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Chasing The American Dream

November 22, 2004


Remember the opening words to The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper? Right, “It was 20 years ago today.” Well shamefully as it is for me to admit, it had been about that long since I’d spent any significant time on a college campus. After failing to secure a date, I went solo to see a Dashboard Confessional concert on the Florida Atlantic University campus.

Old vibes and déjà vu cast upon me quickly. It was not like I felt old being amongst an auditorium filled with collegians whose average age was 20 at best. No, that wasn’t it. I look young (I think) for my age (42). People I’ve never met have guessed I was anywhere between 28 and 38. So it wasn’t me that felt old, but it was that they, the masses, looked sooooo young! Some of them were clearly just out of high school. Baby faces. Oh sure, there were a few ‘oldies,’ but this was a college event. It even had opening announcements from the Student Body President and another from the President of the geek, err, Greek Society of something-or-other.

The concert was great. A solo acoustic performance by Chris Carrabba, the lead singer for Dashboard who was a local Boca boy who made good and became a rock star. But to me, I was more fascinated by people watching. I learned what was in fashion with the college crowd. For the girls, it was low-rider hip hugger jeans with a sash-type belt and a short tank top, no bra, which left little to the imagination. I sat there in my seat laughing to myself. Sometimes I couldn’t contain it, but I didn’t care. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life seen that much cleavage in a 3-hour time span.
And flip flops are definitely IN. Guys and girls. The guys don’t have any real style. Jeans and a tee shirt, the usual fare. I guess that look never goes outta style. I did notice two things about the guys though. Baseball caps worn slightly to the side seemed to be in vogue. And the brush cut seemed to be giving way to the mop-top crop which sucks for me because my brush cut no longer has the ability to sustain a mop-top ‘dew.

But as I sat there, I relished in the innocent feel of the auditorium. I overheard conversations about love, gossip, teachers, homework, etc. I watched couples in love hugging, holding hands, kissing. I watched the security guards break up a few fights. I listened as the crowd sang along to each song Chris sang. It was great to feel a part of that wonderfully positive, carefree atmosphere once again. I cherished every minute of it and remembered how simple my life once was, 20 years ago today.


  • I can't do it anymore; I can't stand to hear them talk--the "kids." I just can't.

    By Blogger Bubbles, Ink., at 1:36 PM, November 22, 2004  

  • chips, dips, thrips, burriters or " bulley shoots, he scores"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:45 PM, November 22, 2004  

  • or "four-two!!"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:39 AM, November 23, 2004  

  • Though you may deny it, it more than sounds as if you would give anything to be just like those college kids--evidenced in part by your bemoaning the fact that your haircut might no longer be what kids these days are wearing. um, what? Also, you may enjoy "people watching," but I have been in many a concert in which older men alone kept looking at much younger girls. You may say this is all in the interest of investigating new fashion; the teenage girls you were checking out might think differently.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:49 PM, November 26, 2004  

  • Anon,

    I deny it.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 3:23 PM, November 26, 2004  

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