My dad’s 45th high school reunion is this month. He went to Kamehameha, a school for Native Hawaiian children. Yes, only for children with native blood. It was left to educate Hawaii’s youth by the royal family. Private, subsidized, funded by a royal trust that owns most of downtown Waikiki. Military. It was a boarding school on Oahu back in the day, when my dad went– now it’s expanded to other islands and there are day school branches.
I don’t know if everyone who went to Kam School is this crazy, but my dad’s class? They have a reunion every year. And it’s not just a four-hour luau in someone’s garage. They take cruises together. They go to Las Vegas together. Trips. With your high school class.
This year, because it’s the 45th, it’s special: it’s eight days long. YOU HEARD ME. My dad says this may not all be his class’s doing– every year, all the classes celebrating 5-year anniversaries get together and there are planned events: golf tournaments, beach picnics, etc. Of course, this doesn’t account for the 10-15 emails he’s getting a day about just the things his class will be doing. A bus field trip out to this beach, their own class’s golf tournament, etc.
Guess where they stay: in the dorms.
Boarding school experiences are weird.
Pretty sure I’m going to have major ambivalence about spending four hours at my high school reunion (two years from now), much less eight days.
I just got the save-the-date for my first high-school-friend’s-wedding. It’s not in Seattle, so I’m not sure yet whether I’ll be able to go. All I can tell you is that my first thoughts were A) I better look hot and B) If I’m still living in my parents’ house by then, I’m lying.
Of course, now I’ve just put that on this blog, so I’m screwed.
Look, I just graduated from graduate school, and the economy sucks, and I went to art school– not exactly career-oriented in the best of times. I didn’t have a lot of reasons to stay in San Diego– it’s nice, I like it, it’s not my place, Seattle is my place— so now I’m back in Seattle. I don’t have a job, I don’t have a place to live, it doesn’t particularly make sense to find a place to live before I have a job (or a plan). What if I sign a lease and then get offered a great job in Portland? Or even, what if I find a place in Ballard and then get a job in Capital Hill? That may sound dumb, but if you live in Seattle, you just shuddered.
So I’m living with my parents for the foreseeable future. And “exploring my options.”
Speaking of options, if I get offered one more unpaid internship, I’m going to be an indentured servant. Since when did having a graduate degree qualify you for unpaid filing? Not to mention that no, after putting in “your time” at these places, you’re not likely to get hired there– they won’t have any more money six months from now than they do currently. I’m going to stop myself before I go on.
It’s a nice house, my parents’ house. The internet doesn’t work very well if you’re more than a room away from the modem, and time passes differently here than when I’m in my own space in my own routine, but I’ll get used to that. I like the dog a lot.
Being home in Seattle’s sort of like a reunion: I run into people I know here. Out running errands, in the neighborhood park, at parties it turns out that a friend of a friend did summer camp with me or was on my soccer team. My MO in these situations is to reveal as little as possible: I’m good, yes, how are you, just came from a haircut, know the host through _____, nice to see you, bam. Gone.
Have you noticed that it’s awkward to ask people what they do these days? So many of us are not “working” in the traditional sense. We’re getting by. Or we’re doing that thing where we hate our job, so we pretend that we don’t “define ourselves” by what we do. I’ve started asking, “So, how do you spend your time?” This worked well in graduate school, in situations where I was talking to other graduate students or recent grades or artists or significant others of artists. People laughed appreciatively and then told me whatever they wanted to: “I study this, I do a lot of crafts, I make this kind of art, I work part-time here but really I’m applying….” I wonder how it’ll work here, or if I’ll just get weird looks.
How to go about building a life for oneself in a place where I feel like I *should* have a life but, in fact, I don’t? I’ve been away for three years. Long enough for friends to have moved away, or lost touch. Long enough that college is a little bit forgotten and high school a little bit more forgotten and others have started to come back: and so there’ve been Facebook noises from people about “getting together” who I once knew, who I could have seen in the past years, and didn’t. But now we might. That’d be nice.
But when do you send that message? Do I message everyone all at once? Give it a month? Reach out one-by-one as the occasion arises? Hide out with a book until someone calls? (No one ever calls, this is the great secret: people have lives, they’re glad “you’re back” but they haven’t mentally readjusted to include you on their list of “people to do things with”; most people’s lists are pretty short, we’re creatures of habit with small social circles and little time outside of work and significant other and maybe exercising or seeing their siblings.)
And yes, I like you, but do I need to call you within the first 3 days of being here? Will you think that’s weird? You’ll probably think that’s weird. I would think that’s weird. I’d be like, “Whoa dude, not tryna be your BFF here, give it a week or two. When did you get back in? That’s weird. You’re weird. I don’t want to hang out with you. I’ve got enough weird.” And the people who I usually *do* call within the first 3 days of being here: they know I’m going to be here a while now. There’s no urgency. They have a wedding this weekend, and they’re out of town, and they have plans, and next week or the week after will work just as well.
As I said yesterday, things are weird around here. It’s supposed to be a bit of downtime (vacation, I suppose) but I’m already (still?) restless. But not sure which direction to move in. So I’m fidgeting. And sleeping. Fascinated and repulsed by the number of ads on live TV.