On the Competitive Nature of Reunions

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Publish date:

First of all, I mine-as-well get this out of the way: I saw the Sex
and the City
movie
and it wasn't not good. I know, I know-- I want
very badly to say that I was forced into it, that I had no choice but
to see it bc (Insert Pseudo Interesting Art Film here) was sold out,
but, friends, that isn't how it went down. I kind of like Sex and the
City. And the movie was an emotional rollercoaster (with nudity!).
With all the women decked out in cocktail dresses, I kind of
felt like I was witnessing a female version of the dress-up
fascination of Lord of the Rings, but with sluttier outfits on the
hobbits. If I was a movie analyst--and I should be--I would say that
movie is going to make at least 3 billion dollars (Canadian).

Anyway, I'm back in the designated driver's seat of my book, whipping
off the final version before I send it out. And when I say whipping
off, I obviously mean occasionally writing small edits at night,
after re-watching portions of The Real World Hollywood. But I realize
that I need to get the book out, and I need to do it this week,
because of a crucial event immersing this weekend social calendar: My
fifth year college reunion.

Fifth year reunions are the 18 plus clubs of the reunion world:
everyone is too young, looks the same, and probably got drunk
beforehand. But they do offer a crucial look at the success rate of
your peers. And--aside from making sure that no one else's distressed
status jeans are more expensively nonchalant than mine-- I have just
one question that I need to answer: Is anyone else a more successful
writer?

In college, I was a political science major, so I wasn't dialed in to
who was in the creative writing workshops. And, although I wrote a
column for the paper my senior year, I didn't actually ever go into
the Trinity Tripod newspaper office. So I don't even know who to
ultimately try and look down upon when comparing myself.

My plan is this: buy a pair of non-prescription eye glasses (to take
off and absentmindedly gnaw on when I am trying to make a point) and
immediately delve into the "so what are you up to nowadays" game.
Hopefully, after I drop my several-time thought out, faux-self
deprecating response ("Oh me? Hmmm, not much, just writing for some
(national!) magazines, getting a book that probably won't sell out to
my agent, you know... typical boring writer stuff,") then I will
delicately prod people to reveal if anyone else works in the
"industry." People do this naturally: "Oh really? You should talk to
Ramsey--he's also writing," etc, etc. And then I will find that
person, provoke a convo and hope to the Lord that my writing stuff is
cooler than their writing stuff. Then I will play beer pong, eat
Lucky Charms and sleep in a dorm room.

I know I shouldn't care. I know I should take this as an opportunity
to network with the other potential writers in my beloved class. I
know I should be happy if anyone "made it" in such a hard business,
especially because that speaks well of my school and opens the door
for the younger generation of writers coming in after us. And when I
think of it rationally, I do feel that way. But I am also
competitive. And insecure. And really, really tired. And the dirty
truth of the matter is that I want to be the only one. I want
everyone else to be impressed by the fact that I actually am doing
what I said I was going to do when I left school. I want street cred.

I am not normally like this, friends. I love hearing stories about
other people's success. You know that. But there is something about
the pool of people you went to college with--especially at a small
school like mine-- that brings out the lion, tiger and bear in me (Oh
my).

So hear you me, Trinity College (CT) Class of '03: Do you have a book
published? Are you writing for Esquire or the New Yorker or, even,
Redbook? Have you ever called the Internet a "fad" on a radio show?
Do you have to wear pants on a daily basis? Do you like that?

If so, and you see me at the reunion, do me a favor: Please don't
tell me.

Reunion stories, writing trivia, and jpegs from Sex and the City will
be provided in the Comments section. Refreshments will be served.

Till I Hear it,
 From You

Gin Blossoms