friend is, how to trust people and most of all, to trust myself.
Sure I am alittle sad that I am 40 and not a kid anymore but life is a journey right? Maybe my once-in-a-lifetime is just around the corner waiting for me to find it and make it mine.
I hope IT Kid appreciates how lucky he is and takes full advantage of what life has to offer (something tells me he does and will). For now if I start to feel a little down, I will just call my brother (also a Delaware alumni) and torment him since he is old too!
ps – Thank you Mrs. Jeter (another Delaware alum) for the title 🙂