Thursday, October 20, 2011

Going back to Tally!

FORWARD



Tallahassee, Florida, that is.  Home of Florida State University, my Alma mater.  This is the most exciting thing that I have done in a couple of years.  And, I have not been away from my boys since a year ago September, so, look out!

I get to spend a glorious weekend with some of my sorority sisters.  I haven't seen the majority of them in 20 years.  I did get to see one of my very good friends somewhere around 1999, if memory serves.  Right, AM?

So, this is just a forward to what I'm sure will be a weekend loaded with fun, laughter, reminiscing, and more fun...LOTS of fun!!!  I just wish people would stop telling me to behave myself because I really have no intention of doing so.  Would you?

I love reunions.  I think it is amazing to be able to reconnect with people you haven't seen in years.  How lucky are we that we get to do such a thing?  I don't look at reunions as an opportunity to one up anyone else.  That just seems silly.  You are what you are at the phase of life you are in, good or bad.  If you're happy then that's all that should matter.  All things considered, I am happy!  And, I am especially happy to be meeting up with this fantastic group of women!

So, I'm off to St. Louis shortly to catch my flight to Atlanta where my friend will pick me up.  From there we will drive to Tallahassee and the rest is history in the making......



CHAPTER 1



It all came rushing back to me.  The sights, the sounds, the atmosphere.  College life at FSU.  I thought that I had forgotten so much of it.  It's true what they say, "use it or lose it".  Just being there made me remember so many of the wonderful memories that I had forgotten. 

This fountain, in particular, reminds me of how numb the collegiate mind is to rules and regulations.  It was very much against the rules to get in, but, all I remember hearing in my 20 year old head was, "I dare you to get in!"  'Nuf said.  What I didn't know was that the inside of the fountain was inclined.  Upon surfacing I heard the sirens and saw my "sister" running off in the distance.  She was kind enough to get my shoes.  Somehow I managed to get myself out and elude the authorities.  Good times.

After touring the campus my good friend, Ann Marie, and I were off to lunch with four of our sorority sisters.  The dear girl was kind enough to warn me seconds before I almost stepped in this:



Yup, vomit.  Just a part of college life.  Right there in the student union.  I apologize to those of you who are weak stomached.  I couldn't help myself.  I had to take the photo.

I'm telling you, it was as if a day hadn't passed.  Everyone looked fabulous!  And, I won't say that no one had changed because fortunately we had.  We had all stopped getting perms and started using tweezers.  But, other than that I'd say we all were all feeling pretty youthful, up until the waiter called one of us "ma'am".  And, here we thought we were blending in.

After regrouping and recouping a few of us shared a couple of cocktails while one by one our sorority sisters trickled in just in time for our reunion night out.  It is amazing to me that so many years have passed and we still managed to pick up where we left off.  The only difference between now and then is that we are older, definitely wiser and we have more insurance. :)



Some of my pledge class!



Jennifer and Ann Marie...
or is that Ricki Lake?


More vomit



CHAPTER 2
Game Day!


Here is when I got lost.   

A few of us started the day off at a brunch at the Chi Omega sorority house.  I lived in the house for 2 of my 4 years at school, but it looked nothing like what I remembered.  Talk about an upgrade.  I think I can tell my father that all of that money was put to good use.


The house was gorgeous!  We even snuck into what used to be the chapter room, only now it's more of a study/storage room.  Remarkably our composites were still hanging up on the wall.  Ah, memories.










But, frankly, the most improved award, without a doubt goes to...........Kristen Beeman!


 

I mean, wow.  Get it, Beeman!

An FSU home game is a marvel, to say the least.  Even 20 years ago it was a huge production.  Now with the 90 million dollars worth of additions to Doak Campbell Stadium it's an all out tour de force. The stadium was completely unrecognizable to me.


"The Doak"

It was now time for the tailgating to begin. It was well worth the 5 thousand lb. cooler bag that I carried to our spot.  We agreed that next year we will invest in a wheelie cooler.  I think that decision may have been reached in part because of the tad bit of whining that I did.


