My ability to tell what day it is naturally has been completely obliterated. I never seem to know the date, day of the week or time without first consulting iCal on my phone or laptop or without checking to see what room I’m in, who is teaching, which event I’m attending or what exam, homework or reading I’m cramming for that day.
Essentially, it’s like living in a casino, 24/7. No sense of time or the outside world. My BuckID sits in front of my license in my card clip now because it is used far more often and they are starting to recognize my face, order (veal Parmesan sandwich with lettuce, half order of fries, extra sauce) and my favorite booth in the corner at Tommy’s.
So it was of no surprise to me that as I took some time out for me yesterday and got a haircut, that I was totally blindsided by the fact that next week is Thanksgiving. A magical week where I possibly get to look forward to full-body scans at the airport (which the Pilots Union is protesting because of the high levels of radiation it uses) or the alternative which involves full-body pat downs that make you feel like a cheap date, unless the TSA agent bought you dinner and a drink first. Even better is flying through Dulles International on a holiday and trying to maintain a semblance of personal space as people crowd on to the antiquated and inconvenient shuttles you have to take between terminals.
Also, it turns out that both Port Columbus International and Dulles International will be using the back scatter scanners, the ones that potentially use too much radiation. If I come back a little bit meaner, greener, tougher and with superhuman strength from the holiday, it’s because my levels of East Coast charm and finesse were replenished and supplemented with gamma radiation.
I also get to look forward to cooking in my parents’ kitchen in which I know where nothing is, arguing with my sister about how mise en place should be done, arguing with my other sister about which place settings should be used, fighting my mom for the seasonings and dealing with my dad’s insistence on looking over my shoulder and scrutinizing every dish that I’m cooking. I also get to look forward to my brother in law busting my butt with the Kenpo, Ab Ripper, Cardio and Plyometrics videos from P90X all weekend long. But hey, that’s family and you gotta love it and them.
What is most shocking and jarring to me is that my 10 year high school reunion is next Friday (yes folks, I am that old). It is because of the juxtaposition of starting a new chapter in my life with this program, with the notion that I am diving back into high school for one night and surrounding myself with hundreds of former classmates.
I still see some of my best friends from high school every time I return to DC/MD. What happens when we all get together was summed up best in a classic episode of How I Met Your Mother, where they examine the effects of revertigo. It is that irresistible force that regresses you to your high school self, whether you were the band geek, editor of your high school magazine, the cheerleader, jock or goth kid, whenever you hang out with an old friend. It is real and it is deep and there’s nothing you can do about it.
It definitely happened during my five year reunion and it was hilarious. Suddenly we were all talking like teenagers, our high school crushes were suddenly reignited, and old cliques reformed instantly. Ancient rivalries flamed back up and died down quickly as we, for a brief moment of sanity, realized that we were no longer 17 and were in fact adults with college degrees and a professional job.
Looking around Facebook lately though, it seems that most of my former classmates are either married, engaged and have kids already or some are on the way. It will be very interesting to see how the spouses get sucked into the revertigo wormhole and how that changes the dynamic. My boyfriend luckily dodged the bullet and will not have to suffer through an evening as arm candy, something that he is very thankful for. As am I. He doesn’t need to see what I was like in high school!