Life in the Lowcountry

Happy Birthday!
October 15, 2008, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Birds and Bees, Life | Tags: , , ,

Today I turned 30-something and I’m still single. Mom and Dad are happy for me because I have a good job that (so far and God willing) is a good and stable job but they’re a little disappointed that they don’t have grandkids. My married friends with kids keep trying to hand off their kids to Mom and Dad but so far it hasn’t cut the mustard. I’m not bemoaning my single status, yes I’d like to be in love and attached to someone who “gets” me, but that’s not where I am right now. Life hasn’t thrown that my way.  I say I’m still single because it seems that until recently I was an anomoly amongst my peers.  Not so much now.

A couple of weeks ago,  I went back to my hometown for a reunion of sorts. It wasn’t a class reunion but rather a reunion of 10 years of classes who all participated in our marching band. We weren’t your everyday band – we won 3 Grand National Championships which is unparalleled to this day, I think.  Meeting up with people that you worked so hard to achieve a singular goal with and spent so many hours with on hot asphalt covered parking lots, on dusty, dry football fields, marching in light rainstorms, sliding in the mud, riding on long bus trips, eating Hardee’s burgers and biscuits, singing Boston songs, “Set it up, Do it Again!” and the endless drama of being in High School…seeing these people again for the first time since graduation and having the comment “You look exactly the same.” said to you over and over and over again – makes you wonder. Did I look 30-something when I was 16? Does 16 now look 30-something? Do things really ever change after high school?

Read your yearbook. It’s fascinating! I knew I was cool in college because I made friends who have told me how cool I am through the years. I have a few friends (since the reunion, quite a few more!) from high school who stuck with me and through good times and bad have had my back and know me better than my friends from college when I thought I was cool. But after this reunion and running into a guy who swore he was in band with us and I totally didn’t recognize at first, I got home, pulled out the yearbook, found him and DUDE! this guy got HOT after high school! Movie Star Hot! Brad Pitt’s got nothing on him.  While looking for his picture, I read over what people had written in my senior yearbook. One girl said that she was sure I’d be a brain surgeon. One swears I look like Molly Ringwald. (I hear this one’s with the FBI now…hope he’s not a profiler! I don’t think I look anything like her!) All of them saying, let’s not lose touch even though we’re leaving home and going off to college. Or let’s stay friends forever.  It’s high school, you lose touch with some and you keep in touch with others. You desperately hope at the time that these people who know you a little TOO well will keep your secrets (you’re a dork who happens to have the same haircut as Molly Ringwald but can make the cool or “in” people laugh) and still like you when you reach your full potential in college, or you fail miserably (hell, you don’t know what you’re going to do…it’s the FUTURE! and it is daunting even for the smartest amongst us.) You desperately want those messages to ring out from the past to say, if just for a moment, we connected. We got each other and had some fun and crazy times and you were there for me. If nothing else, we mattered for that time.  We mattered to someone and in some way that shaped our present time.

20 years have passed. So much has happened! Memories fade, get renewed or revised during reunions. Perspectives change. The darndest thing I saw during that reunion is that people do not change. Fundamentally we may grow up and progress into adulthood but we do not change. Maturity is an option but some of us do not choose it and even if we do, our core is still the same. The princess who wanted the fairytale life but didn’t get it is still trying to convince us she’s onto something. The player who had it all and the beautiful girlfriend is now married and none to happy with that situation and is trying to do something about it. We’ve gotten married, had kids, gotten divorced, remarried, adopted kids, come out of the closet, become alcoholics, drug addicts, dealt with parents dying, made fortunes, lost fortunes, moved out from home, moved back home, gotten over past hurts, and still dwelling in the past. We’re American High School Graduates.

What brings me to this state of mind? I had dinner with a college buddy of mine. He is one of the reasons I’m living in the Lowcountry today. We have been friends since my freshman year in college. He was always BMOC, president of his class (2 years ahead of me – it’s a pattern, old(er) people love me!), big in his fraternity and a student leader for as long as I can remember. He dated my roommate (as most of my guy friends have…hmmm. Think about that later.) and after grad school he lived in my hometown working for a non-profit organization. We live 100 yards from each other but in the past two years I’ve seen his roommate more than I’ve seen him. We reconnected and went to dinner tonight with his roommate. I haven’t laughed as much since the reunion! Sharing stories, we all connected even though we didn’t know the actual people being talked about, we all shared similar situations.  So now it’s late and I’m losing my train of thought. I’ll have to pick this up again.

Tom, you have a new fellow reader and Kristy and I are going to start a back and forth blog about the single vs. MWK lifestyles. Look for it soon! Kristy, glad to have you reading and let’s get this started!!!