River Kwai

Monkey and I are gearing up for what seems to be an ‘every so often’ event, our wedding.  This time, it’s a renewal of vows in Ohio for US people.  My family (mum, dad, sister, and nieces) were the only people of mine at our UK weddings, but I had a fabulous time, as Monkey’s friends are all incredibly wonderful and dear, and I felt right at home with everyone.  The US one is a bit different – I should have the most people on my side of the RSVP list. 

But I don’t.  Monkey does.

Monkey complains constantly that I burn bridges.  I guess I do.  While I am still very close to my freshman roommate from college (what up, Kristi!), I can’t even tell you the last names of 2 of the 4 people I roomed with my senior year.  High school?  Let me tell you a story.  I recieved an invite to my 5th or 10th reunion, and I was living in Hartford at the time, so I couldn’t attend.  I shot off a quick email to the coordinator, a girl I had known since I was probably 6 or so, and the note went something like this:

Hello!  Sorry I can’t make it, stuck on the east coast.  Hope all are well.  Here’s what I miss about SMCC – the great education, etc.  Here’s what I don’t miss – the ‘we are all that’ness of the school.  We are a small school in a small town in a small state, we gotta get over ourselves.  Anywhoo, see you in a few years!

Um.  That apparently did not go over well.  I didn’t even think that it would be an issue – for me it was just a catching up.  I tossed off the note and didn’t think about it till literally years later when a different alum mentioned it to me.  I had to be reminded what I had said.  Believe you me, I didn’t forget twice. 

Maybe it’s just the way I grew up.  We didn’t have a large extended family so I didn’t learn to shut my trap and smile along.   As I got older I tended to go into my own world of books, classes, and music.  I didn’t drink or smoke or do drugs, and found the concept of them boring.  I would have liked to go to the parties, but didn’t think I would have had anything to talk to anyone about.  Now maybe that was unfair of me, to assume that they wouldn’t want to talk about opera, or the symphony, or theoretical physics (sidenote: how fricken happy was I when I first watched Big Bang Theory?!?!).  Maybe someone who I graduated with really dug Shakepeare as well, and poetry slams, and the like, and I was being presumptive to not give them a chance.  Maybe.  We’ll never know, and that’s on me for not giving them that chance.  Now that facebook is the rage, I am friends with a small number of my fellow alums, and it is nice to catch up with their lives and such.  But I doubt I’ll be invited to the 20 year.  😛

I should work harder to keep relationships alive, I know that.  I get in a huffalump, and cut 50 people at a stretch from facebook, or nuke my journal from orbit without actually telling anyone that I am starting a new one.  I prefer a burned bridge to a lifetime of smiling to someone’s face and secretly hating them/being bored by them/etc.  I suppose I don’t need to do either of those extremes – sycophancy or hermitage – but in the moment, I tend to forget that.  I’m going to work on that.  Promise. 

So the wedding will still be fun.  I’ll have a small (but vocal!) showing, and Monkey will have fabulous people from as far west as Berkeley CA, east as NYC, and south as Atlanta.  We will laugh, we will sing, we will bowl, we will lazer tag.  Everyone will coo over Alex, and fun will be had.  That’s what it’s about I guess – putting it all aside and just enjoying oneself. 

Hope to see you there.