It is oh so very hard to believe that it really has been 25 years since our college graduation. That's a quarter century! And that means it has actually been 29 years since our freshman year! Yee gads! Thankfully no one looked it or acted it. And the Key Bridge Marriott stayed in looked exactly like it did 30 years ago when I first came to visit Georgetown as a high school senior.
It's nice to know that some things never change. Each morning the restaurant downstairs morphed into our freshman dorm cafeteria all over again with people slinking down bleary-eyed to rehash the previous night's events. The only real differences were the fact that there were waitresses, lox available at the buffet, and our friend Joe holding his newborn baby girl. (After the first couple of days, even the hostess was taking a turn holding the baby. A guy's gotta eat, you know.)
Much to our delight, we were thrust back in our college daze again, only with much more appreciation and more cash to blow on cabs, drinks at the Tombs, and t-shirts at the bookstore. And more sense hopefully. Plus we didn't even have to pretend to study, and one-hour seminars were highly optional. (That even puts pass/fail to shame!) I had no idea it was possible to cram so much fun into three days -- or that much alcohol -- or to be rather sappy, that much unconditional love. There was neither judgement nor competition, just enjoying each other.
Old friends and reunions can be so cliche, but this one was magical. It's true -- there truly is nothing like an old friend. You know each other through and through. You know the good, bad, and the ugly, and yet you love each other for who you are despite it all. It was neat, too, meeting some people for the first time, even though we may have known each other's names and vital stats forever. Then I couldn't help wishing I had known them "for real" all along. Somehow too, though, with all that shared history, they quickly became old friends, too.
As my friend Steve aptly put it, "This year people are asking each other 'How are you?' not 'What are you doing?'" We sympathized with each other's rough patches and challenges, encouraged and complimented each other on accomplishments, and truly enjoyed walking down Memory Lane with a cocktail in hand. (After all there are no open alcohol laws on Memory Lane.) It's refreshing to know that despite title, degrees and promotions, at the core everyone was the same. And of course just a wee bit of snarkiness kept things interesting and extra hilarious. (You know who you are -- naughty, naughty!)
For once I am excited to grow five years older, so we can all meet up again. If we have half as good a time, it will be a blast!