Earlier this week I rushed home from work for the same reason that millions of other Americans did – the Census form!
Filling out a form primarily used for demographic data is about as exciting as it gets! The form only took a few minutes to fill out, but the thoughts that arose from it occupied me for hours. It started when I thought back to the last time I filled out a Census form in March 2000. I remembered filling out the form after The Chad and I returned home from our spring break trip to South Padre Island, Texas. I was sun burnt and still hung over from five days of drinking. Filling out that form was probably the most responsible thing I did that month.
Back then I was a 21 year old college student getting ready to complete my first senior year. I had shoulder length hair and I drove a Ford Escort. I lived with Dr. Dan and The Chad in a crappy little house by campus1. At that time I had two main concerns in life: intoxicating myself in increasingly exotic ways and doing as little work as possible to maintain a 3.25 grade point average.
Obviously my priorities have changed dramatically in the past ten years, along with a great many other things. I’ve been preoccupied the last few days thinking about everything that’s changed in my life over that ten year period. Most of those changes aren’t really all that surprising. Back then I assumed that I would be married by thirty and that I would pursue a post college degree at some point. But some things I would have never guessed in a million years. This topic seemed tailor made for a Friday 5 list.
Top 5 Things About The 31 Year Old Captain That Would Surprise The 21 Year Old Version
1. I’m married to my high school crush
Ten years ago I was blissfully recently single and I had no immediate plans for a committed relationship. While I wasn’t interested in a girlfriend at the time, I knew deep down that I wanted to meet a respectable girl and get married before the end of the decade. But I always assumed the future Mrs. Captain was someone I had yet to meet and not someone that I had already known for five years at that point. Back then I viewed Megan as The One Who Got Away and just assumed she would remain that way. How often does someone actually get a chance to catch The One Who Got Away? The odds seemed long, but the payoff was astronomical!
2. I still have a respectable amount of hair
I’ve always assumed that I would grow up to be a bald man; the bald gene is prevalent on both sides of my family. The odds seemed stacked in favor of me having a chrome-dome in ten years. But that never came to be, largely due to my good friend Propeica. Right before I turned 30 I enlisted this Rx soldier to help me defeat male pattern baldness. At the time I was sustaining heavy casualties, and Propeica single handedly turn the tide. In the 1½ years since then my hair loss has pretty much stopped. So a big shout out to Science! Thanks!
3. I’m a diehard Cardinals fan
Growing up, I was never a really that much of a sports fan. Of course I liked going to Cardinals games as a kid, but that was standard for all St. Louis children in the 1980s2. I largely ignored the mediocre Cardinals of the 1990s, with the exception being the 1998 McGwire season. In 2000 I was mostly preoccupied with music and movies. I didn’t watched sports and it seemed unlikely that I would start anytime soon. But later that year the Cardinals made the playoffs for the first time in years and I tuned in to watch. In 2001 the Cardinals went back to the playoffs with the help of rookie sensation Albert Pujols. From that season on I was hooked, and I was rewarded with some amazing Cardinals teams over the decade. That’s some good timing.
4. I am not a father
Having kids was never something I felt particularly strong about; I just kind of assumed it would happen to me at some point. I thought I would either accidently knock up someone I was dating or I would marry someone who was gung-ho about having a baby. Amazingly neither of these two thing occurred in the past decade. I am happily married and happily childless in 2010. Sweet!
5. I live 15 minutes from where I grew up
Back in 2000 I hoped I would someday find the gumption to move out of Missouri. I gave it a try in Florida for two years, but it didn’t stick. In the past ten years I’ve lived in nine different homes, and six of those were in St. Louis. So I guess it’s not super surprising that I live in St. Louis. But I think the most surprising thing on this list is that I now live so close to where I grew up.
If I need to swing buy a Best Buy I now go to the store on St. Charles Rock Road, same as when I was in high school. My default movie theater is once again the AMC West Olive 16. It’s still a little hard to believe. In fact, according to Google Maps I live 15 miles from where I was living during the 1990 Census, when I was 11. So according to the records I’ve only moved fifteen miles in twenty years. Unfuckingbelievable!
1. We lived in a tiny 3 bedroom shack in the rear parking lot of a much larger house. It looked like it was the servant’s quarters for a stately home. But my rent was only $125 a month!
2. Going to Busch Stadium was super rad back then, it had amazing nachos and a guy nicknamed The Wizard who did backflips!