I’ve been out of college for three years now, a fact that has been hard to come to terms with. For three years I’ve been describing myself as a “recent college graduate” in coverletters and in everyday get-to-know-yous (which is what I call conversations.) I’ve even been subconsciously using it as an excuse for being behind other people I meet in the world, career wise. I can look at someone and think, ‘sure that 27-year-old has been promoted three times and has a company parking spot, I’ll get there, afterall I am only a recent college graduate.’ A RECENT one. That means I can still not know how to work a fax machine or use Dropbox because I am transitioning from the party/study/eat-non-stop phase to the be a real person phase.
To be honest, I don’t feel like I did three years ago. The wound of moving away from my small, PERFECT college town of Boulder, CO is no longer fresh, but there is definitely a scab. The kind of scab that you could tear off and somehow find yourself sitting alone in your room clicking through a slideshow of college pictures, listening to Pitbull’s “Go Girl” and brainstorming how to take a beer bong by yourself. You know, THOSE kind of scabs. But those traumatic days of reminiscing in my one-bedroom apartment that, unfortunately for my psyche, was part of a complex that served as an unofficial dorm to the local community college are behind me.
I no longer simmer in jealousy of everyone in Boulder whose biggest concern on any given day is which awesome party filled with all of their friends they were going to attend and which awesome sandwich shop they were going to stop by beforehand. Now I simmer in anticipation for my future concerns (marriage, children, providing, taxes, home renovations, finding a good cable plan, eternal happiness, etc.) I’m not ready for all that. So just like three years ago I find myself in a transition again, unsure of what to call this phase in my life.
In the famous words of one Britney Spears, “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman.” Except in my case replace ‘girl’ with ‘recent college graduate’ and ‘woman’ with ‘grown up.’ And you have my exact feelings on this point in my life that I am now going to call “pre-adult.” Look for it in my cover letters.
Aside from the three year post college milestone, the fact that I’ve attended two weddings in the last three weeks should be an eye opener to the fact that people are getting their lives together and people are getting their lives together FAST. This past weekend I went to another friend’s wedding and it was my first super fancy event and considering I consistently referred to it as such things as “the nicest shit ever” or “classy as hell” it was probably be my last.
It was held at the Beverly Wilshire and while that is where “Pretty Woman” was filmed I felt much more like I was in “The Great Gatsby” (the movie, not the book) because everyone was dressed in black tie appropriate clothing, sashayed down a staircase to find their table which had THREE different drinks waiting; wine, water and champagne AND it was all in 3D. So I felt nothing like a cheap whore like Julia Roberts at the beginning of Pretty Woman, I felt much more like a well cared for whore, like Julia Roberts at the end of Pretty Woman.
The bride and groom weren’t the only two that experienced a life changing event that evening. I was handed a sign that a step out of my “pre-adult life” phase was on the horizon. I accidentally caught the bouquet. I say accidentally because it’s true. I didn’t mean to and didn’t necessarily want to, but I did. I tend to, especially after a few drinks, outwardly react to things in a very psyched manner but internally I am pretty neutral on the whole situation. I pose for pictures like I’ve just walked into my surprise birthday party, or won a car when I’m really just getting my gym membership card.
I think it is funny to act overly excited about everything. I guess on some level it is a cover for not ever having to show when I am genuinely excited about something because what is lamer than being genuinely excited? Anyway, being one of the only girls at the wedding not in a mild to serious relationship, I thought it was hilarious to treat the bouquet toss as a marriage proposal. My intention was to exaggerate a high jump, give the comedic effect of a woman taking the toss way too seriously and have the bouquet land, rightly so, in the hands of someone much more deserving. But when the flowers hit my enormous and outstretched hand I had no choice but to continue with the bit.
I jumped up and down, I fist pumped, I’m pretty sure I dropped the the ground and thanked the heavens above for my journey for love had finally come to an end. I could see the photographer taking pictures of me, prepared to document the lucky gal who would humbly take her bouquet and sit quietly and cutely in the corner with her boyfriend. Instead she got several candid pictures of me pelvic thrusting and raising the roof. Again, I said this was probably my last fancy event. I was genuinely surprised when I caught the bouquet and am going to retire the bit of the “overanxious marriage hungry wedding guest” for all future bouquet tosses. Which doesn’t matter because thanks to my athleticism, I will be married by then anyway so, whatever.