The Chimes reunion this weekend had me thinking about my college years. Looking back at some old issues of Chimes, I can see myself as a person so full of absolutes. And I remember feeling especially certain about what my life would be like after college. I even had a bet with a friend about what we’d be doing five years after graduation. My vision was that I’d be living on one coast teaching English and driving my lime green convertible to the opposite coast to run a bookstore during the summers. My travelling companions, I knew clearly, would be two large dogs. I believe there was even something in there about a floppy sunhat.
I’ve obviously lost that bet, but it seems I shouldn’t have to pay since my friend said that he’d be going to seminary and he joined the circus instead. Really. He joined the actual circus.
So, no lime green convertible. No bookstore. I do have a dog… I am slowly assessing how my real life stacks up against the life I dreamt up.
And, being fond of lists, I’ve started a mental list of the things I do now that, when I was in college, I was certain I would NEVER do. Here it is so far…
1. I care about how clean my house is…
2. especially when my sister comes over.
3. I have a dog that jumps up on people.
4. I have seriously considered taking cake decorating classes–and probably would have by now if I hadn’t stopped eating sugar.
5. I am completely lacking in mystery. (I used to think an air of mystery should be cultivated–culminating, of course, in an unearthing of a colorful past in one’s old age by a captivated young writer. I now know that, scarcity of captivated young writers aside, I am inherently incapable of mystery.)
6. I have voted Republican (does it count if I was related to the candidate?)
7. I keep a journal that is so tame my daughter may someday read it.
8. I spend valuable energy mentally rearranging the junk in my attic.
9. I don’t read to my child for 1 hour a day.
10. My child watches TV…
11. Every day.
12. I am transforming no one’s life through literature.
13. I am not fluent in any foreign language.
14. I am living in my hometown with no intention of leaving.
15. Did I mention my complete lack of mystery?
16. I drive a minivan.
17. I don’t eat cheese.
18. I wear many different tones of green at the same time (with apologies to Jane for forbidding her to do so in 1992).
Good thing I dress my kid in hand-me-downs and still shop at thrift stores or I’d think my 19 year old self would run into me, roll her eyes, and walk away. And I’d have to stand there and smile.