25 Going On 15

It's time for some self-reflection, I've never been above that. Recently, it has become overwhelmingly apparent that I frequent the same hangouts as many of my high school counterparts. Some of these are mere flukes, going to Chili's on a Friday night (everyone needs molten chocolate cake from time to time), or going to a movie at the local megaplex (teenagers do not have a monopoly on the heart of American culture). But, in the past few weeks I've been running into high school kids all the time. This has made me ponder whether these are mere coincidences, or if I like a Lost Boy, "don't wanna grow up?"

***Please note that in the following experiences, I was never on a date, but the students I ran into, always were.

Run-in numero uno (Spanish):

The Nickelcade: I love this place. It offers every game I was ever pretty good at before games became 3 dimensional and required a newly evolutionized stem cell that controls all things Nintendo. I can play Ms. Pacman, or Mortal Kombat 3, and throw in some Skee Ball for kicks. Good old fashioned fun. Place some emphasis on the word "old," please. But no, it turns out that any era of gaming can appeal to a teen. Hence, a few weeks ago, I ran into a group of them on, of course, a date.

Run-in numero dos:

Classic Skating: Since I didn't grow up in the greater Provo area, I've always associated this place as being a college hang out. A place for us all to put on some skates from our youth and get a good laugh out of how well we still skate. Of course, this is because we've gone more times then admitted since childhood. We wouldn't go if we looked like Bambi on ice. However, a couple weekends ago, I showed up to "Classic," as we call it, for some Disco skating. I am still paying thanks in my nightly prayers that I did not dress up for the Disco theme. That fact alone would have made this whole experience rather mortifying. However, as soon as we stood in line (about a 20 minute wait), a couple of old students came and stood behind us. I decided to make the interaction as awkward as possible by saying, "Teenagers!" They began calling me Miss Collins, which was very exciting to my friends, who then asked a few embarrassing questions, until finally the girls realized that their group of more former students was standing in front of us, and moved to be in a more comforatable situation. Of course, the icing on the cake for my friends was a comment made by one of the boys in front of us. Luckily, I did not hear this myself, because scolding would have certainly ensued. But what was heard was, "Holy S***, it's f******, Miss Collins." I'm pretty sure my honor was defamed in that sentence, I'm still deciphering it's exact meaning.

Run-in numero tres:

Laser Assault: This is something I have loved for a very long time. Like jumping on a trampoline, I thought its enjoyment would have faded over time, but alas it has not. Instead, I have grown more competive with age. So, here's the scene. We were sitting at the seedy Laser Assault in South Provo, awaiting our tutorial, by someone who is clueless to the fact that working at this place is far worse than actually playing at this place. After a few nervous jokes from our guide, a group of students comes walking through having just finished a round themselves. They were sweaty from an exhausting game of assault, but that did not blur their vision from recognizing their old teacher. I played it pretty cool, but all was made awkward as the students were walking out and one of my friends yelled, "That's truancy school for all of you!" Apparently, my being a teacher is a real novelty to everyone else my age.


Am I too old to be hanging at these kinds of establishments? Is there an unwritten rule that as a single person, you can frequent the haunts of childhood? Who should be more embarrassed? Me or the kids?

The Economy, bah

Here's the truth, I'm sick of the economy. It's interrupting precious T.V. time, newspaper headlines, radio broadcasts, and most importantly, my life. I've contemplated how I can escape the gnawing of this ugly beast for days. Luckily, I work at one of the strongest Socialist organizations in America, so I have been phased very little by so-called "cut backs." Well that's not entirely true. We've been asked as a faculty not to buy any classroom supplies for the rest of the year, but since my budget is only $150 for said year, it's not much of a sacrifice. Looks like I won't be getting that extra box of crayolas this spring. Still, everyone is still yammering about the economy, and even worse, the stimulus package. I'm done. But, since that is anti-American, I've decided to join with my fellow citizens, in an act of patriotism, and blame everything on the ECONOMY.

Here are a few ways you can too:

1. In a reach for a fresh roll of toilet paper, you only find the materials for a homeade Christmas ornament--- Bah, the economy.

2. Anytime you want to let a child down about anything. For example, not going on vacation, the movies, the candy store, Burning Man, what have you ---I'm sorry kids, it's just the economy right now.

3. You can't drive to grandma's this weekend for her homemade gulash and potatoes--- Gas prices might be down, but sheesh, I'm not getting enough hours at work to fill the tank.

4. All the rough draft suicide notes around the apartment---jk readers.

5. A kid told me today, "I hate you."---This might only apply to junior high teachers, nonetheless I'm blaming the economy for his irrational behavior.

6. Long lines at the swingset---Everyone's looking for an inexpensive alternative these days. Poor people, stupid economy.

7. Road rage---Please assume I, or whoever else drives like a jerk, just got laid off from AIG.

8. Pretty much anytime you want to disappoint someone about anything---Things have been emotionally taxing recently, on account of my 401K dropping $1000. That darn economy.

Hopefully, we can all find the bright spot in a dark future.

After, after the final rose: Everyone BUT Molly hates Jason

Did I spend over 2 and a half hours last night watching the season finale of the Bachelor? Yes. Did I go to bed an hour and a half past my bedtime? Yes. Do I feel utterly dooped by the fascists(meanest word I could think of) at ABC? Yes. Does everyone hate Jason? Of course. Does everyone hate Molly? They should. Do I want to send cookies to Melissa? Sure do. Does anyone have her address? I hope so.
Here's the breakdown:

Meet Jason Mesnick, looking really "cool" as a water enthusiast Bachelor. Nice hat.
The two ladies he fell in love with during the show, Melissa (the best) on the left and Molly (the worst) on the right. Seriously, how far away from polygamy is this?
Jason and Melissa sharing an obviously "no chemistry" moment. That's sarcasm people.
Blah, blah, blah, I like you the most.
Cry it out Molly, in three days you will be getting a phone call from Alexis or some other woman-hating producer over at the Bachelor telling you to "hold on, wink, wink, there might be trouble in paradise. If you know what I mean?"
Oopsy daisy, I'm Jason, and I gave the final rose to the wrong "amazing" girl. Take backs.

Pictured here is Melissa, who I'm sure will have a LOT of trouble finding dates post The Mesnick.
Melissa, everyone likes you more anyway. Consider yourself having dodged a major Bachelor bullet. And thank you for mouthing a bad word about Jason, well deserved.

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