May 16th 2006 You’re Invited!

As I was driving back to work from lunch today, I was thinking of MTV’s show My Super Sweet 16 (God knows why it came to mind), and I was replaying in my mind the scenes in which the rich kids hand out invitations to their awesome parties. As this came to mind, I happened to drive by my friend’s house, and noticed the large “318” beside his door, and I remembered six and a half years ago, when I was in eighth grade, that I sent an invitation to him, to that address, for my own birthday party (which was not quite as fancy as those on My Super Sweet 16, but I digress). It occurred to me that I haven’t been invited to a party in a while—or, rather, I haven’t received a paper invitation to any parties lately.

I realized that I kind of miss those. It was always pretty exciting to get a birthday party (or any party) invitation in the mail. It kind of made me feel special. I was invited. It was a cool feeling.

I think those sorts of invitations ended about the time I went to college—or maybe when I was a junior or senior in high school, but I know they were over when I went to college for sure. I guess that’s because it’s a lot easier to invite people to parties now—you just run down to their room or call them, and invite them over. Besides, parties aren’t necessarily planned in college—they’re pretty spur-of-the-moment things.

It occurs to me that there’s a number of things I miss from school that aren’t present in college. Another thing is Friday afternoons. When I was in high school, there was nothing like that feeling I got when school finally ended on Friday afternoon, and I was free for the next couple days. The evening was mine to seize and do anything with.

Things aren’t like that in college. First of all, I almost always have work on Friday evenings, so I’m not even done when classes end on Friday. But aside from that, classes are broken up enough that there doesn’t feel like there’s a clearly cut time when the weekend begins—there’s no bell to signal its coming. And for the whole week I’m free to do what I want, when I want, in the evening—there’s nothing holding me back from going out on a Tuesday night, staying out until 4 AM, and skipping my morning classes—so the weekend isn’t quite as much of a thrill.

College is a fun time—but there are still a few things I miss from my childhood.