Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One thing that has really amazed me about college are the traditions that somehow just come out of nowhere. NOWHERE. Left field. How finding out that you and a friend share a favorite TV show can turn into up to 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15 people watching every single night for months. Even little things, even jokes and jabs, like how a movie soundtrack (the best one ever made, obviously) becomes the subject of random one line texts and facebook posts for years. How going to Commons one Monday night and having so many gasp-laugh moments suddenly equals a weekly Epic Dinner. How, once upon a time last February, Jamie knocked on Kelli's door delivering newspapers and was greeted with fresh brownies on the counter, and had the good sense to ask the next week, "So, are y'all making brownies again?"
Dessert Night.
Last March, Kelli's-- squeezed onto the futon with David, Jamie, Sarah, and Jeremy, as Kelli brought rice krispie treats out of the oven (one pan with m&ms, one without for Jerms and me, trying to abet our Lenten chocolate temptations) and we talked and we laughed about things I can't recall but I know they were good and funny and just what we needed to talk about.
Last May, Jeremy's-- three couches full plus a dog and some pulled up chairs, and I don't even remember what we ate, I was laughing so hard, the night before Reading Day and exams but it didn't even matter because I was laughing SO HARD and all through it thinking, these people cannot leave me, they are not supposed to leave, abroad or graduation, screw it, we are always supposed to be sitting here (or chasing Jeremy the tree climber over on top of the couch, like Carolyn did) in unity, in unity which is not always quiet and contemplative but is loud and jubilant and messy and absolutely as it should be.

Last week, mine-- Kate and Rob whipped up dark chocolate cookies (and Rob told someone where to put a pan in the cabinet and I laughed, "it's pretty much your kitchen!" because it is) and Louis went out to buy ice cream and Elizabeth brought her famous molasses cookies and Jessie boiled water for tea and my hall counselor girls laughed and Michele and Jamie tried to remember the words to "I want a hippoplatapus for Christmas..." and Sarah fell asleep on the couch and we called Kelli in Boston and Rachel brought Jacquie and Jacquie brought Scott and Scott brought his two friends from UNC who beamed the whole time and seemed genuinely amazed by the chaotic coziness, the warmth, the "wow, you do this every week?"--


18 people.

And then Saturday, when we brought our parents along, made nametags, Rob made spice cake (which everyone rightly raved over, and Jenny and Liz, sitting on the couch later, declared to be in his "Top 5"-- and I love that we've now been doing this long enough so that he has a top 5), we called Jeremy for his birthday and loudly serenaded his voicemail, we stood and sat around and we laughed and our parents laughed because we laughed, amused and bemused by this wonderful thing their kids have started and kept up, sweets and company and hysterical laughter, a constant thing in our lives even as they speed up and slow down, always Dessert Night.

It sounds hilarious because in a sense it absolutely is, but like most of the little things I write about here, it is one of the most important parts of my life. The process, the journey, the continuation, how friends-->family.

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