If you tuned in last Thursday, you know that this weekend Dave and I attended our 20thclass reunion at Penn.  My biggest takeaway:  As we age, we become more true to ourselves.  Each year, we shed additional layers of pettiness, insincerity and façade, making the reunion process more efficient and enjoyable all around.

We don’t care what people think.  There were plenty activities at the picnic on Saturday of which the brothers took full advantage.  They are at that great age when we don’t have to follow them around everywhere.  So when Noah told me he was going to the airbrushing booth for a tattoo, I said “Great!”  Chase had just come back with a cool lightening bolt on his arm.  Noah came back looking like a cross between Avatar and Michelle “Bombshell” McGee.  I spent the rest of the day introducing my green, freaky-looking son to former classmates.  A few years ago, this scenario would have wigged me out because this child is an extension of me.  This year, I just sighed.  He was happy and that was really all that counted.


We don’t have to pretend to be interested.  In years past, there was a great deal of time spent making conversation and collecting phone numbers and email addresses of people I had no interest in staying connected to.  This statement isn’t meant to criticize; I’m reasonably sure they weren’t interested in staying in touch with me either.  Our lives are busy, with barely enough room for the people who are already in them.  This year I ended each conversation with a big smile and a sincere “It was great to see you!”  And it really was.  I just don’t feel the burning need to see them again for another 5 years.

We stick with the known quantities.  I spent more time this year with the people I know and love than those I think I might remember from Fin 206  junior year.  It was more enjoyable to have uninterrupted conversations with those to whom I have always been close than doing another lap around the bar (But thanks, Kip, for doing that one lap with me.) I held Lisa’s baby, danced with Danielle, and dished a little with Sue.  And my biggest accomplishment was a civil political discussion with Kuz that didn’t end in a need for me to lie down. 

The Gang

Roomates Em, Lis, Dan and Suesat night

We appreciate the simple things.  At one time, these reunion weekends represented very high stakes for me.  I looked forward to them with an intensity that always left me feeling let down afterwords because it wasn’t as AMAZING as when we were 21.  This year I set my expectations at zero.  We didn’t make it to the bookstore, they didn’t play any New Order at the party, and my best friend Alison couldn’t make the trip.  But we skyped her on Friday night, the weather was gorgeous, and we reenacted that famous picture from two decades ago. 





Without the layers of vanity and self consciousness that come with youth, I felt lighter all weekend – rejuvenated… reconnected…and, yes, reunited… perhaps this year less to others and more to myself.

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