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Back to My Coed Days (I Wish!)

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Michelle Kemper Brownlow: If I found a magic lamp, undoubtedly my first wish would be to be napping in my dorm at Penn State, waiting for the dining hall (where my boyfriend was the assistant cook) to open. My biggest concern would be what I was wearing to my sorority social later.

couple walking at school campus

Last month, I actually got that chance to be in college again -- albeit without the course load.

My husband (the assistant cook) and I found ourselves on Penn State's campus for an entire weekend -- sans children -- while our daughter was at cheer camp. We decided to "pretend" it was 1991 all weekend.

We dropped Emily and her best friend off at the designated dorms, and out it came ....

"Do NOT walk ANYWHERE on this campus without a friend!"

"I know, Mom!"

"Do NOT go into ANYONE'S dorm unless they are on your cheer squad!"

"I know, Mom!"

Then it came out of my mouth -- something I'd thought my mom was a wackjob for insisting on over twenty years ago: "Do NOT trust ANY boys on this campus! NONE! No matter WHAT they tell you!"


As we drove away, I realized that this "pretending" thing was going to be harder than I'd thought. My adult life experiences were ruining this for me! I was much more realistic and sensible now. "Well, that stinks!" I thought.

My husband and I did all the things we'd done in the early '90s. We held hands as we walked on campus; we walked around and shopped on College Avenue. We bought college T-shirts and had to "pretend" that some of them were NOT from the children's section.

We had quiet, uninterrupted conversations over breakfast ... and lunch ... and dinner. We took naps. This was a real "pretending" test: Our hotel was a Hilton; the apartment building we'd both lived in during college was NOT the Hilton!

By the end of the weekend, we were refreshed and nostalgic and giddy in love, just like in the '90s. However, we DID agree that we would never trade the life we have now for our college days. Well, maybe for one day ... if we had a really good babysitter ....

next: Are Trampolines Always Dangerous?
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