Tuesday, June 12, 2012


This past weekend, NC Meets DC met NC again. (Did you follow that?)

I was back in NC for my five year Davidson College reunion. And it...was...glorious.  

Last year, Davidson changed it's reunion schedule so that reunions occur over the summer when students aren't on campus. At first I was skeptical. But then I remembered being a student and finding it alarming to partake in Spring Frolic festivities and see people 3 decades my senior at the fraternities. Still, I worried it would take away from the experience of coming back to see "Davidson in action." Once again, Davidson College proved to me that I'm not always right. As I overheard an alumna in the bookstore say to her husband, 'Now we can act like college kids without having actual college kids knock us back in our places. We're young and fun for a weekend." True that, sister. And, also, I apologize if, five years ago, I gave a look that "knocked you back in your place." I didn't know. Apparently I'm an ageist. 

There's the cliche "reunion" idea that everyone should try to go back and be new and improved - ten pounds lighter with a trophy husband on her arm. (That's actually my 10 year goal. Just kidding. Well, sort of). Who didn't see Romy & Michele's High School reunion when they claimed to have invented Post-its? That's what reunions are right?  

I love my classmates because that's not the case at all. Sure, we're only five years out - mere freshmen in the reunion world -  but we could have easily tried to compete with each other. Yet that's not how it was at Davidson and that's not how it is after Davidson. One of the greatest lessons Davidson taught us was humility. (If you don't believe me, look at my grades on the first few papers I turned in.) At reunion, no one was trying to prove anything or "one-up" anyone else. We were all just there to have fun and re-live our time on that fine campus, even if only for 48 hours. No one bragged about their big salary (couldn't if I wanted to) or their travels to Indonesia or their solution for world peace. 

Although, I would like to mention that I have discovered the solution for world peace and it involves watching episodes of the Real Housewives series. But, that's for another post. I don't want to share it too early for people to steal and risk my shot at the Nobel Prize.

It was a laid-back, fun weekend for catching up and reminiscing. And also eating, drinking, and Lake Campusing. If I had to pick a theme for the weekend, it would just be, "We love Davidson." Plain and simple. 

(If there was a secondary theme, it would have to be: "We also drink better beer now. RIP Milwaukee's Best.")

What's great about going to a smaller school is that a reunion really does become about those people - all the people - who made your college experience what it was, not just the folks with whom you stay in regular contact. I got to catch up with the people who were in classes with me, who I said "Hi" to every day walking to and from class, who I shared tables with in Commons, and whose hands I stamped outside of Warner Hall. They may not have all been my best friends - although there were a few nights on Patterson Court when I was pretty sure everyone was my best friend - but, for four years, we were all in it together. We probably all celebrated or commiserated at some point along the way. And now, five years later, we're able to pick right back up. Sure, a lot has happened in five years but once we all stepped back on Davidson's campus, it didn't feel like much had changed. 

I think we can also attribute much of our "at ease" to Facebook. You know it's true. We didn't have to get bogged down in too much small talk like, "What have you been doing? Are you still living in [insert name of city and hope it is right]?" You know, the questions you ask and then realize halfway through the answer that you weren't even listening? Instead I could cut right to the chase and say things like, "You got married, right? Congrats!" which we all know really meant,  "I know you got married. I looked at all of your wedding pictures and bridal shower photos and you know it's true because you would do the same thing. You went to Hawaii on your honeymoon where you drank a pina colada. We follow each other on facebook. The jig is up."

At our class dinner on Saturday night, my friend Ellen observed, "Wow, five years did our class well. Everyone looks so good!" After some consideration, we realized that may be attributed to the fact that we'd seen each at our best and our worst moments while at Davidson. I'm pretty sure there were a few weeks towards the end of senior year when I wore work-out clothes 12 hours a day without ever setting foot in the gym. There were also times leading up to exams when I'd walk around unknowingly with ink pen on my face. Then, when I realized it was there, I didn't even care. 

Although, I'd like to think that the reason our class seems to age well is not because we use to be hot messes but rather because the class of 2007 is just highly attractive. Quite possibly the most attractive class that Davidson College has ever seen. In fact, other classes have probably nicknamed us the Class of Two Thousand And Heaven because we're a gift from God. 

Where was I? Something about humility...

With over 1700 alumni in attendance who spanned 5 decades, we basically replaced the student body for the weekend. And, as an additional bonus for not having students on campus, we were given the option of staying in the dorms. You may think, "Why would you want to live in a college dorm?" To which I reply, "Why wouldn't you?" Yeah, ok, I guess I know. Single beds, shared bathrooms, messiness that isn't your own....I get it. But, must you forget how fun it was to live with your friends? To borrow hairdryers, to gossip, to make plans and all go out at once? It didn't hurt that the dorms had also been re-done inside and were pretty nice. The beds, of course, left much to desired, especially for my poor roommate Jessica who got what appeared to be a prison blanket. I'm not entirely sure what - if any- blankets you get in prison, having never been in prison myself. But, I'd imagine it would be the blanket she had. However, the prison blanket could be forgiven because they did leave mints on our pillows. All's well that ends in candy.
I left the weekend with fond memories - like the 16oz wine glasses the bartender served Sarah, hanging out at the Lake Campus, and my classmate who tried to mistakenly break into our dorm room at 5am on Sunday - which are only fonder because they build upon four years' worth of great memories. My regret is that I wasn't actually best friends with everyone when we were students. Because, Class of 2007, you guys are one-of-a-kind. 

(I understand that irony of using the term one-of-a-kind in referring to a group of 500 people. No need to point it out).

It's exciting to know that, in five years, we get to do this all again. As Jessica pointed out to me when we were hanging out in our dorm room, the next five years will be even different. She said we might even be married with kids by then. In five years?! That won't be me. OHMYGOD, WHAT IF THAT IS ME? Five years feels like both the near and distant future all at once. But I'm excited to see what five years can bring for me and my classmates. Look out, 2017, we're coming for ya. 

P.S. I was excited to learn that many of my classmates also live in DC. And, if you're reading this, allow me to take a second for a warning. If at any time over the weekend you said, "I heard you moved to DC. I live in DC. We should get together for drinks or something!" then you should expect to hear from me. Typically I'd respond with "Yes, we totally should!" and then there would be a 50 - 50 chance that is wouldn't happen. Ok, ok, it would've been more like 60-40...I'm not always good on the follow-through. But, fact of the matter is that I'm still new to this town and need friends. So, in the words of that irritating Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me, Maybe?" 

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