This past weekend I attended my 15 year college reunion. 15 years! I don’t know how the hell that happened. Forsooth, I am old.
My best pals Jules, Julie and I converged on Wellesley on Friday. Julie brought her almost three month old little girl Nadia, who was snuggly and sweet and adorable and everything you want a baby to be. We stayed in the dorms, which was fun in an uncomfortable plastic mattress, bizarrely flat pillow, communal bathroom sort of way. The dorm they had our class in was right next to the dorm we all lived in our first year, exactly the same, except a mirror image of it.
We had fun sitting in the courtyard looking at our old dorm and trying to pick out the rooms we’d lived in and the 1st floor smoking common room we really lived in for our first year. Not even that new roadrunner computer could calculate how many hours we spent in there, doing everything from debating the meaning of Twin Peaks and Angel Heart to founding our own fake sorority to engaging in deep philosophical discussions about art, politics, history, psychology, fiction to playing marathon games of Othello and Egyptian Rat Screw. Oh, and smoking like chimneys, of course. We all LOVED that line from The Sure Thing that went something like “All those girls at those hoity-toity northeastern colleges want to do is sit around, smoke cigarettes, drink tea and relate.” We were the campus misfits, a bit of a scandal, and considered party girls (only at Wellesley would we have been labeled party girls. It mostly meant that we occasionally had parties instead of studying on Saturday nights. Wild.) and we had the time of our lives.
We settled in to our own niche our sophomore year, and had plenty of fun over the rest of our college years, but there was a special magic to that first year.
As much fun as it was to relive all of those memories, it was even better to see how our friendships have deepened over time. It was also interesting to see how we’ve changed even over the course of the reunions we’ve been to so far. At the five year, we had a crowd, most people were still single, and I think we were drunk almost the entire time. At the ten year, Jules was pregnant and living nearby, so we spent more time at her house than we did on campus. This year, we were content to just hang out. We left campus to go in to the town of Wellesley only twice – once to meet up with a friend of Julie’s and have baked goods for breakfast (if you are ever in Wellesley, I highly, highly recommend the Susu Bakery. Yum-my!) and once to go in search of dinner after the class dinner proved to be lame. They tried to stuff way too many people into too small a dining room, had live music playing way too loudly, and had sub-par vegetarian options. Oh, and it was 98 degrees with no air conditioning. While we were looking for dinner, we also went in search of a six pack of cold beer, but that meant we had to leave Wellesley, which is a dry town. Hello Town Line Liquors of Natick! Glad you found us and our dorky reunion nametags so amusing.
Sunday there was an alumnae parade. We’ve always skipped the parade in the past, but this year we went. I was not necessarily a fan of the parade. For one thing, we were supposed to dress all in white, but I didn’t think we were going, so I hadn’t brought anything appropriate to wear. My friend Carri showed up for it, which was great, because I didn’t think I’d get to see her. It was hot. It seemed sort of poorly organized. But then we got to see the older class members, from 1928, 1933, 1938, 1942 and 1948. They all came at the end, riding in fancy historic cars. And I don’t know, it is hard to explain, but marching along in the parade, hot and miserable and listening to the very loud class of 88 behind us (20 years later, 20 years better!) I couldn’t help but feel a kinship and sense of sisterhood, even with people I don’t know, some of whom I probably wouldn’t even like on a personal level.
So, reunion = very good, overall. Best part, beyond bonding with my buds, would be the development of our new group slogan, which goes “So, I did a half-assed job, and then I left (alternatively, and then I got the hell out.” Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to find as many situations as possible where that saying applies. It is easier and more fun than you might think.
Worst part, probably the questions about whether or not I have kids yet, and the endless paeans to how wonderful motherhood is and how much I’m going to love it. Gosh, I hadn’t thought of that. Of course, the good part was not even having to say a word, and Julie knew I needed a hug.
Most interesting part: one of my former classmates, Stephanie Carbone is a jewelry designer. I really like her stuff, and I think you should check it out at her website: http://www.spacemermaid.com/