So the last post was a melancholy meditation on the wedding of my oldest friend--not my friend who is the oldest, my friend whose friendship with me is the oldest--but the sharper-eyed of you may have noticed that the title is plural, and right you are. This second part is about my tribe, my posse, my apartment, the friends I made in college and lived with for two years. They are all getting married, and all to each other, it seems.
I went back and read the entry I made in April of this year, after going to the Haverford Corporation meeting, where I snivelled about how much I miss college and how rotten my life seemed in comparison, and came to the line where I bravely asserted that I was all down about it just because I wasn't doing what I really wanted to be doing (living independently, using my brain for more than avoiding obstacles in my path) and that as soon as I got out of the holding pattern I'd been in, the feeling would disappear.
Well, it did, for the most part, but yesterday Aron and Stu and Gabe came to town, and we ate sushi and played frisbee and talkedtalkedtalked, and while I haven't laughed that hard in quite a while, I would be struck in quiet moments with the knowledge that this is no substitute for the Way We Were, and we can't go back.
And then A told me Kingsley was getting married. And I literally dropped my chopsticks.
No kidding. I thought that sort of thing belonged with spit-takes under "Cheesy Movie Reactions to Shocking News", but when I heard that Chris KINGSLEY is getting MARRIED, for Christ's sake, honest to god my fingers just stopped working for a second.
Not that Chris is unfit for marriage, or that Maura, his choice of bride, isn't the right one. I'm sure he is, and I know she is. That's fine. It's just the thought of my friends getting married. Some of them already have: David (see last post), John Boyle way back (but he's older), a few other couples from college. But we saw those coming a mile off. What throws me is that when and if we manage to get everyone together again, those gold bands on some of those fingers will make it utterly impossible to be, or even to pretend, that we were The Way We Were. You can play at adolescence for years, like me, back in school and planning to travel and muck around for the forseeable future, and so when you hang with your college buddies, it's almost just like back in school. Not quite, but enough so you can pretend. But one by one (two by two, actually), my friends are passing over a threshold of adulthood, a real one that you can't undo or return from or come back through. They're on the other side of this divide, and good for them. We've all gotta cross it sometime. But their doing it is really unsettling, not least because my turn's coming up. Certainly not soon, but if they can do it, so can I. So should I.
Plus, I have NO idea what to get them.