Back in college, I spent a lot of time doing Outing Club related activities, leading trips, fundraising, instructing new leaders. Through this community I made some amazing friends. I lived with some, learned a lot about the backcountry, and teaching. College seems like an alternate universe these days. I met Chris through mutual friends. He's very candid, and seemed to so easily make friends wherever he went. Senior year I sublet a room in the apartment he lived in. A very foul apartment, in every sense, it was quite small,and had never been cleaned, it appeared, since it had been built. We all made the best of it, and I could count on being heckled for getting food on myself while I sat on the couch at mealtime, and inevitably spilled all over myself. The couch doubled as a dining area, as there was no table. The Outing Club was more or less an unsanctoined fraternity for the guys and the ladies. The parties were ridulous. Many of my college memories have been swept away, but I will always remember how outgoing, and friendly he was/is, his originality in Halloween costumes, and an amazing ability to make everyone feel included. In my world now, people with that quality are few, and far between.
I am moderately antisocial these days, as it takes an unreal amount of energy, cognition, and attention for me to be clearly understood, and even then I'm not too intelligible, unless I see you often. I'd dropped the ball on planning to get there. The wedding was at a ski resort, Jay Peak, 7 miles south of the Canadian border. Pretty inaccessible for those who can't drive, and I had not thought ahead to line up a ride. It felt like nothing had changed, in some respects, and like everything had changed in other respects.
The ceremony was beautiful. Chris and Christine were married/ordained by two of their closest friends, all of their family members attested to their love, and commitment to one another. It seemed there wasn't a dry eye around, during the ceremony. The testament to their love, and devotion, was powerfully lead by a great friends of theirs. Family members offered intriguing testimonial also, however, John, and Karen ordaining the ceremony, was a beautiful touch, and the intermittent procession from the string quartet was beautiful. The weather was perfect, sunny, and mid 70's. I can safely say I spent too much time outside, by the fire pit, during much of the dancing. I smelled like wood smoke for the rest of the night. When the band called it a night, for the fourth time, the wedding party proceeded to the bar. My brain was at max capacity for the day, and I proceeded to pass out immediately, on a pull out couch, in a friends condo. . Being amongst this group, sometimes it feels exactly as I remember. We can revert into our old roles, of our college selves so easily.
The unruly drunks/ not so drunks paraded in,throughout the next 2 hours I wasn't sleeping anyways. Some kindly meant comments, however, poorly worded, had sent me Into my head during the receptiion. I was sitting near the dance floor, observing the ridiculousness when an older woman approached me, put her hand under my chin, and said,'at least you're still so pretty.' I rarely feel provoked to smack people, but it took every moral fiber I have to ignore that shit, and remain seated. I shut down after that. Although thinking back on it now, I wish I'd thought to pull her down to my eye level, and said, 'Yes that is such a comfort, when I sound like this, and move like a troll. Maybe it's just me, but looks aren't everything. As for you, at least your sagging face makes it much easier to identify you in this crowd.' I knew she hadn't meant to insult me, but it left like she had poured salt in an open wound.
In the morning I awoke to familiar voices upstairs, and went to see who was up already. There wasn't much time before the mad dash to checkout, and make brunch began. Lauren and Jesse kindly helped me with a plate of goodies at brunch. I enjoyed the endless antics over the meal. The goodbyes were aplenty. The opportunity to reunite was an incredible gift. It's often bittersweet, as I'll never be the girl I was when we were all closer, but the time spent making new memories, and continuing on with a renewed ifaith in the power of love was the blessing I received from this event. To Chris and Christine, on your wedding weekend. May you both be blessed in your union, and throughout your lives together.