At the time that I’m writing this, I just got back from a “college reunion” of sorts. To clarify, it wasn’t a reunion sponsored by the university that I attended, but it was put together by a good friend of mine that I roomed with when I was in college.
When I got to the restaurant that we all met up at I realized a few things:
We are OLD. 30+ years will do that I guess. No matter how good you take care of yourself, time DOES catch up to you in time.
Everybody was married except myself and Neil. Neil, when I first met him, was aspiring to be an alcoholic. Those were his words that he said to me back in the day. While I don’t think he ever got to full blown status, he achieved his goal for the most part.
Everybody had kids except myself and Neil. Tom and his second wife had two kids each, and two dogs. It’s the brady bunch for the 2010’s. Jim has been married to Amy for almost 18 years now, and they have two kids that are teenagers. The last time I saw Jim and Amy was at their wedding, 18 years ago. Jim is still in pretty good shape for his age and for how long he has been married, but time and good eating has been catching up to him. Same with Tom. It shows in their faces and in their stomachs. Neil… Neil needs help and fast. It seems that I’m the only one who lost weight and decided not to have children.
Tom’s new wife, now she was fun. From Georgia. The more she drank, the more that southern charm and that southern drawl showed up. It’s a good thing I like Tom and consider him a friend, otherwise… Tom is “married” married. His wife, on the other hand, I think she’s just “married.”
It was good seeing everybody and catching up with them but it made me realize that they hadn’t really changed all that much since I last saw some of them. I’m the one who has changed. I’m the one who can’t really relate to being married and living in “domesticated bliss.” I’m the one who can’t imagine what it is like having and raising kids, and that’s because for the most part, I haven’t. One thing I realized is that I’m genuinely happy for each and every one of them and the lives that they have chosen, but it’s not the life that I choose for me. I just can’t. It’s not for me.
And to think that over 20 years ago, almost 30 years ago, I could have been sitting next to these guys, just like I was today, the only difference is that I might have had kids and a wife that tolerated me, or worst case, that I tolerated. I just can’t do it. It’s not for me. I’m not the domesticated type, and I’m okay with that. I’m better than okay with that, I’m good with that.
Will I see these people before I die? That’s honestly a good question. The only honest answer I can give to it though is, maybe. Honestly it won’t happen by my hand, it will be one of them doing the set up and invite, and if I’m around and I have the time, I’ll show up, much like I did today. Otherwise…
Hearing Tom’s wife say, “Alabama.” With her southern laugh and her southern drawl…Now that was music to my ears. Guess I’m going to have to find me a Southern Belle is all that I can think of.
I don’t really have a point or a lesson to give you on this one, other than I realized that there were a lot of changes amongst my old college friends, and most of them were in me.