Skip to main content

Well, you can sort of go back

This past weekend I went to State College (Penn State) for Arts Fest, which is technically called the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. The first few years after I graduated, I was a fairly frequent visitor of Dear Old State, but as the years went by, eventually just about everyone I knew graduated or moved. And then I had a kid; my last time at Penn State was for a football game in 2002, probably a month before I got pregnant.

In some respects, it seemed a lot like it was when I left. Most of the same buildings were there. Students waited in long lines to get into bars. I would walk past a place, and a memory would come rushing back. But, of course, there were many changes. New buildings. Shinier things. Recycling was everywhere. The Loop bus was nowhere to be found (I think there is a different version of it, and it is not blue).

A few times, I caught myself missing the college life and wishing I could turn back time and do it all over again. Learning. Going to bars and parties. Acting crazy. Not owning a car and being able to walk everywhere.

But this weekend, I went with my mom, an aunt, her daughter, and a family friend. Not my kid and husband. And the reality is, is that even though I did have fun--particularly seeing college friends (including one whom I had not seen since I graduated in 1993 and another since I got married in 1999) and even hanging out at the hotel bar until 1 p.m.--I am a grownup, and I have a family I love. They are my world, most of it boring, I realize. But it is a life I love and one I would never give up.

Besides, can you really go back, when you are so clearly not a college students and no one bothers to card you?!

But I will go back. And I will try not to let almost eight years go by before a return visit, particularly now that there is a nice highway to get there.

We are...


Popular posts from this blog


Lately, I have had some anxiety. I have been waking up within an hour of when I fall asleep (partially because my bladder has its own timetable). And then I lie awake, worrying about various things. Mostly I worry that I am failing as a parent. I worry that I allow my child to be disrespectful to me more than she should. I worry that I am not forcing my shy child to do more things. And I worry that the few things I am pushing her to do will make her resent me. I worry that she gets stressed about school. I worry that she is bothered because she does not have a lot of friends. I worry because I don't know why that is.

I worry that we will be stuck in our house in our bad school district, a place where we would not send our child to high school when she graduates in two years (two years!). Then I worry that our somewhat introverted child will have to go to cyber school. Because there is just no way that we could afford to send her to Catholic high school, for which tuition is curren…

Why I am an "Other"

Last month while I was getting my driver's license picture taken, I tried to change my political party affiliation. For whatever reason, my choices were Democrat, Republican, Other, and None. But first, how I got there.

I registered as a Democrat when I first registered to vote, just before the '92 election. At that time, I was "kind of" liberal (for growing up in a somewhat rural area in western PA), and pretty much all of my relatives were registered that way, so it made sense. I was not really into politics at that young age, however.

As I got into my late 20s, I started to realize I was becoming more conservative, so a few years later, when it was time to renew my driver's license, I changed to Republican. I still remember the day at work when I told my coworker Anne that I was really a Republican. She told me she had known it for years. During the 2008 election, I was on board with John McCain running for president, mostly because I thought he was a good pe…

My first and hopefully my last biposy (or I would rather be at the beach)

This past Monday afternoon I had my biopsy. Up until Sunday night, I was not worried. In fact, I was never really concerned about having cancer; it was the needle part that bothered me. As it turns out, there is more than a needle; there is an actual incision. So it was not surprising that I only got a few hours of sleep. But on a positive note, I cruised right down the Parkway that morning, being the Monday before the 4th, so there was that.

I got there at the prescribed 30 minutes ahead of time; in fact, it was probably close to 35 minutes! I had to wait about 10 minutes, during which I could feel my seat vibrate (still not sure about that; I was tired but I don't think I was imaging it). Then I went back, changed, and waited in the "gowned waiting area" for no more than 5 minutes. Not even enough time to find out whose twins Jennifer Garner was pregnant with! WARNING: What follows will be detailed, though not too graphic.

Then I went back to a room, where someone as…