My 20-year college reunion for fancy big-name University is coming up. I probably won't go, since I'll be living in Ithaca at the time. As usual, they put out requests for us to send in a page with updates, pictures etc. Like the dreaded Christmas card bragging letters of yesteryear, these usually end up full of people's successes in life (jobs, marriage, kids, promotions, more kids, etc) rather than failures or hardships. For past reunions, I didn't bother to send one in. As you might expect, I'm even more curmudgeonly this time than in the past.
Here's what it should say...
"Old biddy has had a crappy year. Her long-time boyfriend broke up with her last summer, and just as she was starting to get over that, she got a layoff notice at work. She is currently collecting unemployment and getting ready to move across the country for a new job. Her hobbies include surfing the internet, blogging, playing Bejeweled Blitz, cooking and eating up the contents of her freezer, cupboards, and liquor cabinet, being a crazy cat lady, and brooding about her evil ex. She is looking forward to watching the World Cup this summer and meeting hot guys in Ithaca and being a cougar"
Well, that's a bit extreme, of course. At first I used the excuse that I didn't officially know where I'd end up. But they extended the deadline and kept bugging me to send one in, and gave the option of just a short update rather than the one page. I thought about the fact that if people only sent in the bragging letters it makes everyone else even less likely to send stuff in. In a class of 1500 people, there's got to be more than one person who's had a crappy year. Many people have undoubtedly had a much worse year than me. Eventually, I sent in a short description about how I had a good run at my former company (IPO, 45 patents, etc) but they reorganized and I got laid off, that I have accepted a job at Cornell, and am getting ready to relocate. I listed my official hobbies (hiking, gardening, cooking, soccer) and said I was sad to leave the Bay Area but was looking forward to having a bigger house and exploring upstate New York.