I'm back in The Land Of My Birth this week to attend my 20th high school class reunion tonight and tomorrow night. It's been a tiring trip in at least one respect -- the gossip. My soon-to-be ex-brother-in-law is no longer living under my parents roof, but he and his relationship with my sister are the constant undercurrent of discussion, if not with my parents, then with the extended family. It's as if the elephant is not quite in the room anymore, but he's left a big outline in the corner of the room where he used to sit, and that still remains. From what I'm hearing, it is uncertain how far the actual legal dissolution of my sister's relationship with her husband has progressed. Some worry that the elephant could come back into the room someday.
In any case, I'm pretty tired of all the talk. It's wearing me out. It's involved a lot of "Psych 101" analysis (mostly of my sister's marriage, but some of my own). Some tough questions have been asked, and the answers were a little difficult to hear. The intensity of it all tends to chafe a little bit after a while.
Of course, the thing that really kind of gets me is that all the talk can't do one blessed thing to help resolve the situation. It's all gossip. No one is really talking to my sister or her husband about all this. Every step he takes lately seems to be the wrong one, and she's not taking many steps to move the dissolution of their marriage forward. It's the train wreck that keeps on giving, and taking the rest of us along for the ride.
All that aside, the reunion itself has me feeling a little out of sorts. I feel much more the stranger here now than at the last reunion, ten years ago. Relationships with many of the people still here in town have grown more distant. The ten year reunion felt a lot like an extended gathering of the tribe. This seems lot more like a gathering of relative strangers than old friends for some reason.
Part of it has to do with where I am in my life right now. A number of changes (buying housing, change of job, having children) are under discussion, if not in the works. Who am I right now? I don't know.
Still, it will be very good to see who is back for this shindig. I'm sure whatever butterflies I'm having will dissipate when I finally see everyone.
on 2007-07-27 at 10:04 a.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond