Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Reunions are weird. Especially this one.
I mean, even if I wasn't who and what I am, it would have been a strange one. Everyone had kids in tow, and I guess we're mostly at that stage in our lives. Heck, things go a little differently, and Martin Hartle is there with his wife Maggie and a kid who's about to turn three. And then there's little Marty out west. So I'm not totally disconnected from this baby boom.
It's just that so many are on the same path, and comfortable with it. And then here's me, tossed back five years or so and not knowing who and what I'm supposed to be. Looking at all those kids and realizing that if I'm going to have one of my own, it will be a considerably different experience than I'd grown up expecting.
It's kind of disappointing to see so few people I remember from my own graduating class aside from Kurt and Wei. Five years ago, there were about a dozen people I shared a dormitory floor with freshman year, and we had a great time after the official reunion. This year, there were many fewer people there, and I wound up just hanging around with Alex, Kurt, Wei, Denise, and Jim. We kind of found it funny that we didn't have to go all the way out to Worcester to do that, and indeed, who wants to go to Wormtown if they don't have to?
That doesn't mean I completely avoided all questions of what the heck I was doing there, at least wearing a Class of 1996 tag rather than a Class of 2001 one. I didn't hide anything, although when people saw my nametag reading "Martina Hart '96", a few people did jump to the conclusion that I'd had a conventional sex-change operation. I was tempted to let them think that, because it's easier, but it didn't feel right. It seemed like a betrayal to let them get the idea that as Martin I had been so unsatisfied with my life, so unwilling to accept who I am, that I would do that. It's a flat contradiction of how I choose to live now.
Fortunately, no-one called me a freak to my face. A couple folks were more interested in the science of it than in me, which is fine - it's darn cool science. Others would hit on me with Alex standing right there. Of course, I gather from Maureen that people assume that about anyone whose sexuality doesn't fit neatly into the common box - people assume that just because she's gay that the monogamous relationship isn't her standard, and she's into anything kinky. Bleh.
Overall, though, it was kind of disappointing. I think I expected weirder reactions than I got.