Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sometimes... can go home again.

So this Saturday Mr. Pointy Sticks and I spent the day here.

It was Homecoming weekend at my college and, though it wasn't a special year (but yikes! the 33rd!!) a small group of us decided to get together.

For a little while it was pretty...

though rather grey and sprinkly. And then it started pouring...and pouring harder. But we did okay. Andy, Bev, Beth, Mike and Bill...we managed to find dry places to hang out and eat and talk and generally carry on...

And we had a great dinner at a restaurant that had very good Margaritas. And, oh yeah, the dinner was good too.

I was somewhat nervous about meeting all these guys again. There've been a lot of years under the bridge since we were last together and I was afraid it might be like being with strangers. But no, it felt wonderful. I especially enjoyed being with Bev and Beth...we were all so close freshman and sophomore year. Things sort of fell apart in our junior and senior year...Beth moved off campus and I moved into a suite with another group of women...we were never as close again. But last felt like freshman year again. Bev and Beth were my first real friends since I was about 12...I never really had any friends after 7th grade for various reasons. (I went to a different school for 8th grade and then back to the first school for 9th grade by which time the friends I had in 7th had reformed into different and rigid little groups and I didn't fit into any of them.) And Mike and Bill (and to a certain extent, Kevin and Steve and Dan, who were also there but didn't spend as much time with us) were part of our tight group of friends, too.

It's amazing how little we have all changed over the years, really. Scary maybe just how set your personality is at 18. As Simon and Garfunkle say, "after changes upon changes, we are more the less the same."

And it is reassuring to discover that we've all forgotten a lot. It isn't just me. One of us would tell a story..."Remember this...." and one other person might say "Yeah!" and all the rest of us would look blank and say, "I don't remember that at all!"

Anyway, we've all pledged to come back for the 35th reunion in 2 years. And now I'm looking forward to it.

And Beth asked me to update my book, Beth, I've done that for you. And here are some recommendations.

Of the books I listed tonight, I really liked:

The Anthologist, Nicholson Baker's latest. Like a lot of Baker's book, this is sort of a story about nothing. It's the narrative of Paul Chowder, a poet who has lost his lover, Roz, and his ability to write. His musings on this and on poetry are both sad and funny and will teach you a lot about poetry. By the end of the book, you're really rooting for Chowder and the ending is satisfying.

The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault. A quirky sort of mystery, with a love story. Or a quirky love story with a mystery. The setting, at a company that publishes dictionaries, is wonderful.

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett. He hasn't lost his touch.

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. When Judd Foxman's marriage ends "the way these things do: with paramedics and cheesecake," and his father dies, Judd ends up back at home, sitting shiva with his mother and siblings, people he has a hard time spending five minutes with. I really enjoyed this, even though I realized, at the end of it, that I was closer in age to Judd's mother then Judd...

I also read Her Fearful Symmetry...and I have to say, I had some problems with this. I didn't like the big twist at the end. As a mother, I found it difficult.

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