I’m about 48 hours out from USAO Homecoming 2016 and I have to say, my body still aches a bit from the laughter. This one was a true reunion in that for the first time, I was on that campus that I love so well with my people.
It was a coming together for many of us almost 20 years in the making, I think it’s been 17 years since I’ve seen Greg in real life. Joe I have seen in the last 10 years. We all connect on social media but this was honest to god, facebookless, real life face to face connection.
We were a Bruce Springsteen song.
In fact at one point in the first night at the shitty little bar at the former Best Western, I’m pretty sure I put a $20 in the juke box and we heard some Bruce.
Who the hell can remember. one two three not me.
Memories flowed as fast as the booze. We told stories, sad ones, funny ones, hopeful ones. We remembered what the other forgot. We filled in the blanks. I met new loves of my old friends and they turned into instant friends. I reconnected with the guys who I only knew because of the ex-husband I followed to that campus. I reconnected with the girls who were the cool girls, the pretty girls, the ones I always wanted to know.
I got to induct my friend Joe into the alumni hall of fame.
I got to eat brunch at the fanciest house I’ve ever been in. . . bigger than the Blue Banana…that kind of house.
On top of all of that, I got to serve alongside my fellow board members who I genuinely care about and love spending time with. Homecoming isn’t for sissies. It. Is. Exhausting. This board is engaged and we do some work. We also have a large time while we do it.
The hangovers were spectacular. The laughter was even better.
As I drove home, Chickasha in the rear view, the smell of honky tonk karaoke and “just one more” still in my hair, I was listening to Hamilton.
and while No one should be surprised by that…these lines kept ringing in my heart:
As I sat around the table that final night, having heard how my friend quit drinking vats of vodka because he became a husband and a dad, how he doesn’t miss one ballgame of his kid’s, as I listened to how two gorgeous souls found each other as they walked out of the fire and ash, as I was reminded why Etch is called Etch, laughing as we had shots that HEYWAITTHATDIDNTSUCK…I thought how grateful I am that these are the ones who will tell that story. (if we can remember the damn thing)
So many stories. Mine. His. Hers. All different.
But for a few days…connected.
And holy hell did we tell it.
My liver hurts. My kidneys are pissed.
But oh man is my heart full.
GO VOTE tomorrow ya’ll.
History has it’s eyes on you.