Guys. This week.
So, in the midst of my out of control week (Day Job! OMG!), I got another post card from my college’s Alumni Association. “We’re putting together an alumni directory!” the font was just this much too cheerful. “Contact us as soon as possible to make sure your listing is correct!”
I’d ignored the first post card I’d received. Then, I ignored the followup email.
This post card must have caught me at a weak moment, because next thing you know, I’m dialing in.
“Hi, I’m Janice!” Janice the directory representative squealed. “I’m so glad you called! We’re really excited about the directory!”
Way too much excitement for after 5:00pm on a Wednesday. I played it coy. “Thanks?”
“Lets just make sure we have all your information correct!” there was a brief pause. “Class of 2004, correct?”
“You know, it’s been close to nine years since you graduated! Next year will be your ten-year college reunion!”
Imagine, if you will, the sound of the Starship: Enterprise powering down. That’s the sound my brain made when it was pointed out–and recorded for training purposes–that I graduated almost ten years ago. Ten. A decade. Coincidentally, my Alumni magazine also helpfully pointed out that next year’s Homecoming celebration will honor the “banner years” ending in 4: from 1924 all the way up to those oldies who graduated in 2004. Jazz age folks and kids who rocked out to boy bands: we’ll all be celebrating together in 2014.
You know, one day my children are going to be horrified to learn that I’m from a time before smart phones and the internet. In the meantime, I was horrified that someone verbalized the fact that a decade has passed since I sashayed my way up to receive my diploma.
“Ghlkdjf ie dlkf j.” I said. That’s a pretty good representation of the noise my throat made.
“So, what have you been doing since school?” she asked, all…perky and faux interested.
My brain said, “What have I been doing? Popping out kids, getting a book published, traveling to foreign countries, refusing to drink water in New Orleans because I was afraid to use a public bathroom, acting up at funerals, falling asleep in piano bars.
My mouth said, “Working.”
“And where do you work?”
I told her.
“Hmmm!” She said. “So, we’re only printing volume based on the amount of reserved orders. Can we count on you to buy a copy? They’re very attractive and bound in leather. For the first time, they will showcase alumni from 1920 all the way through 2012.”
At this point, I just wanted off the phone. Yet, despite this, I said, “Okay.”
“Excellent!” she gushed, typing away at her computer. “It’s just two easy payments of $59.99. Now, do you want the hardbound edition or the interactive cd?”
Wait. Wait. How much? One hundred twenty bucks for an alumni directory–and an alumni directory mostly of people I don’t know? That’s a negative, ghostrider. “Um….I’ll have to talk to my husband about it.”
It’s true, I throw The Hubs under the bus constantly.
“Not a problem!” more gushing. “We realize that’s a big investment. Can we interest you in the soft bound package? It’s a paperback version but no internet access. This one is available for only two easy payments of $24.99.”
I don’t want to say I was popular in college, but I knew a lot of kids. I chatted nonstop in the hallway, rarely chatted in class because I was an overachiever and overachievers don’t talk in class. I was one of the Rec Room Kids, back when my college had a Rec Room (it was since turned into the Health Station or something like that and, really, I’m not seeing a correlation. Ping pong tables then. Condoms now). We played Photo Hunt. We played DDR. We played Dungeons and Dragons; anyway, the point is, the people I was friends with in college, I’m still friends with. On Facebook. For free.
“I still really need to talk to my husband about it.” As the venerable Kenny Rogers said: you gotta know when to hold ‘em. Know when to fold ‘em. “Can you send me an email or something with ordering information?”
“Absolutely! You can also verify everything we confirmed today. Remember, though, we’re only taking orders until November 1st. It’s a very limited edition book and we’ll only be printing enough to cover orders!”
I’ll get right on that.
Happily, my school will suffer very little, I’m sure, because I’m going to be paying my tuition payments until approximately the time I’m starting to pay my children’s tuition payments. Somehow I got in my head that my loans would be paid off by the time I’d been out of school for ten years. When I did my taxes this year, I calculated the time left on my payments. And, no, the time remaining was nowhere near 2014. Not even close.
Oh well. I guess.
That pretty much was the pinnacle of my week. It was nothing but stress and frustration from start to finish. I ran a rabbit over with my car. I fell asleep obscenely early. I worked at Day Job with such frantic, rapid, mania that I made myself dizzy. And then tonight, I consumed Pizza Hut pizza, cinnamon sticks, and ice cream while watching the Muppets sing Bohemian Rhapsody and then the series finale of M*A*S*H, where I wept uncontrollably. Because, when I have a cheat day for my diet, I eat for myself AND for a small European nation.
Case in point: The Hubs came to bed after I did last night and, apparently, I woke up when he got into bed. He reports that I looked right at him and said, “I’m totally ready for a bowl of ice cream.”
I have no recollection of this. But it sounds legit.