Whatever else 2016 was, it was bunny_hugger's 20th anniversary. For her undergraduate college. She'd been to the 10th and missed the 15th. She'd looked to the 20th with a mix of anticipation and anxiety. But she wanted to go. I would go along, naturally, although what does it say about me I've never been to a high school or college reunion?
We did leave our pet rabbit with bunny_hugger's parents, the first time we'd had any reason to since Pinburgh, and a chance to reassure her parents that I had complete confidence in their ability to take care of him. That's nothing I had to fake either; I know how well they cared for our pet, and especially how her mother doted on him. He'd come through that visit in fine shape, of course. Possibly better than he went to them in.
bunny_hugger drove the long way down all the way to Earlham College, in Richmond, Indiana. It's a place she talks about often, one that set her on the course to being a philosopher. She hadn't thought of it before falling under the spell of a professor who's since left the school. Few of the people she knew would be there, or planned to be there. One person with some connection would be there for likely the last time: her very first advisor, whom she had long enough to determine she wanted to be a Philosophy rather than an English major, was retiring and would have a farewell party during the weekend.
So we drove down, marking an all-time high for us of three drives through Indiana this year. That was all fairly boring and unexceptional save for the last mile, where highway construction at the end of the off-ramp we needed meant we spent more time trying to go from the highway to the road leading to our hotel than we spent getting from Lansing to the off-ramp for our hotel. I exaggerate, but only by about twelve minutes. It added just that dash of stress and frustration ahead of the emotionally complicated event that it really most needed.
Later than we had originally hoped, then, we drove to campus where bunny_hugger realized she didn't know the way around campus in a car. Who needs a car as an undergraduate? Especially a compact campus like this. We found what seemed like a legitimate enough parking lot, which is the most you can hope for when parking at a college. And found the student union, renovated and being renovated but still with recognizable bits from when she had lived on campus.
Mostly recognizable anyway. Some of the landmarks were recognizable, like the nook that used to be the TV room where bunny_hugger remembered seeing Bill Clinton's inauguration and episodes of ER and other mid 90s landmarks. There was an art display gallery that was different at least, and a whole coffee area that was new. There had been somewhere in the union that, back in the day, hosted some unimpressive pinball machine and no trace of them or the exact spot where they'd been. I may be remembering this detail wrong and am open to correction on it.
In to the meeting area, and to registration. bunny_hugger had signed up for several events over the Friday and Saturday, with me along as a guest. We got our name badges and schedule and I think I noted how they needed convention-style pocket schedules. We were set for wherever this would lead.
Trivia: Finnish liquorice is regarded as the saltiest of all kinds. Source: Sweets: A History of Temptation, Tim Richardson.
Currently Reading: 1919: The Year Our World Began, William K Klingaman. Klingaman gives a ``maybe you had to be there'' defense of recounting how at Vanity Fair, where the addressing of people by their first names was not allowed, Dorothy Parker addressed Robert Benchley as ``Fred''. I dunno, I get it.