After a conference where I gave not one but two short talks, which were well received even if not well understood, I ditched the final schmooze and hopped in my car to join my Cricket at the Princeton reunions. These are strange affairs: it seems most of the people who go to Princeton delight in returning. I went to a large (yet fancy!) public school, so reunions are the sort of thing reserved for Greeks, which I was not. GDI, in the parlance of the time.
Princeton reunions are very cultlike. Everyone comes back for their mod-5 reunions, and each of those gets a huge tent. There's a lot of drinking. There's a ridiculous P-rade.
Jakov, physicist and class warrior, joined me, so that in the moments when Cricket was overwhelmed with Princeton glee and forgot about me I would have someone to talk to. We were both pretty shocked at the larval ruling class making beasts of themselves. Then again I'm a bit of a hypocrite, and made a beast of myself. A hell of a good time, actually.
We lunched at her Eating Club. Great catering. I enjoyed the wood-paneled library.
Would I send my kids to Princeton? Hell yes. Am I a little bit bitter they didn't accept me for undergrad? Yeah, a bit. Is the Princeton thing a feature or bug re: Cricket? Definitely feature. Do I reserve the right to be a little weirded out by the whole thing? Yeah, a bit.
On the way back to DC we hung out in Philly (her flying out of Philly to Chicago) with her bro and his wife and kid. He's younger than me but has been in the Navy for N years and went to Annapolis. So he feels older. I envy him his permanent job, but not necessarily the stress of having a wife/kid/new house/new job combo. Will that be me in a few years?