I am ALWAYS one of the very last people to leave reunion, when the campus is empty, the parking lots are cleared, the dining hall has about four people left in it and the quiet feels like some kind of scary 1970’s television sci-fi drama. The whole thing makes me sad and anxious and then I get this intense, “I have to go home…NOW!” feeling.
The good news is, for the last two reunions, I’ve driven friends home. So reunion didn’t have to end when I left campus.
The friend I was driving home this reunion (we’ll call him DAVE) agreed to meet me in the dining hall or on the quad after I was done packing. I ran to the dorm I’d been staying in, quickly changed into something for the ride home, threw all my stuff together and found myself with FIVE bags full of reunion essentials: clothes, shoes, quilt, water, food. Five bags meant two trips to the car.
The first trip was across campus, to the far, far away parking lot. I raced along, lugging all my stuff and sweating like crazy, tripping my way across the “cobble stones” in my no-back CLOGS (they were part of the Sunday outfit I’d planned and packed!). I got to my car, loaded three of my five bags, hopped into the driver’s seat, put down the windows and cranked the A/C.
Before my sweat could cool, I pulled into a parking space right behind the dorm, ran into the dorm, huffed it up the stairs, got my remaining bags, dragged them down the stairs, rolled them outside, put them in the car, got in, put the windows down, cranked the A/C and was ready to find my friend and GO HOME!
To save time, I drove to the school’s main entrance, hoping to drive my car onto campus and park as close to the dining hall as possible. But the main entrance was “officially” closed. I reversed direction and drove BACK to the original, far, far away parking lot and positioned my car right behind the dining hall.
I got out of my car, ran into the dining hall (clogs!) but no friend was to be found. WHUH?!
Okay. Maybe he was waiting for me at the dorm. I ran back to my car, drove back to the space behind the dorm, got out and realized I’d just dropped off my key in the dining hall and wouldn’t be able to get into the dorm’s main door.
Standing outside the dorm, I began to wonder if maybe my friend was in the bathroom next to the dining hall and I’d missed him while he was in THERE . Thinking about THAT made me realize how much **I** needed to pee. So, I got back in my car, disregarded the “officially” closed main entrance, drove up close to the dining hall, threw on my car’s blinkers and ran.
Now, I’m a 47-year-old woman who’s birthed two children and who has probably done ONE set of kegels in her entire life, and that was while stopped at a traffic light, 10+ years ago. It’s not like I need Depends Undergarments ™ or anything, but running? I try NOT to do that guy on a full bladder.
But, there I was, running down the steps, bladder loaded with two pints of water, three cups of morning coffee and a LOT of fruit, so with each step it became: pound, pee, pound, pee, pound, pee. Now, I may be making this up, but I think at that moment, I was mostly disappointed I wouldn’t be able to tell this story AT reunion.
I headed for the bathroom, first stopping to open the men’s room door and call out Dave’s name, but only heard the echo of my voice against the tiled walls. Then finally…FINALLY…I headed into the women’s room. PHEW!
I left the building, ran up the stairs (no worries this time!) and that’s when Dave called out, “Cathy!” I’D FOUND HIM! We could leave!!!!
Epilogue-like thingy: Dave had decided to wait in the dorm common room (apparently one COULD enter the dorm without a key) and we’d just missed each other. Without Dave knowing, when we stopped for gas, I changed my underwear. I didn’t have to change my pants, because I wasn’t wearing pants. I was wearing a skirt (it was the outfit I’d planned!). Plus, “I peed in my skirt at my 30th reunion” didn’t crack me up as much as “I peed in my pants at my 30th reunion” <–hilarious.
It was great to have Dave’s company on the ride home. We kept the reunion going and neither of us felt as sad or as lonely as we did on that empty campus. The best part? We didn’t have to stop ONCE on the way home to pee!