I went to my 15 year reunion last weekend. Weekends have been work lately. We went from trolling for a new home every weekend to settling on one, buying it, and moving in. It was a short move. Five miles from the old home and in the same town (different zip code!) We looked at countless houses and wound up going back to one of the very first ones we walked through. I don’t want to think about how many hours and gallons of gas we wasted only to end up 5 miles away. On the up side, we saved a lot on moving costs by shuttling everything but the furniture in our cars and not buying a truckload of boxes.
I made the hotel reservation way ahead of time. The last thing you want is to not have a hotel. This is a return to college, yes, but not the college days of getting in the car and hoping someone will let you sleep on the floor/couch/hideaway bed/cot/backseat/bathtub/lobby when you get there. I missed the registration deadline. Yes, I caught it on the right date, however nothing anywhere stated that the registration site closed at 4 pm and not midnight of the last day. The 2004 grad who answered the phone was very polite and helpful in getting things done.
I was supposed to lose weight by the time the reunion came. Do I even need to explain how that went? I don’t think I look bad and I am healthy otherwise, just not entirely pleased with the spare tire I have going on. I know, we are hardest on ourselves. Suck it in or stuff it into some Spanx (or Spanx knock off) and keep it moving (I sucked it in)
I told our older daughter a week ahead of time. That gave her fair warning that we would not be around, but it also meant a week’s worth of guilt trips. I had to remind her that this was a Mommy and Daddy weekend and the next weekend, birthday weekend, was hers. Who falls for the guilt trip? Hint: Not me. My husband promised we would watch a movie and have pizza for dinner before heading out. He also promised that we would stop by the storage and get my “not as sloppy looking as the classic short” black Ugg Roslynn boots. Yes, I know, they are still not a fashion statement but the high for Saturday was supposed to be in the mid-50’s.
I had to hurry up because we had 10 minutes to get to the storage place. You know me and driving and not driving the car I’m used to drive and a time crunch and night time are not a good mix, right? I don’t even know why I was at the wheel.
We got to the gate on time. There was someone coming out of the storage units, which meant the gate automatically opened up and husband did not have to hop out and punch in the access code. I cleared the still opening gate and then curbed the front passenger side wheel. Followed by the rear passenger side wheel. And upon later inspection, removed a chunk of rubber from the rear tire. I tried consoling my husband by telling him the wheels on my own car were more messed up. It didn’t help.
We reached the storage building, my husband punched in his access code. He checked his (analog) watch and said, “Bullshit!” I went to the car and checked my (digital) phone. We were three minutes late.
We went back home (to get the sloppier looking, but bright purple classic short Uggs).
This is why it’s so hard to get anywhere. We forget things. We go back. We underestimate the time needed to wash clothes, pack bags, plan outfits. We left ( again) and in the next town, husband realized he forgot his antibiotics for the cough-sorethroat-cold symptoms he has. "Keep going," I said. "Otherwise we'll never get there. We arrived at the hotel at nearly 2 in the morning.
I woke up around 6 and checked online for the registration info. There was a breakfast from 5:30-6:30 am (as if?). The parade started at 9 but you had to be there almost an hour earlier. Dork that I am, I wanted to go. I went to the bathroom and stared at myself. My eyes were excessively puffy. Like hours of crying and a night of horrible sleep puffy. Like two pissholes in the snow. Not cute atall. Vanity trumps dorkiness and I decided to go for my beauty rest. I did go to the lobby to get my registration packet. I nearly missed the woman, but asked if she could help me out. “Oh, I’m packing, but if you stop by the Mess Hall after the parade.” I was good with that. But then she said “Wait a minute. What class are you? 2007?” I wanted to hug her. Here I am looking like Mr. Magoo with bedhead and she thinks I’m ten years younger. And when I corrected her, she apologized!
I got my packet and took my arse back to bed.
We had a late breakfast at what might have been the least efficient Dunkin’ Donuts in the history of man run inside of the most poorly thought out rest stop in the history of highway transportation (it had a one way parking garage that required every car exiting to cross the crosswalk for every pedestrian entering and exiting the building). We went to the homecoming game where no one checked our tickets and we were in the nosebleed seats. I texted my former roommate and they had much better seats with much more space. This was another thing. My husband criticized me for not making plans with anyone before the reunion. I know. But in my defense, no one contacted me, either. It happens.
We lost. The good thing is, I can go to a game and not pay any attention to what is happening on the field. I know the basics of football, but not the details. My poor husband played when it was a winning team, and I know it kills him to sit there and watch the new team, with way better turf, practice facilities and a life that includes cell phones and a lot more freedom than we have, lose the game. I mean, games. I mean, seasons. Okay, you get the point.
When my roommate said temperatures were in the 30’s for the parade (yes, I’m a big dork, and I honestly wanted to be there for it), I didn’t feel so bad.
She looked great. Most of the women in my class look great. Someone commented on the bright purple Uggs. The men—ehhhh. And as a cadet, guess which sex got dogged (hint: not the men). Living well is the best revenge.
The hard part was the social thing. If I didn’t talk to you or vice versa when we had four whole years together, it’s really awkward for me to catch up. Yes, there is Facebook and LinkedIn. I am on both of those. I just have a very difficult time small talking my way through sooooo, what have you done in the past 15 years. Or talking about my job like it is any kind of representation of me or my personality. This makes me look stuck up and rude, but I don’t mean to be either of those. I just tend to run out of words past, “Hey, great to see you!” and, "Where are you living these days?"
It was great to see some people, but generally I am in touch with them already. And it’s easier to talk in smaller groups vs. "Hey, look, here is a whole room of people and….GO!" On the last day, I ran into one classmate who posted on Facebook that anyone who voted for Obama should be “ashamed.” I hugged her and acted happy to see her. I don’t wish anything bad on anyone, I just will not forget being scolded via Facebook because I didn’t vote the same way she did. I also didn’t engage on Facebook, because that is another way to raise blood pressure and drive yourself nuts while obsessively checking back for the latest volley -- a lesson learned by yours truly from another extremely conservative classmate who shall not be named, but was subsequently unfriended out of pure annoyance. Subject? The now not-so-relevant-and-the-sky-didn't-fall-when-it-was-repealed, Don't Ask Don't Tell policy.
This is a total tangent. I’m glad I went. Sorry I was not more social. I say the same thing about my time as a cadet. Some things don’t change.