The company I work for organizes safe and sober high school graduation parties. June is the busiest time of year; more accurately, three weeks in June is our busiest time of year. On our busiest nights we have a dozen parties just on one night. These parties run from 11:00 pm until 5:30 am: the idea is to keep the kids busy all night so that they can't be out partying themselves. Statistics show that more teens are killed drunk driving on their graduation nights than on any other night of the year.
Needless to say, during "grad season" everyone in the office is completely trashed from lack of sleep.
I worked several of these parties this season. They're pretty cool, very elaborate parties. It is the first time I have spent significant amounts of time with teenagers since I was a teenager myself. That's a long, long time ago. Here are some things I've come away with:
I am so old: I looked around at these kids and realized that I am old enough to be their mom. And I wouldn't have had to be a teenage mom to do it, either.
I am so old: my first party was an unusually long one, about 13 hours, and after being on my feet for 13 hours, my legs were killing me. I was limping around the next day like an old lady. Which I am.
I am so old: my legs recovered after that first party, but by the end of the season, after several parties of being on my feet, my knees are hurting. So is my back, and my shoulders (which already hurt, but hurt even more now).
I am so old: spending several hours in video arcade (I should say, a noisy video arcade) is not my idea of fun. And I never saw anyone playing the Ms. Pacman machine!
I am so old: what the heck is with the dancing these days? All the kids are pressed up in a big clump, humping each other. I'm told this is "freak dancing." At one party there was a pretty big floor and a lot of kids, but half the floor was empty because the kids were all pressed together in one corner. Weird.
I am so old: I had never heard of Soulja Boy or his Superman Dance, until I saw/heard it at every single party.
I am so old: I heard a fair bit of Michael Jackson at these parties, mostly Billie Jean and Thriller. I guess this year is the 25th anniversary of the Thriller album, which is the only explanation I could come up with for why these kids were dancing to songs older than they are. Older by a lot.
I am so old: this week I saw Dance Dance Revolution for the first time. But hey, at least I'd heard of it!