Turn to the obituaries. Note the age of the youngest deceased. This is X.
Turn to the class notes. Note the age of the youngest alum to have graduated med school. Note the age of the youngest alum to have founded an NGO. Note the age of the youngest alum to have a) published a novel b) had a pilot picked up or c) been at all associated with the Whitney Biennial. Average these ages. This is Y.
Z = X-Y.
If Z is greater than the number of years elapsed since you graduated, award yourself five points.
If Z is less than the number of years elapsed since you graduated, deduct five points.
Turn to your year. Award yourself one point for every marriage that you know for a fact is a second one, ahem, Caitlin Reznik, and thanks for insisting on that $300 bridesmaid’s dress the first time around.
Give yourself a point for everyone who uses the following words: reinvention, simplifying, sea-change, and priorities.
You get one point for everyone who worked for Hilary’s campaign. Two for Bernie’s. But be sad about this. Wonder if maybe Isaac Schecter was right to be all sometimes-I-wonder-if-we’re-too-intense-to-be-good-people.
[Note: you’re not actually writing down the points. It’s not like you need therapy.]
Read that Isaac’s out in Colorado now. He owns a chain of legalized dispensaries. Also, a boat and three houses. Ground floor in an emerging market, blah, blah. You could have gone to business school if you wanted. Neither add nor deduct points for this one. This one was inevitable, because Isaac.
Deduct the following from your total: half a point for everyone training for a marathon, a full point for every marathon completed, two points for qualifying for Boston.
Dock a point from your tally for everyone who’s made partner. Doesn’t matter what kind of partner, just subtract.
Minus one for every newborn with the same name as one of your kids: Liam, Silas, Annelise.
Unexpected bonus: there’s a baby with the same name as your dog. Call it plus four points, because really: Smidge?
Wish you’d kept in better touch with Caitlin after she moved to Atlanta. She would fully laugh her ass off. I ask you. Smidge.
Continue thumbing through. Keep an eye out for place names: Barcelona, Singapore, Dubai. Don’t calculate the mileage between those cities and the one you’ve settled in.
Give yourself an extra point for thinking settled in not settled for.
Deep breaths. Good. Now, recycle the magazine. Everything will be okay. You’re a recycler, you’re a good person, Isaac was wrong. And besides, imagine the cost of living in Singapore. You’ve got a house with a yard and a beautiful oak tree. A job you’re good at and even like, except on the days when the alumni magazine comes. You’ve got Liam, and Silas, and Annelise. College is coming up sooner than you think.