I’m enjoying my weekend so far.
I’ve got an iced French vanilla coffee sweating next to me on the desk. The laundry is cranking away. I’m procrastinating just a little longer on cleaning the bathroom. We’ve already hit up Trader Joe’s for groceries–even got some wine for my parents when we see them later at their Cape place. The sun is trying it’s hardest to push through the clouds; the humidity is in full force. The windows are wide open, people strutting about in shorts, tanks, and sandals. All is good.
And I’m thinking of the band again.
When we were at Trader Joe’s and got out of the car. The smell of tar burning in the parking lot from the intense summer (almost summer) sun reminded me of band camp days. We stood lined up on the white parking borders that keep cars in check. We count, line up, and do it all over again. We yell and if we don’t yell loud enough we have to do it again.
“Eyes with pride” is our motto–and it’s drilled into our minds every practicing moment. The entire band community has memorized the pride words. Even the University of Delaware’s marching band director uses it for her group–since she is an alumnus of UMass and our band.
Last night at J’s wedding (which was very lovely, by the way), we saw some fellow band alumni. Not as many as the last wedding we attended, but enough faces who we didn’t see at the previous nuptuals affair. And instead of only saying hello and catching up, we discussed how quickly the time has flown; four years ago we were all so engrossed with one another because we saw each other every day. Not in class or at the DC (dining commons)–but at practice, [too] early at games, on the field, out of town on a bus, at a rest stop, on a gym floor (because this is where we slept during away games/shows). It amazes me how connected we are. We all think we’re tied to our home town because we grew up there and have roots. But thinking back to your class from high school or even college doesn’t put things into perspective as much as this 350-person band does. And it’s not the same feeling as thinking okay, these people graduated with me. No, it’s these people who endured the hellish, cultish ways of the band–we ended our summer early, we didn’t have “real” weekends. And for what? A quick half-time show–a 2-hour long post game affair…exhibition events…inaugural parades…
Maybe it was the cheering we enjoyed. We felt on top of the world because this was as close to fame as we could get.
The thing is, even with our complaints about band and what it was and still is, I haven’t found anyone who has regretted their having been involved in something so demanding. In something so geeky.
Anyway, I don’t know how to end this post but I need to.