By Kelly Baughman

Spring Break is the time that all the young party animals come out of the woodwork to live it up for that one week that will become the memory they sit around reminiscing about at children’s birthday parties full of minivans parked in the driveway in ten years.
Face it, when you live at the beach there are some old folks who still like to feel their spirit come alive by being surrounded by oiled up babes in bikinis and drunken college kids. This year, I realized I am not one of them. Here’s what I learned.
At some point, Spring Break has to become a memory. You can only hold on to your college years for so long and then you just become the old person at the party still trying to get down with the “kids”. It doesn’t matter that you can hold your liquor better than everyone at the party if you’re 15 years older than everybody else, because clearly, you’ve had more practice. This doesn’t make them think you are cool.
As the “children” invaded my local watering holes, I sat in the corner gripping my drink, talking about their awful attire and obnoxious clone-like looks. The girls all looked like toddlers in their rompers, and the boys all looked like they had stolen their girlfriend’s jeans. It dawned on me that I had become the bitter old lady that longed for the good old days and just wanted to sip my Bushwacker in peace and quiet. How did this happen to me? I knew this was sign number one that I am too old for human interaction during spring break.
Spring Break was originally intended for kids to get a break before the final push of classes. If you haven’t been in school, for the sake of taking classes, in the last 10 years, then, you might be too old for Spring Break. After all, what are you going to tell the people at the house party when they ask you about college life?
Well in my case, I struck up a conversation with some Florida State kids (my alma mater) after hearing them sing all the words to the Backstreet Boys ‘I Want It That Way’ by saying, “How do you guys even know that song?” One of the girls responded by saying, “I remember my mom singing it to me on the way to preschool every day.” PRESCHOOL?!! I felt like she had punched me in the mouth.
The conversation went on when I told them I went there when they won the National Championship. “Oh, that’s cool. So you were there with Jameis Winston,” they asked. Then I remembered we’ve had one since 1999. Not only did that make me feel 100 when I explained, but it also made me acutely aware that I may have early onset dementia.
This was the second sign that I am too old for human interaction during spring break.
The next lesson I learned is what not to do after I met a group of middle-aged ladies partying like rock stars with the young kids. As we started chatting, I learned that the women were newly divorced and sharing a condo with their college daughters to, quote, unquote, “party our (blanks) off”. It got weirder as they explained the system in the condo when one of them brought a “random” home.
Not only did this make me feel uncomfortable, it made me feel 800 years old due to the fact that I wanted to punish the women’s bad parenting by making them stand in a corner. I realized that my mother’s voice had become my own, making this the number three that I am too old for human interaction during spring break.
When living here on the beach and enjoying the lifestyle it provides, coming into contact with the young party crowd is inevitable. While I enjoy their energy for the most part, I no longer have enough of it myself to keep up. So I think as spring break winds down and summer gets going, you’ll find this old fart still in the corner clutching her drink with a purse full of antacids taking it all in. Besides, I may be too old to party with the cool kids, but I can always get a good story out of it.