The tailgating Gamma's of Chi Omega
I hope that some day I can take my boys to a home game at Florida State.  We have some of the coolest pre-game ceremony traditions in college football.  I had chills as I watched and remembered what it felt like and what it looked like.  It is a sight to behold.  My 9 year old asked me if we could go to the game when FSU plays Illinois College.  I assured him that when/if that game happens, we will definitely be there. 


This kind of reminded me of a home game at IC.  Sort of.

I am so grateful that I was able to make the trip.  It was so wonderful to rekindle old friendships and to create new bonds.  We all shared intimate details of our current lives and laughed about the crazy times we shared a mere 20 years ago. I think we were all in agreement that we had a fabulous time while we were in college, but are all happy to be in the stage of life that we now find ourselves.  

Someone suggested we bring our kids for our next reunion.  Um, yeah, no I kind of liked being able to "let the freak flag fly", as was suggested by a friend.  If it's all the same to everyone, I vote gals only.  Or is that just me? 

And, as a side bar, I didn't fly the flag all that high.  I definitely had fun, but I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss a thing.

A huge shout out goes to Lori Raskin for planning this weekend!!  It was perfect!  I missed you gals all so much!  And, you all look fab-u-lous!  Thanks for the amazing memories!

So, checking this one off of my list.  Again, I love reunions.  Next up is my high school 25th reunion next summer.  That can't be right.  Can it?




AFTERWARD
by Ann Marie Conti

College is not just books and papers!  It's Greek life, it's lifelong friends, it's sports, it's bars & parties & vomit.  It's Tallahassee, Fl on a sunny , fall, football kind of day.  It's busting out on your own & living your life - until your parents pull your butt back home because they're not sending you to school on their dime to party.  Ahh, yes.  I only know people that happened to.  Really.  After being a full-time mom for the last 13+ years, I recently went back to school to get a new kind of life.  My 10 year old asks me, "Mom, what time do you go to college?"  My response, "Mom's already been to college, son.  This is serious."  What I'd like for my kids to get out of college is simple: a useful degree & the interviewing skills to go along with it, a less-than-average weight gain, knowledge of how often to change your sheets, and friends that they can turn to at a moment's notice - for anything.  I have that.  Those friends.  Those amazing ladies that will ask not, judge not, repeat not, fear not!  I have used up more minutes talking to my therapist, Persephone, than I can count (you can call her Chi O Jenny).  I love them.  I couldn't live without them.  boy am I glad they can handle my sh*t.  Everybody needs someone to tame them when they're a hot mess. 

For my fellow Gammas... I love a good reunion weekend.  You hold a special place in my heart, and the following is for you.  What is it?!

To live constantly above snobbery of word or deed; to place scholarship before social obligations and character before appearances; to be, in the best sense, democratic rather than 'exclusive', and lovable rather than 'popular'; to work earnestly, to speak kindly, to act sincerely, to choose thoughtfully that course which occasion and conscience demand; to be womanly always; to be discouraged never; in a word, to be loyal under any and all circumstances to my Fraternity and her highest teachings and to have her welfare ever at heart that she may be a symphony of high purpose and helpfulness in which there is no discordant note.


6 comments:

  1. I cannot believe you hung out with Ricki Lake! I cannot believe you put that there. Not revealing the "sister" who saved your shoes at the fountain...NICE! Cannot wait for next year. Great memories, good times...like we were just in college. How does that fight song go...Go Seminoles...Florida State, no, no, fight...comes right back!

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  2. I think they've changed the fight song since I was there. Maybe? No? Oh well.

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  3. Great write up! I'm still in Tallahassee so often that it's really neat seeing the perspective of someone who hasn't been back in so long. I know we are several years apart in Gamma--I think you were a freshmen when I was either a senior or in grad school--but it's always nice to see a fellow Gamma blogger!

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  4. Ladies, well said! I could not have made it through college without the two of you. Hugs and laughter were my very favorite moments at FSU and with Chi O. Love you my sisters!

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