Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Five Year Reunion Blues

Ok, so I know I said I would post yesterday, but life happened, and I got busy. So sue me. Actually don't. I don't want to go to court for emotional damage for making a promise and not keeping it. You probably could sue at this point. Thanks justice system!
On a side note, congratulations to Pope Benedict XVI (nee Joseph Ratzinger) on becoming the new Pontiff. I am currently waiting for the Papal Hit Squad to show up at my door. Still, congratulations from us here in, "The Colonies." Here's hoping that you pull a John XXIII and live longer than the Catholic Church is hoping. I just like controversy.
On to the reunion. What an interesting weekend that was. It was not quite horrible and not quite awesome. It was in the middle. Tolerable, maybe? St. Louis was gorgeous, but the overall setup of the event was lazy and mostly boring. One of the main problems was the people. Out of 1400 people in my graduating class, only about 60-70 showed up. Of that, I only knew about 15 or 16. Of those people, I only knew most of them, because they lived on my freshman floor, which meant that I had not seen them in eight years. Still, they were able to recognize me, which was frightening.
At the same time, I was right about how the reunion would go. Everyone who showed up was either a doctor, a lawyer, or a business person. I have never felt so unique for something so stupid. My wife and I (an engineer and a teacher respectively) were pretty much the only people with different jobs. Thank God that Andrew and Melissa showed up, because they are a journalist and editor respectively. I spent alot of time saying the following: "Yes, I am a teacher. Yes, I am very happy. No, I don't make a ton of money." It was frustrating. At one point, probably because I drank a bottle of wine (and a little more) by myself, I told a doctor who was making fun of me, "At least when I screw up, no one dies." That shut up Doctor Dork who turned white and never came near me for the rest of the night.
Here are some highlights of the weekend:
Two straight late nights in bars. I met a guy and his girlfriend in the bar and ended up talking to them more than anyone else for the whole night.
A crappy brunch in the student cafeteria. My food was cold, wet, and screamed when I cut into it. That's always a bad sign. Beyond that, the food service staff was exactly the same, none of them had changed.
Thanks to Mark, the guy who wandered into Blueberry Hill, for laughing with me and making that night fun.
No thanks to the tour guide who took us around the campus. He didn't know half the information, we couldn't hear him, and when asked to speak louder, his response was, "No, walk faster...."
Cheers to the student protestors on campus. They were angry about how workers at Wash. U are paid two bucks less than other universities, so they organized a sit-in and a hunger strike.
HUGE jeers to the tour guide AGAIN for taking us through the protestors and then making sure we were close to him in order to hear the following: "If you donated more or even just donated, then we wouldn't have these problems." Yes, that was me who responded: "Who are you kidding?"
A complaint to the Olin Library (by me) for replacing everything with glass. It used to be that the library had privacy. Now, every pod has glass which means that the guy who stared at me for twenty minutes while I was reading was extremely disheartening.
A complaint to the 609/U-Bar for playing terrible music. M.C Hammer? How old did they think we were? Was it supposed to be kitsch?
A HUGE complaint to the guys or girls who now live in my house in St. Louis. What's wrong with you people? The gorgeous house now looks like it belongs in a trailer park. The lawn is dead and covered with hay, the porch was broken and covered with molding furniture, and the inside looked like crack addicts had decorated the interior. That house used to be known as the center of the street (at least when I lived there). Now I understand why the students I talked to deny its existence.
So what was the best part of the weekend? Well, cheesy as it sounds, the best part was going around St. Louis with my wife. Caroline and I went to every tourist trap (The Arch, Union Station, etc.) that we used to go to when we were in college. We ate at Riddles , where we had our first date and our first in-laws meeting. We ate at Yen Ching, where we went on another date. Everything that drove me nuts about the weekend was made up on Sunday when Caroline and I went to Forest Park and walked around. She made this weekened so much better.
So why the blues? Because even though I spoke to people I hadn't seen in years, I got the sense that, even though we exchanged numbers or email, we won't contact each other. It was just a nice thing you do. Good to see you. How can I reach you? Take care. Move on.
Maybe I'm being too cynical. Maybe they will contact me. But what if I am right? What if it's another five years (to the ten year reunion) before we talk again? It's not that it's going to break my heart, it's just too bad that the people who knew you in college and knew who you were are gone. Almost like a part of you and your past is gone.
Then again, if we REALLY cared, then we would have talked before the reunion. Way to end it on a sour note. Oh, I got the five year reunion blllluuuueeesss. Thank you Minneapolis. Good night.

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