Sunday, September 10, 2017

On the Outside Looking In

It seems every two years I head back to Columbus for not a friend's weekend, but a friend's weekend.

Yeah - that sounds.........confusing.

You always read about my Columbus friends. The ones I've spent the last three decades cultivating and nurturing: Georty, Becca, Jon and Dith.

But just like 30+ years ago I was living a double life, so to speak. While I was knocking boots with a guy from Beta Theta Pi, my actual fraternity brothers knew none of this.

Eventually I broke off from the place, but with the advent of the Facebook, I got roped back in. And it's not bad or anything, just weird playing catch-up after such a long time.

Now some of these guys I've seen more than other over the years. The ones in these pictures?  Not since 1984! There were other guys who separated from this pictured group - those were the ones I see or to whom I talk.

Two years ago I went down for some fraternity event - kind of. I went down for some of the folks, the event was just the excuse, one of which bailed. That would be Bono Jeff, in the sunglasses.

Jeff, of most all of us, is the least changed. He was a frighteningly handsome man in his 20s and is in his 50s. Though Tim and Dan are remarkably similar. Maybe it's only I that have changed.

Like my fraternity days, this weekend I felt just out of place.

We had - and have - great stories, but it is amazing how theirs eventually revolve around women....and girls (well.........not mine!). Then and now.  While at the Out-R-Inn (yes....that's what it's called), Jeff talked-up just about every female he saw. And a number of guys too, but mostly chicks. He was an ex-fraternity president and really knows how to schmooze and turn on the charm. He's like Eric Stratton personified.

Still, I told him, one ill-placed 'daddy' or 'grandpa' comment from the under 20s co-eds was going to massacre him. He told a story of some chick he met that while doing some mundane thing, it gave him a semi.  He laughed and laughed and laughed when I said, "you're 56.....a semi is your best case scenario". 

I love Jeff - and his brother. I can honestly say, Jeff's brother (Gary) is the only person I know who was custom fit for his job and his passion. The rest of us fall into what we do and trudge through. Not Gary. Jeff couldn't be prouder of him.

Dan was the biggest surprise. I never felt he liked me back in college. And at first the conversation between us was stilted. But it had been 33 years.........and that whole not liking me thing. That might have just been in my head, as he couldn't have been better. But maybe that's just aging and maturing.

Tim - another ex-fraternity president and my 'big brother' (and who went out with one my sisters a few times) -  showed up almost unexpectedly. He's almost never participated in anything, even though he's been asked and even though he says he will. Talk about a guy who has not looks or demeanor.  Or possible misogyny. You expect talk like his from a 19 year old.   .....well, a 19 yo in 1981.  Today's 19 year olds are a little more enlightened.

This is where I felt out of place, as I did back in 1981-84. I have almost nothing to add to these conversations about Sandy's 'perfect tits' (though I could comment on her multiple personalities) and trust me, they didn't want to hear me talk about the cute male co-eds that were at the bar.

While I've known them forever, and they are friends, they are not FRIENDS. They're not the ones I'd ever go to talk about anything substantial or to bounce ideas off of.  Oh - and for some reason, they are now all calling me 'Bob'.  Never have I gone by that. Never have they known me as that. It was fine and all.

Still, we had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs and a lot of 22 oz beers. ...and Fireball shots, of which I did not partake.

The game itself?????    ehhhhhhhh......I'm sure these Buckeyes could have beat almost any Division III high school team.   ....but on the plus side, we couldn't have had better weather.

I'm planning on having b'fast with two other brothers who could not make the game. I think I'll like that scenario more.

Song by: Alison Krauss + Union Station


Old Lurker said...

Holy cow. You were a frat boy?

rebecca said...

Wait, when was this? I'm confused! Are you here?

The Cool Cookie said...

We were at OSU at the same time. Did you ever cruise the stacks?

CALVIN said...

Love the "Animal House" reference. My personal favorite, " Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son." It's funny, I always have that knee jerk reaction to "frat" even though it sounds like we had similar experiences, Stockholm Syndrome anyone? Great blog.

sanpiseth40 said...

I'm confused! Are you here?