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Monday, September 5, 2016

Tailgating: Then and Now

There's something proud and surreal about having a daughter attend your alma mater. These sentiments are expressly felt during that great festival known as tailgating. Last weekend the Iowa Hawkeyes opened their football season in Iowa City, and I found it impossible not become nostalgic and observe how quickly things change in 25-ish years.

Compare and contrast a young tailgater to one who is more seasoned:

Then: Drinking was a race: something to be conquered by 10:00 AM. There are no consequences–none that you'll remember anyway.
Now: Drinking is a strategy. Pacing and water are critical for an enjoyable day.

Food can wait. Dominos is open late.
Now:What are we going to eat? Let's plan. Procure the grill. Buy the burgers and brats. Bake something that won't melt in ninety degrees. For God's sake, bring plenty of food.

Then:With no uncertainty, someone is going to puke. Watch your tipsy step.
Now: Regrettably you forget that someone will puke, until it's a step too late. (Good luck on those flip flops Ann.)

You wonder why anyone over the age of 40 would sit in the Sports Column, and bring their high school sons. 
Now: You become distinctly aware of your age as you want nothing more than to stomp over to the DJ at the Sports Column and demand to lower the volume. And do something about that drunk spilling my son's Sprite!

Then: Boys are an emphatic nuisance whose filters become lost in a deluge of drink. You don't appreciate the flattery of their bawdy attention.
Me and my college roomie. Some time ago.
Now: Boys look over your head, unless of course you're Ann Heithoff  and get invited to party with a group of college lads at the ATM. 
My mommie friend Ann and me. Saturday.

Then: You catch a fleeting glance the middle age alumni who stake out their places in their fancy cars and RVs and think to yourself, "Awe. That's so sweet."
Now: You remember when you were a college student and noticed those old people. And you can't believe you became one. It's a little sad. But it's a lot great.

Tailgate and carry on.

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