In the not too distant past, I attended my 10-year college reunion.
I hadn’t originally planned on going. Of course, I hadn’t planned on going to my five year reunion either – only to go on a bender with my partner in crime for the evening and talk him into driving to Maine at 2 in the morning. It seemed like a really good idea at the time. I had to stop at LL Bean to buy clothes sometime around 6am. At 7, we rolled into a truck stop called Bonnie’s. Fueled by caffeine and grease, we retired to a motel until noon. When we got to the college, I spent 2 or 3 awkward hours showing off my campus and running into people who didn’t expect to see me. Then we drove home.
So, when Lance and Ice Baby initially invited me along for the 10-year I was a bit hesitant. After all, what are college reunions? Let’s get a bunch of over-achievers who are rapidly approaching mid-life crisis alone together on campus with only each other and a keg of beer for company – what could possibly go wrong? It’ll be like the Big Chill, but with keg stands.
However, I’m glad I went. I got to reconnect with folks I hadn’t seen in a while. Glory days were relived. And, how could I not end up loving something that began with whiskey and ended with home invasion?
On a side note – Is it really home invasion if it’s only a dorm room?
Here’s how the evening broke down:
7:30pm – Whiskey shots at the pre-dinner reception. Because an open bar means extra alumni donations.
9:00pm – I discover it’s possible to put down an entire bottle of wine with dinner if I don’t worry about social conventions like white wine with chicken or public drunkenness..
Midnight – Let the drinking games begin! Our school’s drinking game of choice is beer die. Opponents must try to toss a tiny die into a large cup at the end of a table approximately 6 feet long. There are many rules. It’s very easy to break the rules; this gives you additional opportunities to drink. Additional opportunities to drink make ideas like tormenting the class of ’98 in the neighboring dorm seem like a good idea – right up until you piss them off and need to beat a hasty retreat from the building. I’m sure Lance didn’t really mean to call that girl “easy”.
1:30am (ish) – We decide to explore the gutted dorm under renovation. Successful entry leads to the idea that we should try to get into other buildings. We begin with the theater building. Here we learn that I can’t pick locks with a pen knife. I can only draw blood. Fortunately, we discover that the key card we’ve been issued will get us into any dorm on campus.
2:00am – The occupants of the dorm holding the 50+ crowd have foolishly left their beer out. We avail ourselves of it. And some water. Water is good for you. Have some. Anyway, further exploration of the building leads to the discovery of rooms with open doors. As we hover in one such open doorway discussing whether we should check out the room, we hear feebly from inside the room: “Please go away”. Apparently the 80-something year old occupant was just trying to get some cross ventilation, not visitors. Not wanting to be the cause of a heart attack or find ourselves busted by campus security, we leave.
3:00am – I am very adamant that I know a shortcut through the woods that will take us to the top of the hill in back of the theater. I am very wrong. I am also very sure that I can walk in a straight line on a path through the woods. Here I am also wrong: I somehow manage to fall off a 5 foot embankment into branches and leaves. Miraculously, I have broken no bones.
3:30am – I go to sleep in the cement box that passes for my dorm room.
9:00am – I wake up covered in my own blood. I look at my hands to make sure I haven’t murdered the computer science professor that nearly kept me from graduating on time. Turns out that my jaunt off the cliff left a nasty open gash on my shin. If you look closely, you can see bone through the blood. I apply a band-aid.
So, all in all, much fun was had by most. Specifically, I had fun. You can never really go back to your glory days, but you can have fun trying. I look forward to seeing what kind of trouble I can get into at the 15 or 20-year.