Last weekend was fabulous. My husband appears to have hung out entirely with a core group of friends in college and to have known hardly anyone else – but that core group were all back in New Orleans for Homecoming at Tulane this weekend, and they are a nice bunch of guys. I enjoyed meeting their wives too – I’d met a couple before but only once or twice many years ago. We just had so much freaking fun hanging out with them all, not to mention consuming beignets, seafood gumbo, shrimp etouffee, jambalaya, New Orleans BBQ shrimp, and hurricanes.

I think I can fairly claim to be midddle-aged now (47) and there’s an odd and particular pleasure to spending time with people of the same age: it’s not that we can’t stay up til 2 if we want to, but that we don’t want to so much because we have less tolerance for feeling like crap than we once did. No one minds if you want to sit where it’s quieter so you can talk, or if a spouse who likes to go to bed early sends her husband off alone (not me; someone who likes to go to bed at 7 or 8) or if you switch to water after a beer or two. I think they got kinder – these were always nice guys but there might have been more ribbing twenty years ago.

That made it easier to pace myself. I always find New Orleans a but overwhelming – all that food and drink don’t go well with IBS – but I did a good job pacing myself and taking rests when necessary to prevent crashing and burning.

The age thing really did affect how we all relate, I think, though of course it’s only one factor. This is an age where you begin to know you’re aging – most people were a lot grayer than we are, though otherwise looking pretty good – but you still feel good and can do just about anything you once could, and you know who you are if you’re ever going to. This was a bunch of people who are all fairly successful and who were, after all, all friends to begin with and who were always pleasant to be around; it will be interesting to compare to my high school reunion in a couple of months, which has a wider range of people though a similar narrow band of age.

We talked about kids (theirs), and books – I recommended some, which always makes me happy, and others that I think I’ll like were rec’d to me, which makes me even happier. I was talked into buying a hat that got me compliments from random strangers. (“Nice hat!”, not pick-up lines.)

The football was pathetic, but the tailgate party was the most luxurious one I’ve ever seen, with big tents,free food and swag, and clean bathrooms.

It was four days of good time, and I’m very glad we went. And tonight we get to have dinner with a rowing friend who’s in town – I last saw her when she visited me in the Netherland and the time before that was in Australia, so this is going to be another good time.