MOVING ON

Today is my last day in Vegas. Tomorrow morning, I’ll get my oil changed, fill the car and wash it, go send my love through the glass enclosure and cage to Kenny G, and head to LA to spend a couple of weeks with Abbi.

But yesterday was the absolutely, without a doubt, no questions asked best day I’ve had since March 1 when I arrived, because I got to have lunch with my very first rush crush as a house director and three of her new friends. The second I saw her I let out a squeal like a 16-year old and almost hugged the life out of her. So what if we were in the middle of the lobby at Planet Hollywood.

We laughed, talked about all the crazy stuff that happened during the two years we lived together under the same roof, and I kept saying, “that made the book!” She can’t wait to get her hands on it — partly so she can laugh at the person she and her friends were at 18, and partially to learn some of the things going on in the house that she didn’t know about. It was the happiest 2.5 hours I’ve had in a very long time that weren’t spent with Abbi.  I learned that all “my girls” from her pledge class (this gal and her cabal of friends — and you have no idea how hard it is not to divulge information about them so I won’t give away who they are in the book), have really good boyfriends, are happy in their jobs, and still talk on a regular basis. Sadly, unlike my first senior class who for the most part live in the same area and get together on a regular basis, their class has disbursed and they don’t get to see each other as often as they should.

We hadn’t been together very long before I realized something pretty amazing. I’ve given the house mom gig six years of my life — some has been hysterical, some depressing, I’ve had more than a couple of disguesting moments, and for the most part I’ve loved it. But that first year, 2006-2007 was my best.  I’m pretty sure no other experience could top the one I had with the original senior class members and 28 pledges that joined in the fall of ’06. Yes, there were two other classes, but somehow it all comes down to the ones who were getting ready to graduate and those who were just feeling their way into college life.

Of that first senior class, there are practicing attorneys, two Naval officers, a Facebook millionaire, a couple who are almost doctors, several with multiple degrees, and one who started her own business. Two are already married, and this spring/summer is marriage season for several more of them. Our first pledge class gave me a batch of new babies who are also now college grads or in grad school. Being able to watch the lives of these two groups of young women evolve has been fun, exciting, and has brought me unspeakable joy.

And the thing that brings me more happiness than I can ever express is that of the 140+ girls I got to live with in those four semesters and the live-out girls we didn’t have beds for, about 120 of them are still in contact with me through Facebook. We still have each others numbers on our phones — and use them.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been so blessed. I’ve had the opportunity to live with four different houses of the orneriest, rowdiest, smartest, funniest, rule-bend-ing-est young women who have changed my life forever. My Facebook friends are about 70% past and present college kids from the University of Central Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, (one campus that will not be mentioned), San Deigo State, UCLA and USC. Where other house directors might not ever hear from their girls after graduation, so many are still in my life.

By the time I got back to the car after lunch yesterday, I was crying. I realized that unless something very dramatic happens, I’m hanging up my blue, fluffy robe. At least for now.

In fall of ’13, Alpha Gamma Delta  is colonizing at USC and has petitioned to re-open on UCLA. The housing director at national headquarters and I are already talking about the possibility of me taking one of those houses. And I loved the Alpha Gams at UCO so much, it would be an honor to be a part of their new chapters.

But for now, the robe is retired and we’ll see what the next year brings. I’m excited about the possibilities. And the adventures. I may head north for awhile, because I really miss my writing community. Or I may hit the road with the top down on a car that  looks like it’s been on college campuses for the last 6 years. I don’t even care if I end up living in Starbucks by day and a Chrysler by night. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings….and the day after that……

And thanks for putting up with my crap as this unfolds.

Waiting for a call from my attorney, but after that am hitting the pool to flop around in the water (still can’t swim because I can’t move my neck), lay out, and maybe sit in the shade to read. Tonight  may bring a trip to Bahama Breeze — this is no big deal to most of you, but we used to have one on Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City and it closed. I’ll never figure that one out. But they were always a favorite, so a mojito might be a good idea. Then, maybe back to Terrible’s sports book to watch the Celtics/Heat to see what the competition looks like. As of last night, the sportscasters after the game were giving the Ship to The Thunder. ESPN’s website has a picture of Durant running towards the camera captioned, “The beginning of a new era,” and the next story was that the Heat is looking for a free agent.

And weren’t you impressed how everyone from the owner, to the general manager, to the coach, to all the players were such class acts last night during the Championship ceremony? No egos, no glory, just “we play for each other, we’re a family,” and the fact that this team gives so much credit to their fans.  This team, and everyone surrounding it, is a class act.

See you tomorrow. As Holmes would say, “The Game Is Afoot!”