I was walking to work on the first day that the kids got back to school, behind a pair of young men in nearly identical outfits, both smoking cigarettes and looking like they’d slept in the clothes they were wearing.
I glanced up and down the streets near campus as I crossed them, watching beer signs and ping pong tables and milk-crate furniture being dragged into kitchens. I watched sweat-soaked fathers carrying the luggage of their baby-faced daughters, who were too busy talking on their cell phones to help with much more than a pillow.
I came to the realization that any and all nostalgia I might have had for those college days is gone. Nothing about the lifestyles of these young people is even remotely appealing to me. I have successfully separated my memories from the physical locations where they took place. I absolutely, positively no longer want to be in collegeâ€”I’m just glad that I went.
It was striking to me when Michelle and I visited Marquette last week Sunday, found ourselves walking behind a group of college guys, and she expressed a similar sentiment.
“I’m really glad I’m not in college,” she said. It was the first time I heard her say anything of the kind.
So I guess this means that I’m through oscillating between being sort of grown up and being really grown up. Maybe the notion that there was any movement was just an illusion. In any case, I hope the class of 2010 has a good time in college. Without me.