Oh, 1993

Published 11:30 am Friday, November 28, 2008

Last Saturday, I had some people over to my house for a little party.

I have to admit I was a little nervous about my guest list for one main reason: They were all 14 years old.

I’m a youth leader at my church, and these girls are in the same freshman class I work with each week.


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One Sunday night — after discussing my arcade basketball game and pit bull Gatsby — they decided it would be “way fun” to have a slumber party at my house.

Always down for a party, I figure why not.

As the weeks went by, though, I was a little more worried about my decision.

During the party planning times on Sunday nights, the girls started talking about bringing Zac Efron movies and Jonas Brothers CDs and who was going to be able to make it the entire night without sleeping.

I felt pretty old.

Now, I’m 24. And I am not one of those 24-year-olds who think they are old just because they’re out of college.

I know I’m young.

But when one of the girls asked me when I started playing basketball and I said 1993 and then she said, “Wow, I wasn’t even born yet,” it felt like she just pulled the plug on my own personal fountain of youth.

I had to take a moment to recover.

Anyway, despite my momentary misgivings, it ended up being a great night, because I learned one crucial thing: Ninth-graders haven’t changed much – whether or not they were born before 1993.

For instance, going to Wal-Mart at midnight still feels like they’re getting away with something illegal.

Anytime a Motown/boy band/girl group song comes on the radio, they feel the need to add hand motions and lip-synch.

And, if a boyfriend has dumped one of them some time that month, she will want to tell anyone who will listen how he did it, who he is going out with now and why she is “totally better off.”

Hanging out with them gave me a much greater appreciation for being 24 and having survived being 14.

In fact, as I was dropping the bleary-eyed girls off at church the next Sunday morning, I have to admit I actually felt younger than I did the day before. After all, I was the last one to fall asleep.