My email address must be on a list somewhere, because I keep getting messages from my alma mater. Generally, the only contact I have with Boston College these days is driving by the campus, or rooting for its sports teams, or puking during its tailgates. One day during work last summer, I played hooky and scoped out the old quad and dustbowl. There seemed to be just as many unattainable hot chicks that day as there were during my stay at the school. That just made me angry, so I left pretty quickly.
Now I'm getting harrassed by the school, and that makes me even more angry. Every alumnus from every college in the country gets phone calls and mailings begging for money, and I'm no exception. I might be one of the few people on the receiving end of those phone calls who hangs up and starts crying about the failure that is my life, but I'm certainly not alone in feeling hounded for donations. The thing is, I've got no money. Aside from a piece of paper and a few negligible friends I hung onto, I left BC with jack shit. And now I have even less. The four years was fun and all, but a degree don’t mean jack if you can’t get a job.
You think I'd be on the red-flagged "broke failure" list so they wouldn't be hounding me for money I don't have, but no. Instead of my contact with the school decreasing due to my financial inviability, their pleas have been increasing. And getting more more aggressive as well. But this time it's about something new. Well, actually, it’s always about the same thing (CHA-CHING!) but this time around they are cloaking it in something called a “5-Year Reunion”. Having never heard of such a phenomenon, due to my intense disinterest in prolonging nostalgia for the fun and carefree days I'll never recapture, I decided to use some of my free time to do some research. So, eager to uncover the perplexing mystery behind this new onslaught of so-called "reunion" themed mailings, I headed to the internet.
An online dictionary site defines “reunion” as the following:
An island of France in the western Indian Ocean southwest of Mauritius. Previously uninhabited, it was visited by the Portuguese in the early 16th century and first colonized by the French in the mid-1600s as the Isle de Bourbon. Renamed Réunion in 1793, it became an overseas department in 1946.
Needless to say, that definition proved confusing at first. I wasn't sure what it had to do with me, but I did take a few years of French in college and I think there's some Portugese guys in the kitchen at the bar where I work. I also kind of like Bourbon. But even with those clues, the whole business still didn't quite add up.
So I went to a different dictionary site and saw an ad for Classmates.com that went something like this: Reconnect with all the people you spurned in college because they sucked shit!
And I suddenly remembered that I already knew what “reunion” means, so why the fuck was I surfing the web's threadbare dictionaries for a definition? After all, I went to college, I have a degree. I might not be able to find gainful employment (apparently expertise in 3 Degrees of Kevin Bacon - that's right, I said three, you six-step pussies - and Movie Pong doesn't hold much water in the working world) but I can grasp rudimentary vocab. So thanks but no thanks, dictionary.com.
So, I know the What of reunions. What I don’t know about them is the Why, i.e. their raison d’etre (see, I really did take French!)? Why do we have them? Why does anyone go to them? Why does BC think I’ll go to mine? Where can I get a Gatling gun? Are they allowed on campus? I can wear my black trenchcoat, right?
I can see going to a 50-year reunion, or a 25-year reunion, especially if at that point Alzheimer’s has ravaged my mind and my loved ones are grasping at straws for ways to reilluminate my brilliant BC-degreed intellect. But a five year reunion? No fucking way I’m going to that.
Wait, open bar, you say? Hmmm...Let's weigh the options.
Most people go to their reunions to measure their achievements and brag about who or what they’ve become. But even if I were married to a supermodel, had invented some kind of incredible new sidewalk-gliding, telepathic-seeming, preposterous-looking and never-in-a-million-years-gonna-catch-on-ing, piece of shit transportation device named after a rhetorical device*, had billions of dollars and won a Super Bowl, I wouldn’t go to mine.
That's moot, of course, since I’m single, broke, unemployed, and constantly losing at wiffle ball. I don’t have much to show for myself and I’m not about to put a bullseye on my chest and share cocktails with a bunch of overachieving goody-two-shoes. Anyone can finish law school, assholes.
Some people go to their reunion to catch up with old acquaintances they've lost touch with over the years. I suppose there might be a few people out there, whose names escape me right now, that I might not mind shooting the breeze with for a few minutes. But probably not. Because, for the most part, I am already in touch with everyone from college I want to be in touch with. (It's no accident I haven't returned your calls for the past 3 years, Sam, so take a hint.) And the few friends that I have lost track of certainly aren’t the type to go to 5-year college reunions. I made sure a long time ago that my friends weren’t losers. There’s only room for one of those a group, and I’ve got that market cornered.
Yet some others, perhaps people not too unlike myself, might go just to get hammered and watch the fireworks. Not real fireworks, mind you, just the figurative ones that are bound to explode once I have shattered the "1998"-shaped ice luge during an attempt to more precisely line my mouth up with the cascading waterfall of liquor trickling down the repulsively unsanitary track of carved ice.
That's my best option, but maybe that's not the best strategy. I'm probably better off not going at all. But I wouldn't mind seeing if anyone actually goes to Classmates.com, because if they do, they might be surprised to learn that the Reverend Michael S. Julianelle has long since abandoned his parish in Ottawa and has moved on to chocolatiering in a village outside Brussels.
Hey, I've got nothing much to show for myself, so I might as well lie about
my life. And lie flamboyantly.
