I think I was so focused on all the wedding preparations (with good reason), that I neglected to spend much time contemplating MVP's college graduation beyond planning to be there and being happy about it.
If I was writing a movie or novel, I couldn't have scripted a more joyous, fun-filled few days.
We flew in Friday and spent a little time with MVP at his home--a hippie bachelor pad if I have ever seen one--super funky and plant-filled. We had met his roommate and his girlfriend when they stayed at her home this past summer and then met several other friends as people congregated before hitting graduation parties. After a delicious dinner at a local brewery, MVP, his girlfriend, Mandalyn (name courtesy of an inside joke I'm happy to have heard), and Social Butterfly did the party rounds while Mr Fix-it, Danger Boy and I hung out.
The next morning was graduation readiness with the attendant hustle and bustle--we parked at his childhood friend's house and walked with his family and friends to the ceremony.
The graduation ceremony itself was like most graduation ceremonies are; not quite as speedy as one would hope--especially if the grad in question has been herded into a large holding room populated with a bunch of other peeps dressed in synthetic robes and said room had not so much as a ceiling fan to circulate airflow. Still, it's always a thrill to read the grad's name in the program and see him/her walk across the stage.
We skipped the fancy restaurant lunch in favor of toasted subs on an outdoor patio. That was an excellent choice. We lingered a bit over our sandwiches and then Mandalyn left to help her mother with preparations for MVP's graduation party while Mr. Fix-it and I took the boys (young men, I know, but it's hard) suit shopping. The fact that I did not commit hari-kari in that store is a testament to a reservoir of strength I was unaware I possessed. In the end though, they will both be nattily dressed at the wedding and ready for any other need-a-suit situation that may arise.
Suits not in hand, but with the hems measured, we headed to Mandalyn's parent's home outside Fort Collins. Mandy's parents were having a party for MVP and we had also been invited to spend the rest of our trip bunking with them.
I know I just said this about Suz, but meeting Brenda and Mark was like meeting old friends. Really good old friends that one can't believe they went so long without seeing because they are so much fun. At dinner on the final night, I told Brenda, "I feel like if we'd gone on Match.com to meet a couple to be friends with, it would have been you."
How does one say, "They are absolutely the nicest, warmest, intelligent, sincere, fun people we've ever met and they are just like us," without that sounding arrogant? It's just that Brenda and I have the same drive to make our homes welcoming and open and Mr. Fix-it and Mark have the same sly, dry wit and we all love beer and we're progressive liberals who practice family values instead of using them to denigrate and exclud others and our bookshelves contain the exact same books--not everybody has a copy of Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon Days and Glass Castles and Tortilla Curtain and all the Stephen King novels. We've all raised beautiful, talented, intelligent kids who have found one another and are beginning adult life together.
The party? It was damn fun. In my experience, fun people have fun friends and that was certainly true in this case. Their gorgeous home has a fully finished basement with a bar and ping pong and a pool table; I think I played at least five games of ping-pong (as well as doing some serious trash-talking) and ping-pong is one of my fave games ever.
There is definitely a vibe in Colorado that invites you to keep your priorities straight and enjoy what life has to offer. In this case it was lovely vistas, family, friends and the celebration of all of the above.
Tomorrow, we go on a hike. At high altitude. With me "not hungover, but not-not hungover either." It turned out to be glorious. I took photos-- a shocker, I know!