Write On Grrrl

Voice of Empowerment. Not reason.

Forty is NOT the new twenty--Part II

"Happy Birthday, Baby."

I'll admit it. This 40th year o' mine has been more than memorable so far. First, rocker and outstandingly beautiful spirit, Lenny Kravitz, peered over his sunglasses, and uttered his coolest of birthday wishes, while signing my VIP Today show pass.

Then we (André and I, not Lenny), checked into the Jersey Shore.


As any true Rhode Islander knows, the MTV casting of Johnston's own Pauly D for their reality show was no accident. Indeed, the Shore vibe is alive and well within our borders. But, trust, the sheer number of string bikini, headband wearing, twentysomethings waiting to check into what was clearly THE party hotel of Atlantic City, has never been seen in these parts--not even on the Hill, on a warm Saturday night in the summer.

It was almost enough to give a girl some serious culture shock--if it hadn't been so darn amusing.

Sure, I graduated from URI, where the joke was that New Jersey residents were so numerous, that they should be the ones paying in-state tuition. But I don't remember ever experiencing an over-the-top scene quite like this, where everyone in view, outside of me and the desk clerks, seemed to be working the same hyped up stereotype, that, until that point, I assumed was only for the benefit of the cameras on tv.

I was so wrong.  

Thankfully, I was wearing my straw fedora. It was really the only thing I had going to nudge my appearance a bit closer to respectably hip, and a bit further away from the 'house-mother-reporting-to-govern-the-frat-house' reality of the scene. And André, naturally, didn't make things much better once he arrived in the lobby with our bags.

"I feel like someone's dad coming in to chaperone the party," he said. Thanks. Alot.

But, lucky for us, things were not as they appeared.

At 11pm, we came back to the room, not to retire, but to change shoes on our way back out for a bit of salsa dancing. That once happenin' party on our hall? (The same one that earlier had me testing out the air conditioner to make sure that the white noise of the fan, combined with my ear plugs, would muffle the festivities enough to ensure a good night's sleep.) It was in total meltdown mode, with some dude crying about the demise of friendships and threatening to catch the bus home.

Wow. I do believe that we just punked off youth.