Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dear College Buddies

Dear College Buddies,

An ode, to you.


If your old college buddies will be in town, they'll ask to have a get-together.  You will eagerly anticipate the visit because you haven't seen them for nearly two whole years.  You will meet some brand new family members, and some "old" ones.  You will be so excited to catch up.

First, you'll give and receive big hugs and kisses all around.  You'll talk about how no one looks any different from the good old college days.  No one will actually believe any of that, but you'll all smile and think: if only.

Next, you will be amazed at how big all the kiddos have gotten.  You will think about how crazy-accurate genetics are and how the Mini-Mes are fascinating reproductive products of their parents.  Upon seeing your friends' merged faces on youthful, little Mini-Mes, you will suddenly feel very old.

Once you've finally mentally accepted the kiddos' growth, height, and looks and locked those into your memory bank, you'll start having conversations with them.  You'll ask about their likes and hobbies, their clothing sizes, their health, and their eating/sleeping/pooping habits (some answers are understandably provided by parents).  You'll exchange presents (for the kiddos) and marvel at the "newest" trending craze of their ages.

Being surrounded by kids will inevitably make the parents announce a few Parenting Truths.  I have not had a private bowel movement in <insert number> years.  I no longer own any clean clothes.  And I cannot remember the last time I bought myself new clothes to replace my dirty clothes.  Speaking of memory loss, I cannot even remember life before kids.  Nor things that happened three months ago.  Or yesterday.  Everyone will chuckle.  Then everyone will sigh.

The conversations will eventually get to be all about the grownups.  Move over, Facebook: cue RealLife status updates.  Job highlights, low-lights, lack thereof, and potential new offers.  Professional discussions will invariably lead to talks about major possessions, including houses on the market (and the need for a miracle) and possible new car purchases (none for our family).

After getting the big things out of the way, you'll talk about the little things in life.  Those little things we cannot live without: cell phone upgrades and iDevice updates.  There will even be a couple of hands-on tutorials and forced pictures- and videos-sharing.

At about this time, a couple of kiddos will have to nap, eat a snack, or have a diaper change.  After all, it is all about the kiddos.  <Insert intermission break here.>

When the group reconvenes and the kiddos' batteries will have been recharged from sleep or calories, they will have acquired enough heat to break the ice and finally play together.  At which time you will not be able to shut them up so everyone will end up talking over everyone else.

Next on the agenda will be sharing important news from cousins, brothers, sisters, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and mutual friends.  You will hear about good news and bad.  The birth of a baby.  A promotion.  New marital statuses.  A schooling fail.  Unresolved mental health issues.  Family crises.  The death of a pet.  You'll feel overwhelmed to learn these news, and shocked at how life can so easily turn on a dime.

You will get melancholy over such heavy talks, and someone will suggest an early dinner.  The men folk will go fetch food while the maternal clan tend to the kiddos.  When the food comes, everyone will scarf down comfort food from a favorite restaurant, which will remind you about how this group used to eat in college: like  locusts.  You'll reminisce about the good old days when you could eat a restaurant out of business.  And then you'll realize that either you've gained a couple of waist sizes since then, or can only eat a fraction of that obnoxious amount now.  Or both.  Either way, it'll make you feel--yes, very old.

As your children announce that they are done eating, you will be amazed at how much they ate.  You'll think about how much food they will be eating in the next few years, and you'll start worrying about your pocketbook.  You'll put away the food and begin to wonder when you will all meet again.

You'll be overcome with that cozy feeling of having been friends with the same peeps for as long as half your life.  You'll remember that fuzzy feeling back in college that you knew these were going to be your life-long friends.  And after two decades and many little Mini-Mes, you know for sure you made the right friends when you were a couple of silly goofs in college.

Which will make you eagerly anticipate the next reunion.  You'll wonder if it'll be another two years, though you'll hope to be sooner.  As you do the goodbye hugs and kisses round up, you'll be reminded to take in the sights and sounds of this encounter, because that's what you'll have to ride on until the next time.

Someone will ask when the next get-together will be.  And chances are if someone asks about the next get-together, college buddies are going to be in town.


Until the next time,


  1. We JUST got together with the hubs' college buddies. It's a yearly tradition, getting together before/during the holidays. It IS wonderful to see the mini-mes running around! How they grow so much every year, and multiply :). I wish I would get together with my high school or college buddies once a year. Maybe I should initiate it :). And...I've been meaning to buy/borrow those books because for a while, J would always ask "if x..what happens?"...hehe

    1. Hi, Lisa! There are definite classic children's books, and I'm sure J will love them. You know, it's nice to be able to see friends from way back iRL than just online socially, so these visits are treasured. Did you guys have the same line of conversations? It just seems like a "protocol" that we follow at each visit. :) Happy Thanksgiving!

    2. Kinda. But then again, most of us had young children so we were mostly busy attending to them and not to one another, hahaha.

    3. It's always about the kids, you know?! ;-)

  2. I like how you did this in 'If You Give A Pig A Pancake" style! I'm glad you've been able to keep in touch and are able to meet up...sounds like fun (even if it is a reminder on how fast time goes...and how much older we're getting!)

    I didn't have the same type of college experience, so I can't relate to the large get-togethers and catch-ups. (My life was school/study/work so I could pay for it without loans. Social life was pretty much nil :))

    1. Truth be told, this was just a pair of friends from college (with a few local siblings), so it wasn't a large group. I wouldn't fare very well in large groups, nor would my kiddos, so this was perfect. I'm actually quite envious of the no-loan college experience of yours, as we're still paying student loans (even probably from college), I'm sure! Thanks for reading, Janna, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!