The TAG party last night was very surreal. Ted, Aaron, Adam & Russ hosted at their huge house in Ann Arbor, which has a bar in the attic that they call The Dandy Penguin. Katie, Rachel and I were the first to show up. Since most of us came into the program in either 3rd or 4th grade, most of us have known each other since we were 8 or 9. And walking around the party talking to people, it’s pretty clear that we were in the program for a reason—multiple people had graduated this semester (Anastas a full year early), practically every person you talked to was planning on grad school (Aaron has already been accepted into PhD programs), almost everyone is still really invested in their work and we all appear destined for success.
There were a few people I was surprised to see, and surprised to see how long they stayed. Some people put on airs about being above the program, having moved on to bigger and better things, but when you do the math, it’s hard to ignore the importance of the group. 60 peers who were your main interaction for 6-10 years of your life. Even when the program had technically ended, we were still together all the time in advanced classes in high school. So much talking, I lost my voice about an hour in—apparently I hadn’t used it much during finals week.
I kept calling it a game, a contest of who’s the most successful right now. (Anastas, Aaron, but then who?) And in a way I felt like I had to prove myself. I had to look especially nice, and I wanted to look particularly like myself, the cultivated image of me. Yes, I just graduated a few days ago, yeah, applying to grad schools. For some reason I felt it very important to be very out, even though I was out in high school and everyone knew already—I felt like I had to reiterate it whenever the opportunity arose, yes, still a homogay, still proud. Internalized homophobia, or what? No clue.
We played 10 fingers at my suggestion. I was never a leader in elementary school, but now I can’t stop myself from directing social situations. Everyone liked the idea of the game (well, Monica said she “really didn’t want to know,” which is reasonable) and after a half hour of cajoling, we played down in the living room. Marissa, Sayre and I sat in front of the fireplace, the trio back together once more. Marissa was out first, followed by me and Danielle. Interesting to see who’s abstained from what.
Marissa and I left with the intention of getting to the Taco Bell by our houses before it closed, but got caught by a train (ugh, Plymouth problems) and pulled into the drive through to find that the website lied, they’re not open until 4am anymore. So we went to Zack’s, because while the Grecian is right next to Taco Bell, Zack’s has the more impressive late night specials. A $3 plate of 2 eggs, hash browns and toast. Saganaki, opa! Many, many glasses of water. Rachel texted around 4 hoping we were at Zack’s, because that’s what people in Plymouth do after a night out, and she joined us and got her own plate of eggs. It was nice to sit there with Marissa and Rachel and recap the night, because it didn’t really feel real to me.