I had been dreading this past weekend's 10 year college reunion for some time, mainly because I didn't want to have to repeatedly answer "What are you doing now?" questions. Well, with a little help from some friends in town for the festivities, I brainstormed a good backstory that would be interesting enough to be somewhat impressive (or, at least, not as depressing as my current state of wasted potential), yet not so out there as to be unbelievable. Mostly. There are a few nuggets of truth underneath the piles of exaggeration and outright lies.
My tight-knit circle of good friends at school was pretty insular and there were only a handful of folks outside of that group that I hung out or associated with much. But those people didn't show up at the reunion and I pretty much hung back at the weekend's events. So I never got to try out my lie. Here is what we came up with:
"So, what do you do?"
"I did the political thing in DC until I got burned out and went to law school. But I didn't really have the zeal that my classmates had, so I didn't really choose to go into the legal field after graduation. Nowadays I spend my time doing some freelance writing. Nothing huge - mostly pop culture stuff for web sites like PopMatters, Relevant, and the late Stylus, among other smaller sites and entertainment blogs. Music, TV, and movie reviews and stuff like that. I've done a few magazine pieces here and there. It's not much, but it pays the bills."
"Are you married?"
"Well, I was. My wife passed away. She got an IUD and died in a car crash. In Iraq. During childbirth. I'm a stay at home dad now."
Okay, that last part is ridiculous and I wouldn't have said that. When throwing out ideas, Shamrock misspoke about my "wife's" cause of death and meant to say IED, but this was funnier. If things don't pan out in the next few years, I'll at least have something to use at the 15 year reunion.
Also, note to the Reunion Committee: in the future, please provide "divorced/frustradedly still single" designations on people's nametags. It'd make my job that more efficient.