Who knows? If I stay sober enough, I might even be able to pull it off.
Let's get real here. You don't want to know about me. You want to know about "me".
ABOUT MIKE JULIANELLE
more about mike julianelle
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5.12.03 @ 2:18a
"Anyone can finish law school, assholes."
Jeff's gonna foam over this comment.
5.12.03 @ 12:49p
You mean fume?
Has anyone gone to their reunions?
5.12.03 @ 1:13p
I haven't hit "reunion time" yet. But I surely don't see myself going to the 5 year, if I go to any. I mean, didn't we just get away from these people?!
And I'm like you, I stay in touch with the ones that really matter. Not to mention that a lot of my college friends didn't even graduate the same year as me. I don't see the point.
Now for HS reunions, it's even worse. I'm in touch with 2 people from HS and they're the only two I care about anyway.
5.12.03 @ 1:17p
Same here. I have few friends remaining from high school, plus I went to an all-boys school. There couldn't be less incentive to go to a reunion there.
5.12.03 @ 1:25p
I would have gone to my 10th HS reunion, but I was in London at the time. And yeah, I keep in touch with enough college friends that this year's 10th reunion isn't something I'd make the trip for. Although if I lived in the same city, I might go.
5.12.03 @ 1:26p
Hee hee. I wanna see Jeff foaming, fuming, or both.
My high school class hasn't had any reunions cuz they picked the wrong senior class president. And before you ask, yes, I'm still bitter.
I did run into a girl from my class when I was in Iowa at Christmas. Pleasant enough, but when you're trying to cover 10 years in 10 minutes, a lot of stuff gets glossed over. She didn't even mention she'd gotten married, which I knew from another source.
michelle von euw
5.12.03 @ 1:55p
My five year college reunion was scheduled for Sept. 14, 2001. As you may imagine, it didn't happen.
5.12.03 @ 2:07p
"Anyone can finish law school, assholes."
Jeff doesn't care about this comment, so no foaming, etc. I finished law school attending about half of my classes, and stayed as drunk the whole time as Mike wishes he could afford to be. Considering I finished with little to no effort, I suppose any asshole could finish.
Of course, I doubt Mike could finish law school because he likely couldn't even get in given the fact that he can't do anything with his first degree. Maybe he could get in, if he applied to work in the cafeteria serving line or something.
No one will miss you at the reunion, I'm sure, MJ.
5.12.03 @ 2:21p
Speaking as one of Julianelle's "negligble friends" - I certainly don't miss a minute of his tired drivelings and hackneyed angst-filled ramblings....
5.12.03 @ 2:23p
But you'll be at the reunion, won't ya, Opie?
5.12.03 @ 2:25p
Jeff, you're not just any asshole.
My 10-year high-school was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. It also happened to be during Hollywood's 10-year high-school reunion machine (Grosse Pointe Blank, Romy & Michelle - within 2 weeks of my reunion). So we had something to go on.
All in all, I'd say, don't go unless you can just wander in. Not worth the hassle. 20, maybe. But 10? no.
Sheesh. My 10 college will be this year.
5.12.03 @ 2:30p
I'll be at my reunion because while most of those I'll conversate with are grade A chuckle-heads...it'll be a laugh and you know it Julianelle
5.12.03 @ 2:33p
I'll be hanging out at the bars afterwards, hopefully too drunk to pretend to be interested in talking to those so-called chuckleheads.
5.12.03 @ 2:36p
"For Boston, For Boston, we sing our proud refrain ..." sing it Julianelle...deep down you want to sing it....deep down you need to sing it....
5.12.03 @ 2:37p
Can we please ban this guy? Jesus. This isn't Dead Poets Society, bitch.
5.12.03 @ 2:42p
Why don't we all give up and sing our praises to porn, the trees and Buffey? Would that make ya happy (Judgin? You bet!)
5.12.03 @ 2:45p
No "e" in Buffy, dipshit.
FYI, everyone else, these are the people I try to avoid by skipping reunions.
5.12.03 @ 2:46p
Proud to be that guy
5.12.03 @ 2:54p
Whoa. Julianelle has a friend? Who knew!
5.12.03 @ 3:02p
Friend is a loose term.
5.12.03 @ 3:04p
"Friend" takes on an interesting meaning when it comes to Julianelle
5.12.03 @ 3:05p
I don't know why anyone would ever want to be your friend, MattRowe.
5.12.03 @ 3:08p
You worship me Julianelle
michelle von euw
5.12.03 @ 4:29p
Even though I've never attended a single class at BC, I'm on their alumni mailing list. I just got an invitation to their Annual Golf Tournament in Rhode Island. Mike, Matt, wanna go?
5.12.03 @ 4:31p
I just got that crap too. No thanks.
5.12.03 @ 11:41p
My 20 year HS reunion was this past summer, and once again, I didn't attend. I suppose I can understand why some people would want to, but the idea never appealed to me.
5.13.03 @ 3:43p
I went to both my 5th college and 10th high school. I wrote a column about the high school one; I assume you all read it.
The college reunion was okay. Basically, it was an excuse to hang out in Boston with friends who no longer lived nearby, and to make sure that not too many other people were doing better than me.
5.13.03 @ 3:44p
Everyone's doing better than me. So I stay away.