I’ve found the fountain of youth.
Wanna feel like an adolescent again?
Have your husband of 30 years leave you.
It puts you right back to being a high school junior and your boyfriend broke up with you the week before prom.
The angst, the agony, the blow to your self esteem.
I know what I’m talking about; I spend a lot of time with junior high kids. I see them sobbing in the hall after breaking up with the boyfriend, the whispered consults in the lunchroom, the evil-eye glances across the computer lab.
Yup. I swear, I’m no different. If I know that we’re going to be in the same place, I pay more attention to my appearance. It’s not that I want him to look at me and think, “Wow! She looks great! Forget the divorce!”
I just want him to eat his heart out. Just like my 8th graders would want.
I get the same lift from hearing my half-deaf, half-blind mother tell him that he’s fat that my 13 year-old students would get.
Yesterday I spent some time with my daughter’s friend, who’s living on his own after just graduating from college. As I shared “cooking for one” tips with him like keeping the pot of coffee for three days and nuking as needed (really – it’s fine. Just use a little more flavored creamer), I realized that we had much in common; he lives on his own, doesn’t have a partner, is trying to figure out what his life is going to look like in the next year.
Of course, I’ve got the wisdom of being much older and having lived through a lot more. What I’d like, though, is the excitement of starting anew; the feeling that the future is brimming with possibilities and that I can do anything as long as I want it badly enough.
Hopefully that’s around the bend.