Dating Myself

3 07 2009

And now, as promised:

Amy and I carpooled up to the Bay Area a couple of weeks to go; each of us had a wedding to attend, and that allowed me to meet up with John in Fresno (which was actually a good thing, despite the abundance of evidence to the contrary) after the weekend.  Eric and Julia’s wedding (which, with apologies to Julia, I still think of as “Eric’s wedding” so as to continue lamenting his exodus from bachelorhood) was nice, although the wedding party didn’t get to eat first at the reception, which took away about 3/4’s of my motivation for being in the wedding party at all.  Of course, it was special being involved and it meant a lot and BLAH FREAKIN’ BLAH.  Eric, if you’re reading this, you owe me food.  Or the feeling of being first in line to get food.  I don’t care if we have to run down to Hometown Buffet so you can push some people out of the way — I didn’t get all gussied up and shove a flower in my lapel just to sit around while all of your old, stinky relatives scarfed all the good food.  Besides, how am I supposed to set fire to the dance floor on an empty stomach?  By the time I was considering a third slice of cake, most of the songs were already over.

You did right with the recessional music (YOUR OWN ECONOMY JOKE HERE FOR $49.99) though.  I felt like a decorated wookiee walking back down the aisle for only the second time in my life, and I have you alone to thank for that.  Growlf!  (Growlf! is Wookiee for Bark!)

Highlights of the weekend:

-My suggesting that all the guys be careful using the low-flow toilet in Chateau le Hippie on Friday night, and Jeff promptly unloading a barrage of Drano-proof goodness upon it the following morning.  At least he bought them new towels.

-Cameron’s and my receiving a standing ovation for I Dreamed a Dream at some random Karaoke place in Napa.  There was some oddly stiff competition/really disturbing people.

-The hike through the forest of Endor.  Personally, I wouldn’t have minded some speeder-riding stormtroopers, especially when we got to the poison oak.  At least Alex survived to leave his shoes with me.

-Eric’s tasty presents that he made himself.  It was extra cool people Luke and Cameron’s got broken in transition.  Schadenfreude, or something like that.

-Cleansing my body with Alex outside the Spears’ living room window.  It’s less creepy than it sounds, but probably a little creepier than you might hope.

Summarily, it was a fantastic weekend.  Good people, good reasons to celebrate, and fond memories.  Eric, if I could ever choose a friend to get married twice, it would be you.  To Julia both times, but I do want another weekend like that.

* * * * *

Camp was wonderful.  My cabin was filled with largely docile 7th grade boys, although they were very “squirrelly’ (as Mrs. Hill put it) the instant I left.  Put that many jr. high boys in a room, I guess one shouldn’t be surprised.  Seeing Don, Susie, Tom, Marti, Craig, Ruth and everyone was exhilarating, and Renae and Marlyse helped make green time a rather emblematic color for the other, lesser teams.  Night games were all right, though the band and Daniel did their best to siphon off all the fun/fodder for their own amusement.  That’s probably been a dominant element for the past decade, though, so I supposed my complaints are largely groundless.

I’m never sure how to treat the emotions of kids that age, though.  I realize that encouraging a solely emotive attitude towards their lives will do the kids little to no good (at best) in the long run; however, I also have a lot of trouble figuring out what is sincere and what is, knowingly or not, affected sentiment after chapels and such.  I tended to look at the times I had to lay into the kids for fighting or breaking the rules as the more prominent instances of solid direction, but perhaps I’m completely overestimating the effect of situational discipline on kids.

It was very surreal to see the same dynamics among the campers  six years after I was last there.  Watching the awkward conversations with girls and the midweek apathy come like clockwork, I was relieved to see that my experience was much closer to the norm that I had thought at the time.  In fact, I had a pretty darn good one, all told.  The Friendship House is still a bastion of card games, but now it’s infested with hipster children playing Relient K sing-along.  Are you kidding me?

Pastor John was very effective, I think, at driving his points home.  I also discovered that Pastor Stuart was not the person I remembered, which is, I think, a good thing.  The after-hours conversations with the big people were really special, and I fully expect to return next year.  I also expect next year to be harder, as everyone seemed pleasantly surprised at how “great” this week went.   The first one’s always free…

* * * * *

If freedom isn’t free, why are we giving ours away so liberally today?

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