Realizing I am getting dry behind the ears

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Have you ever had one of those moments when you knew for sure you were becoming a “grown-up?”

Well, since I moved to Demopolis, I’ve had a few, but nothing made me sadder about growing up than the “I wish I were young again” moment I faced this weekend.

When I moved here, I didn’t know anyone and was forced to go apartment hunting on my own. Luckily for me, the second place I looked at was good enough for my tastes.

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Then I was forced to move into my apartment without mommy helping me pack, or daddy helping with the big stuff. Until then, I didn’t realize how good I had it, moving in and out of college dorms.

Came July, I knew I was a big girl because I paid my rent all by myself. I even paid the rest of my bills, like the electricity, car insurance, and telephone/ Internet.

Now I wasn’t exactly happy about having to spend my money, but I was excited about finally being able to use a few lines on my parents that I had heard from them so many times before.

You know, “As long as you are under my roof, you will do as I say,” and “I pay the bills here so you will go by my rules.”

I actually had a way to slide the lines into a conversation, although I couldn’t do it with a straight face. Point is, I was finally able to say it, and after they were done laughing at me, it was like I had never moved out of their home.

Anyway, this past weekend I saw them. No, not my parents. I saw the commercials. You’ve seen them too. Those spots that show the sun and the beach and the college kids having fun. Then the announcer comes in and says, “Where are you going this spring break?”

That’s usually about when I scoff and say, “Spring break, what spring break?”

I have a job, so I won’t have a spring break for the first time in, let’s see — pre-K to senior in college — oh about 18 years.

There will not be a week when my friends and I drive down to some foreign city in Florida, meet random people and play in the ocean.

I can remember my first college spring break. My two girlfriends and I packed our bags and headed to Panama City for the weekend.

We had never seen anything like it.

Station wagons with wood panels on the outside and 23-inch wheels, leopard print Chevy’s and Spongebob Squarepants themed Cadillacs.

Wasting gas riding up and down “The Strip” in the too-serious-for-words traffic jam and being able to yell random things for no reason.

What great fun.

The three of us were probably the only sober people on “The Strip” that entire weekend (I know it’s hard to believe, but we were) and we had the most fun watching people under the influence.

Thing is, they probably don’t remember anything they did, but we do. We even might have a picture of it. Too bad we won’t ever see any of those fun folks again.

The moral of the story, in case you didn’t get it, is: You don’t HAVE to drink to have fun. If anything, drinking only creates memories and entertainment for the sober people around you, because after you get over the early-morning sickness, you’ll only be stuck with random scars, scrapes, and permanent marker drawings from your one-night war with the bottle.

Did I just say that? Yea, I really am getting older.