March 12, 2018

Reunited with Questions

Thankfully after the Olympics, I got too busy flying back to work to take a peck at the poor post-Olympic commentary. (Try a quadruple salchow before you can call people "failures," journalists!) With figure skating off TV for a while, I went into a mild depression until the anticipation of last weekend: my first big school reunion.

I skipped my high school reunion a few years back. Fortunately, my duties with Hens on Ice were a legitimate excuse to miss a poorly organized luncheon with people I probably still don't like. But college was different since my overall experience was a great one, making dear friends, learning some things, and drinking Natty Ice. So my coop of friends and I decided we'd make a big flap at our 10 year reunion. (I know, you can't believe it! For the record, I went to college as a child.) 

We flapped onto campus Saturday night ready to party like it was 2008, but our college reminded us it wasn't by hosting the party in a building that didn't exist 10 years ago. (Thanks.) And in a flash, the party seemed to wind down. I woke up that Sunday morning feeling strange. Maybe it was the combination of beer, wine, and Jell-O shots. Maybe it was that my expectations for my first big reunion weren't realistic. 

Class of '08 forever!
My vision of alumni weekend was as follows: My friends and I would show up to the party and be greeted by all our old friends who we'd forgotten were our old friends outside our immediate circle. Regardless, it would be great to see everyone again. We'd catch up just a little bit, then dance the night away to Britney and all my favorite songs. We'd have open bar just like a great wedding reception. Once the party shut down after 11, we'd take our tipsy selves for a walk around campus and crash any good parties we found in the dorms. Current students would love us and wouldn't believe it was already our 10 year reunion. Once we got our fix on campus, we'd wrap up the night at the nearest gay bar to pay homage to our favorite bar from 10 years ago that is no longer. We'd dance to some more Britney, enjoy some drag queens and free shots, and call it a night.

I don't think that was too much to ask. Apparently, alumni weekend wasn't all about me and my vision to celebrate the class of 2008. 

For the record, there was no big flub or faux pas with alumni weekend. The organized event was good, but no one thought to talk to me in advance to help plan my grand vision. There were just a few aspects that fell short in my delusional mind.

busy 10 years.
First, since it's our 10 year reunion, I imagined most of our graduating class would be there, and a few local randoms from other years. Apparently a lot of my classmates have developed lives and obligations outside of Florida over the past 10 years and couldn't come. And a lot of other classes had the nerve to show up and celebrate other "milestones" too, like 20 years, 30, 40, etc. 

Secondly, there was no DJ or Britney. It was a live band. Sure, they were "talented," but live bands are for happy hours when I want to sit and chat. When I'm in the mood to dance, we need a DJ. I still danced, but begrudgingly. 

Macarena ends at 10 sharp.
My third and final cluck for this article is that the party ended promptly at 10 like a bland wedding, not 11 like I was promised online when I registered. This cut heavily into my prime time to dance like a fool and drink heavily. When the band pulled the plug at 10, I'd had enough bottomless Bud Light to be pissed. I made sure I was the first to leave to make some sort of point. 

As I processed the thoughts in my head and Jell-O shots in my stomach the next day, I reflected. Maybe in the age of social media, reunions have changed as much as our technology has since my parents' generation. Since I'd never been to a big reunion, maybe I still imagined my parents' descriptions and what I'd seen on 90s sitcoms. For better or worse, Facebook and Instagram have become daily reunions with those we actually choose to see (mostly). And although reunions maybe felt more special in the past, I like how I can connect instantly with anyone I choose to have in my life. So in a nonsensical conclusion, maybe it's really okay I wasn't that creepy old alumni taking shitty beer from a 19 year old student.

KEEP READING! "Learning to Fly: This is Not the Ice Show!"
"Winners Never Win and Quitters Never Quit."


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