The Glory Days

I was in a fraternity in college, reluctantly if I may say so.  I had a hippie girlfriend who didn’t approve, and since she was the source of many good things… well, you get the idea. That, and I didn’t want to get trapped into a small group of buddies as I started with in college. I wanted to try everything:  radio, theatre, clubs and groups.  Anyway I fell into this group of good buddies and had a wonderful time during my four years of college.  I mean a really great group of guys.  Through the years we have slowly drifted apart as the demands of jobs, families, life, etc. trumped the desire to reach out and catch up.  We would see each other at college reunions and compare notes of how we were faring in life.  Then the digital age happened, and we began to reconnect through emails and Facebook.  I remember early in the FB days somebody told me it was a great way to find old friends for reunions and what have you. So I joined.  Within three minutes both my son and daughter let me know of their outrage that I would be in “their space” and to get off this very minute.  A fraternity brother wondered out loud on Facebook what kind of a pervert had I become. Sigh….so I was off Facebook for about three years, and after that time, most every mom in America, nay the world, was on it, so I felt like it was safe for me to re-enter the world of Facebook.  Fast forward.  I was invited to a small gathering at my fraternity brother’s lake house with a few other guys.  I had to decline as I had some kid obligation that weekend — a parent weekend or a football game.  It went on like that for several years; the weekend of these gatherings would always be in conflict with a family command performance, and I would miss it. The stories of some epic gatherings made me pine for a simpler time when I all had to worry about was debauching myself with a group of frat boys doing really stupid things that seemed like a good idea at the sigma_nu_fraternity_decal_9ec59fedtime.  Well three years ago, my wife and I  finally made it to a Snu reunion.  It was at the Homestead in western Virginia.  I was a little intimidated as this was my first gathering of Snu’s in a long time. Needless to say, it was a good thing we were all wearing name tags as for a couple of the guys — I had no clue who they were.  As things settled down, we had a chance to catch up in a more intimate setting, the bar.  We shared triumphs, defeats, bucket-lists, stories, and of course, memories of our time together in college. Some of the events I had long since buried in my subconscious, hoping everyone else had forgotten them as well but no,  the stories were retrieved and recounted with inappropriate embellishments (at least to me), not just recounted but told with great gusto.  It is pretty humbling to have people remember so much about me.  It is scary that I am so much a part of their memories and their stories.  (Now, if any of those guys read, this I will be excoriated for saying something sentimental like that.)  But we had so many formative experiences together in that brief four-year span; it is a little mind-boggling.  The reunions are such a disconnect in the time space continuum because in so many ways we have reverted back to the mid-seventies yet we are who we are now as well.  My wife has high school friends who experience the exact same thing.  If left alone, they are once again sixteen at their lockers chatting while doing so in their sixty-year old selves.  Now that the kids have moved out, the dog is dead, and we have a little extra coin in our pocket, we are re-connecting more often with our high school and college friends to recount, retell, and relive the glory days, and I love it.  I am meeting a college buddy for lunch in Atlanta next week to dredge up even more memories, hopefully ones Missy won’t be bothered by.

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