Show of hands: Who had a really goooooood time in college?
Another show of hands: Who had a reeeeeealllly good time before you had kids?
I raised my hand both times.
I was blessed in college to meet a group of gals that made my four years of college one of the most memorable times in my life. We clowned around, we played pranks, we drank ourselves stupid, we dated ridiculous boys and we basically had the time of our lives. I can tell you stories about visits to friends at Penn State, driving my little Neon all across the greater Trenton area and about dancing on bars. There’s also an infamous story involving me, about 5 too many drinks and a frozen hill of mud. We were young, stupid and boy, oh, boy, did we enjoy our college days.
After college, the fun continued. By then, I’d met Hubby and we moved to Philadelphia. I worked in the city while he went to school and we had a blast being two young adults in one of my favorite cities. Great apartment, a fantastic group of kidless friends and proximity to downtown Philly. More often than not, we would meet after my shift ended at 11p at a local bar and stay out until 3 am. In every story I can recall from my days in Philly, Hubby is right by my side having the time of his life while I had the time of mine. We were young, stupid and boy, oh, boy did we enjoy our Philly days.
I am a gal who loves me a dance beat. I can be pretty much anywhere from a wedding to the aisles of Target and if I hear music that I can dance to, my body just wants to move it and groove it. I can shake my money maker anytime, anywhere. In fact, I daresay Hubby has often wished for a little more introversion on occasion. Particularly when he’s dragging my Dancing Queen Ass back to the car at 2 am. The term “Life of the Party” is kind of my middle name and Hubby’s coworkers are always more concerned that I’ll be attending events than him. Sorry, dear.
So, you get the picture: I loves me a good time. I have almost 20 years of good times, hilarious stories and crazy antics in my playbook. Nothing illegal, nothing disrespectful. Just good clean, occasionally drunken fun.
Until this weekend, my Fruit Loops had never seen that side of me and I’m fairly convinced the 10 YO may never get over his mortification.
This weekend, we celebrated my turning the big 3-9 with a group of friends from the neighborhood. Just a low key pizza and beer get together to help me usher in my 40th year. Kids playing in the basement, parents having beer and making jokes. Pretty vanilla Saturday night.
Until someone turned on the 80s Rock Pandora station.
Let’s be clear: there’s some sort of phenomenon that occurs to the middle aged when they hear Def Leppard or Warrant come on the radio. It’s like a switch is flipped and we have no choice but to revert back to our head banging, Aqua Net hair, parachute pants wearing days. No choice, people.
And don’t let’s talk about what happens when Guns and Roses is playing. If you don’t know every single word to Sweet Child O’ Mine, we can’t be friends. Okay, we can be friends but not BEST friends. So, go learn the words now, m’kay? But, as usual, I digress….
Suffice it to say, there was dancing, there was mayhem, there was singing JBJ at the top of our lungs. We were Wanted Dead or Alive and Living on a Prayer in a cold November Rain. See what I did there? With every song, we sunk deeper and deeper into our good time past. Oh, and there was an 80s style mullet wig. Enough said.
Here’s where the evening gets a little embarrassing: I might have felt compelled to dance on my kitchen island. To AC/DC’s “She Shook Me All Night Long”. With a hot pink boa. In a tank top.
And I *might* have been dancing on the island when the 10 YO ran up to grab a cookie.
The 12 YO got a glimpse of his 20 YO mama from way in the past. Judging from the look on his face, his mind just could not reconcile the Mom Who Drives The Honda with the Crazy Woman Wearing the Pink Boa Standing Where She Usually Makes My Sandwiches. He just could not believe that his mother would ever behave in such an “unpractical, ridiculous way”. Yes. He said unpractical. He also greeted me the next morning with “Hey there, Tabletop Tank Top Dancer”. Pardon me while I hang my head in shame.
Yes, I was a little sheepish to realize that my antics had made my Fruit Loop a little uncomfortable. Yes, I worried briefly that I might need to take out a loan for all the therapy he’s going to need later on (“In a tank top, Doctor. With a pink boa. My own mother….”). And, yes, I worried that perhaps I had shattered that perfect image he has always had of me.
But then I let myself off the hook.
I am not perfect. Let me repeat that: I am NOT perfect. And, if I’ve been living in a way so as to make my kids think that I’m above having a good time once in a while, I’m doing wrong by them. If they haven’t seen me let my hair down, or, in this case, put a mullet wig on, how are they ever going to learn not to take themselves seriously? If they are completely shocked at the sight of their mother having a blast, I’ve obviously never let them in on the secret: their mama can be a good time.
So, as my 12 YO tries to unsee the image of his mother and a pink boa, I will continue to unabashedly enjoy myself and live life to the fullest. This doesn’t mean living life in a drunken stupor or going out of my way to embarrass my Fruit Loops, of course. It means allowing myself to be silly in front of the fruit loops and to let them see my humorous side more often. It means trying to be Forever Young with Every Breath I Take and allowing myself to Walk Like An Egyptian once in a while. See what I did there?