The Best Part of My Day (10/3 to 10/5/07)

Originally published elsewhere on the dates indicated

Wednesday October 3, 2007
The best part of my day today was sharing sushi with my husband at Umi. We ate miso, sashimi, and downed two martinis each – with four olives in every glass. Yum! It was the first time we had a date night where we didn’t discuss Lois and all her issues. She’s been doing so well, just great, and so we were able to talk about other things. I felt myself relaxing for the first time in a long while. And we made total asses of ourselves at this “chi-chi” establishment because when we went to leave, we completely overturned our table, throwing water onto the people next to us who had been assholes the entire dinner. I mean, who brings their own red wine, in a leather wine case, to a sushi place anyway? They give pretentious a bad name. We howled with laughter, murmured “sorry” and hightailed it out of there, cackling the whole way. It was pretty fuckin’ yaya.

Thursday, October 4, 2007
Just a yucky, busy day. Getting ready for alumnae reunion at Chatham is truly the most draining experience of my life. Sixteen events in two days translates into two 16-hour days full of smiling and making small talk with blue hairs from the class of 1957. Sigh. The best part of my day was the shrimp scampi linguine I shared with my husband that night across our red formica kitchen table. Lemony, buttery, garlicky goodness.

Friday, October 5, 2007
Reunion. There are no words for the energy that is expended in making sure old ladies get their bloody marys. Most of them are nice, but it’s the ones who aren’t that get you. Imagine having dinner with those in-laws you hate – for SIXTEEN HOURS and you have an inkling of what it’s like.

Anyway, I did, unexpectedly, have one great moment today. One of my duties was escorting Vivian Lowery Derryck, class of ’67 around. She was doing a talk on the Liberian election, which she witnessed. This election allowed the first woman president, a rape victim no less, in Africa to be elected in 2005. I worked her powerpoint presentation, walked her around campus, got her water, took her to lunch, etc. She is one cool lady, definitely yaya. And her presentation inspired me – kind of made me realize that I’m “not done yet” that there are other things I’m supposed to do here.

While she was eating lunch with her classmates, I wolfed down a wrap in the cafeteria and got to talking with a student interested in traveling abroad for the first time. I began to tell her about Vivian and how well traveled she was, then suggested that the student apply for our Vira Heinz award, which provides $5,000 to travel. The student was so open to suggestions and seemed so young and fresh. She was astounded that I was taking so much time to talk with her. I gave her my card as Vivian walked out (I had to escort her to her next lecture).

Then I got a lightbulb moment – why not introduce them? The spirit of my aunt Judy entered my soul – this is totally what she would do – bring them together. And so I did.

They got to talking, and as we walked, Vivian told Candace (the student) that she first traveled abroad because she won the Vira Heinz award back in 1967. A CHILL went up my back. I had no idea she won this award too. How weird is that? At that moment, I truly felt that I had made a connection, or started someone down a path. Vivian even introduced this moment with Candace as the introduction to her next lecture. I sat in the audience thinking, “I DID THAT.” 🙂

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