As part of my quest to become a professional baker/cafe owner, I attended an open house this weekend for a local culinary program. I knew before I got there that I would likely be one of the few non-high school seniors attending; perhaps that's why I didn't get the memo about the de rigueur open house uniform of slightly sloppy flare-leg jeans, hooded sweatshirt, and studded leather belt. By comparison, I was dressed to the nines in my black Essential Trousers and pale green Perfect Fit T-shirt (both from Old Navy), topped with a black V-neck cardigan I got on sale at The Bon (soon to be Macy's) last year and nicely accented by my favorite lug sole mary janes from Nordstrom and a black-and-white silk scarf, also a sale purchase from The Bon.
Not only did my attire set me apart visually from my would-be future fellow students, but apparently my, um, advancing years did, too (let's put it this way...I could be these kids' mother, if I was several months pregnant when I graduated from high school). I received no attention as I stood patiently near the check-in desk, waiting for two young workers to stop chatting with each other. Finally, one of them looked at me, surprised, and asked, "Oh, are you here to...check in?" Indeed.
Far from being offended, I found this quite amusing (it doesn't hurt that I wouldn't be 18 again even if someone paid me...well, maybe if they paid me a LOT). I almost giggled, which I supposed might have made me appear younger. Or maybe just mental.
I truly relished being a full-grown adult as I listened to the youngsters' nervous questions about housing and other such details. But perhaps the single greatest comment of the day came from right behind me, when one young woman said to her mother: "I wish I could just go to college and then not have to work." Ha! Get in line, sister! If she feels this way at such a tender age, I wonder how she will feel once she actually has to earn a living? Maybe she'll become a throwback to a previous era and go for her "Mrs. Degree."
Of course, if He Who Puts Up With Me and I actually make it through the arduous process of launching our own business, I fully expect that I will be working roughly 14 hours a day, seven days a week. A far cry from the 40 hours a week I log now. Clearly I am not just moody, I am also insane.