Monday, 18 October 2010

Awfully Different


Still don't feel like writing about it, so I'll write about something that happened today.

My little sister graduated. She is four years younger than me and that, coupled with the fact that she is a girl, makes her my parents' preferred child. She is the golden one to bow down and worship, and so we did that. Well, I say we; my parents went merrily along, I cut in with humorous asides (well, I thought they were humorous), and she basked in the glory of graduation. And alcohol.

It wasn't a big graduation, like mine, nor was it particularly grandiose, like TD's. But it was kind of nice, in its own ridiculous way. And speaking of ridiculous...

Hang on, I know that girl! I sat up, craning my neck to see, like a meerkat who has sensed something amiss. Yes, I definitely know that girl! I had a crush on her almost ten years ago! (At least, that's what I thought. It was more like eight, but who's counting?) She's older than me! Is this her second degree? Or third?

I quickly consulted my "here is your guide to the ceremony, see if you can find your name in minuscule print" guide. Yes, there she was, same name (except actually not, due to ther fact that she is married now and has a different name from the one they listed), undergraduate degree. So I was curious as to why she got to this so late. After all, mature students pick up undergraduate degrees later in life, but the last I heard, she was going to university - first time around - at the same time I did. Something to idly wonder about, you know.

Except I ran into her at the after-graduation party thingy.

"Uhm..." I started. And then I was struck dumb, and pointed.
She looks different somehow. Put on weight?... No, that's not it. No retainer?... No, I wouldn't have noticed that. She looks... different. Not attractive any more.
I knew exactly where I knew her from. Church. She seemed to have difficulty in placing me, though, which you'd think is strange, since everyone told me I had a rather obvious desire to date her and yet she ended up going out with one of my best friends. That sort of thing may hav stuck with her. It hadn't.
Her parents didn't recognise me at all. Which is also strange, since I did an impression of him at church once and everyone laughed.

I don't go to this church any more.

And that... that must be her husband. On Facebook, he looked rather imposing. But here, he looked almost as out-of-place as I felt, but then again, he was probably dwarfed by the amazing spectacle of me in my awesome formal suit of awesomeness.

Eventually, I asked the question.

"Well, I took a gap year," she said, "and then I did my degree." And that finished the matter.

Hang on. A gap year, that's one. A degree, that's three. That makes four. But it's been four years since I finished university. Whatever possessed her to do her degree for six years? Did she repeat the first, second and third years twice? Did she go extremely part-time? Did she just forget to go? (She forgot about me, so that's plausible.)

I never did ask her, so I never found out. But then again, I never asked her out at the age of approximately 17 either.

Old habits die hard.

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