Muster is a great concept: reliving the Old Ag days, remembering College Station in all its glory, answering “here” for ones who cannot, and best of all, commiserating about how Old Army is dead, blah blah blah. But seriously, I like the concept. What I don’t get is why current students have to go when the original intent was more like a reunion. As a current student, you can’t relive the TAMU days; you’re living the TAMU days. Plus it’s one more long dark four-hour ceremony! But I digress.
Here’s the point:
So Chris and I head down to the Jacksonville A&M Club’s Aggie Muster on Sunday afternoon, where we met this nice lady whose Aggie husband died three years ago as a result of something contracted in Vietnam. We were very sorry to hear that, but before we could ask more about him she continued to tell us the reason she was at Muster now: it was an attempt to drag her daughter there to meet nice, single Aggie men, because Muster is better than a bar. While there is no arguing that logic, her daughter was home sick, so the lady came alone to meet the nice, single Aggie men for her. (this is where Chris and I would have given each other one of those looks, but we didn’t have time, because she continued without waiting for a response)
“Do you know any single men?” she turned on Chris. “Maybe it’s providence that I met you so you could give me a man for her.” We met this lady all of eight minutes ago! Plus, I’m pretty sure she really meant, “would you like to ditch this gal and follow me home for an arranged marriage?”
Chris balked. I tried to distract her: “We’re pretty new here, but we know one guy who’s single…” And she asked all about him. Then she launched into her daughter’s last sad story of heartbreak and followed that with an Eyor-esque, “I’m all alone here. I don’t have anywhere to sit. All the seats are probably taken.”
So of course we invited her to sit with us and we all sat down. “Are you going to get something to eat?” “I have an upset stomach.” Oooooooookay. We chatted about why were we in Jacksonville and how we’re headed to Tokyo, launching her on another line of complaint:
“I don’t work because I live on my husband’s insurance money, but I want to travel, but I don’t have anyone to travel with. I took my daughter to Italy last year, and I try to go on one trip every year, but this year I’m just going with someone I don’t know, just a friend of a friend.” “Oh, well that will be fun,” I said. “I don’t know,” she said gloomily, “I almost want to invite myself to come visit you while you’re in Japan. Then you could show me the sites.”
At the time that didn’t even strike me as quite odd. I just said, “Yeah, we’re really hoping our families will come visit. My sister will have a full time job, which is too bad because it’d be fun if she could come during one of Chris’ six-month deployments, but she’ll only have a few weeks of vacation a year.” “See, I could come and stay the whole six-months. She’d only be able to stay less than a month,” said the random downer lady. What in the world?!
Fortunately Muster started, but afterwards her first words were, “Can you give me the phone number of that single man you know?” “Well, we don’t know him that well, so I don’t have his phone number or even know his last name, but if you want to give me your daughter’s number I can give it to him and he can decide what to do with it.”
Other Grumpazoird comments include:
Us: we love the weather here!
Grumpazoird: I’ve been here for years and want to travel.
Us: we’d move back to Houston and our families if we weren’t in the Navy.
Grumpazoird: I hate the weather in Houston. I was young when I lived there and I’d just be covered in sweat all the time. blah blah blah
Me: If you want company, going on a planned tour is a good alternative to traveling alone.
Grumpazoird: But when you have free time everyone pairs off but me.
Conclusion: I can think of several periods of life where I may have been a downer in general, but why be grumpy and lonely when you’re actually talking to people?! I don’t get it. She totally reminded me of that annoying guy who hung out at the pool when we were lifeguards and said, “Anything you say, I can turn into a bummer.” Wow! That was a fun game!
Addendum: Mum, you probably hear more whining from me than anyone else. SORRY!