In six months I will attend my 25th college reunion. I’ve attended none of the prior 24 reunions, but somehow I’ve convinced a quorum of college friends that there’s no time like Spring 2013 for our triumphant return. I think the group decision speaks less to long-dormant love for our alma mater and more to shared concerns about the short-term memory loss of aging; if we wait any longer we will forget not just classmates’ names but also the name of our university.
The important thing is, we’re going.
Normally when I receive my monthly alumni magazine I flip it to the obituaries, make sure no one I know has died, and toss it into the recycling bin. However, from a closer read of the alumni notes section in last month’s issue to catch up on the Class of ’88, it looks like I have a few things to check off the list between now and May 10.
1.) Publish a book. I don’t have a big job title, I haven’t endowed a chair at the university, and there is no major disease named after me (that I know of.) But I can still find glory in the published word. On an unrelated note, my new eBook If You Barf It Up You Can Enjoy It Twice: Best Loved Recipes for Dogs will soon be coming to a blog sidebar bookstore near you. Wait’ll you see my secret ingredients!
2.) Win a big name award, or at least an award with a big name. Anyone know if there is a Jacqueline Fosterman Kestenblatt Biennale Certificate of Excellence, Western Region Award? Preferable for “Excellence in Concert Ticket Purchasing Within 90 seconds of the Announced On-Sale Time?”
3.) Badger my normal, well-adjusted children to relentlessly pursue a narrow athletic or academic specialty and race to its apex by April 30. Fencing? Competitive team accordion playing? Underwater lute? Chop chop, kids, you’ve had your whole lives to be happy. The next six months belong to me.
4.) The Holy Beauty Trinity: Botox, teeth whitening, losing ten pounds (or growing two inches, same effect.) If I seem rushed when I run into over the next little while, I’m just late for an appointment that promises to make me look 25 years younger, or go bankrupt trying. I’m just kidding about the Botox, by the way. And also, let’s be honest, the losing weight part. But I will definitely saunter my newly elongated 5 foot 10 inch self on down to the dentist to turn my coffee yellows into pearly whites.
5.) Save up for a designer wardrobe. Considering that one of my classmates is actually a successful household-name American clothing designer, I’ve probably lost before I started on this one. Maybe I’ll just buy two bolts of fabric in my school colors, sew them into giant tubes and jump in, Mummenschanz style. That’ll freak out the arty girls who wore patchouli and kohl eyeliner and stalked about loudly wishing they’d gone to Bryn Mawr instead of our phony college.
6.) Master the art of hypnosis. This may be the most critical of all the tasks because it would let me convince the rest of you that I’ve done Numbers 1-5, with a snap of my fingers. At a minimum, I need to get proficient enough to brain-bend the guy who took me to his winter formal at…Sigma Chi? Sigma Pi? Six Sigma Quality Standards?…anyway, some frat, then watched in horror as his date spilled her drink on his frat brothers not once, not twice, but thrice. If I can’t manage to avoid him employing my primary line of defense–ducking and diving past the buffet tables–I will just dangle a garish gold medallion at him and quietly say, “We had a lovely time. Remember how I was the picture of grace.”