Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Our Triumphant Return to Whitman

Thanks for indulging my pity party yesterday.  You want to know why I was so tired after that weekend?  I am old, that’s why.


During the Whitman Reunion, I woke up early two days in a row to run several miles with old friends, drank pretty much continuously all day long (wine and beer, beer and wine), and stayed out until all hours of the night, laughing and carousing.  So basically, just like college, but without schoolwork and with much better booze.  Also, I can’t seem to pick up and get to work the next day like I used to; recovery takes a lot longer now than it did ten years ago.


I think that one of the biggest pre-reunion fears people have has to do with the “will they remember me?/will they remember the wrong things?” conundrum.  When we’re in college, young and idiotic, and especially those of us who went to high-academic-pressure institutions where it was considered normal to study all the time and then blow off steam on the weekends big-time (in a society of extremism that is unmatched after college), we make mistakes.  We do dumb stuff.  None of us wants to be remembered for the stupid shit.  Like the time a sorority sister of mine and I tossed back far too many shots after being stood up by our dates and then made total asses of ourselves at the function we were set to attend (the My Tie party of 2003 – if you were there, you remember it better than I do; I think most of the downward spiral happened in your room, Julia).  Or the time I… no, I’m going to stop there.  There are many things, suffice to say.  The point is, some people remember all that, some don’t.  Not a single person commented on anything crazy or boneheaded I might have done back then (at least not to my face).  The cringing was kept to a minimum last weekend, for which I am forever grateful.


But what if they don’t remember me at all?, I thought.  In a class of 450 students, there are some I never truly met.  But there were so many that I did.  And people remembered me and I, though I am terrible with names, remembered many as well.  As my friend Allison put it, I kind of “lived my life out loud” in college, and one of the happy results of my, erm, exhibitionism we’ll call it, is that I share many great stories with a great many of my former classmates.  And it is just so fun to reminisce about one of the most vibrant and ridiculous parts of my life.


I had such a wonderful time.  I wish more of my friends had been there.  I think the more insecure of them might find that memory is an amazing thing: it filters out a lot of the bad and keeps most of the good.


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