This week we hosted an intern at our house for a few days before his more permanent summer housing situation was ready. He lived in Cotonou as a kid when his parents were missionaries, so it was interesting to tour town with him and hear what has and hasn’t changed in a decade. Basically, not a whole lot has changed. In a restaurant his family used to frequent we even ran into a woman who recognized him from ten years ago. No joke.
What Andy found most interesting of all was speculating about what this college student likely thought of us.
“You know, to him, we’re probably old people.”
“No!” I protested. “We’re young, we’re hip.”
“Think about it,” he insisted. “When you were in college, if you stayed with a married couple in their 30s, a couple who lived in a real house, with real furniture, who ate real dinners at a real dining room table – a couple who had a kid and a dog no less – you would have thought they were old, wouldn’t you?”
Silence from me.
“Wouldn’t you?” Andy repeated.
I thought back to college, when nothing hanging on my walls was in a frame. When I awoke to an alarm clock and not a crying baby monitor. When I was just getting ready to go out for the night at about the same time I now tuck into bed. When the one kitchen appliance I had was a toaster over, in which I only made ready-to-bake chocolate chip cookies. When, on the rare occasion I went out for dinner, I couldn’t justify to order a soda and part with an extra $2.
“Oh my god, you’re right. We are old, aren’t we? When did this happen?”