At some point in my life, I fell from ahead to behind. In most of school from elementary through early college, I was the youngest kid in class, and for whatever reason, the last to hit a growth spurt. Which meant I was the runty pipsqueak that got knocked out of the way on the playground while others ran up the jungle gym, looking down at me from a giant perch and calling me “kid” as they didn’t even bother to say “watch out.” I can’t explain the growth spurt (I’m a happily lanky 5’10″ish now) but the age thing came by a manner of birth circumstance: the cut-off date to enter school in our area of NJ was Oct. 1; and I was born at night on Sept. 30, just a few hours shy of midnight. So that made me usually the youngest kid in the entire grade, which meant I was also the last among our friends to get a license senior year (thanks for all the rides, guys). It meant that when I went off to college I was still a meager 17, for the first month or so, which was fine because at GW all the freshman just went out to clubs because DC is a swampy wasteland after 5pm and there was crap else to do.
So I made one good-faith effort to Make Friends and Go Out with my neighbors from the third floor of the dorm, only to be (expectedly) turned away at the door of the over-18 club (which was maybe The Spot? All the DC clubs run together in my brain like diseases in your roommate’s medical textbook you scanned once out of boredom). I put up no fight, turned on my heel and headed back with the few other not-yet-18s, feigning disappointment that I couldn’t make it past the door. We went back and watched Saturday Night Live and I never attempted to visit a club again. Continue reading