The mail brought my quarterly college alumni magazine. I had to count on my fingers how long I’ve been an “alumni.” It only took two fingers – my thumb and forefinger, to form the digit for how much money I have given them since graduation. $0.
I’m not much of an alumni. In fact, I tell people I was accepted at XY, then actually attended XYZ but they had to change the name again so I graduated from ABC college…a prestigious ‘women’s college’ that had begun to admit men.
The magazine is a fine tome of expensive thick paper imbued with lovely photographs in non-glossy hues of perfection. I guess someone else is giving to the alumni fund. I turned first to the “In Memorium” section. Morose right? Who doesn’t want to see if they have outlived the one bitch who made your live miserable in college? When I couldn’t find her there I went straight to the “Major Donor’s” page and found she is alive and well.
My doppelgänger will be pleased to note, the one wench we made snarky remarks about was listed as a Board of Trustees’ member. She and her parents have been big supporters for years. Glad someone else isn’t spending down their children’s inheritance like me…
The thing about college alumni magazines, is they take you back to a period of extreme awkwardness in life. You really had no money but were thrust into a life of spending. Some folks went on to careers of learning and putting letters after their names. Others of us went on to multiple marriages, life lessons and mortgages.
I flipped to the sports wrap-up. My doppelgänger and I rode for the equestrian team. I don’t think we were a recognized team, we met daily at a broken down barn in George’s Mills owned by a guy named Ralph. But we rode, we competed, we set a standard. Today, the glossy magazine noted the “Charger’s Equestrian Team’s accomplishments in full prose and pictures. Ralph would be proud. I am proud. But they still get no more of my money….
When I went through the “class notes” I did become a bit envious of those multi-generational alums who were featured in the wedding photos of their kids and their fellow alums kids. Well, only for a moment – I probably couldn’t afford a proper gift at this point for such an affair. But the fact they had maintained contact all these years was enviable.
Julia and I were talking tonight at dinner about the importance of family and extended family in the fabric of society. She was discussing the upcoming local elections and a particular hotly contested candidate – a woman of latin descent in NH politics. She pointed out the strength of family to latin society and that a healthy dose of respect for heritage would not be a bad thing for our ailing nation now. Words of wisdom I probably should have taken to heart all those years ago.