With just a few days left of my first semester of graduate school, my mind-and part of my liver- are exactly 240 miles from NYU.
Maybe that’s way I’ve fallen victim to this kind of carelessness….
If only I could be as graceful as I was back in the day…
Even though my resume has claimed a bachelor’s degree since December, I waited until this past weekend to fully celebrate the accomplishment with my friends and family in the place that will always be home- Castleton.
As a freshman, I was often told that no matter the time of day all you had to do was look up and you would find me on a balcony, drink in hand. My only argument to this claim is that sometimes the balconies were locked in inclement weather. However, I also became friends with the people who had all the right keys and I’m anything but just a fair weather drinker.
Fortunately by the time I graduated I had abandoned these higher altitudes and buried myself in the basement of Leavenworth Hall to become a creature of the Communication Department who essentially breathed The Spartan newspaper.
Thursday nights were the only guarantee that I would leave this post, only to be found at Fishtail Tavern on Lake Bomoseen. A total dive bar with a smell that may be partially to blame on the number of Jameson drinks I’ve donated to the rug, but I’ve yet to find a bar in Manhattan better than Fishtail.
Fishtail had a way of taking my money, fine motor skills, some memories, and on one occasion a single shoe. RIP blue Nine West heel- at least we went out tabletop dancing right?
I was fully prepared to make my return to the Green Mountains and walk across the stage with my best friends and to shake the hand of the president who is truly a gift to the College. I even made a checklist:
Cap and gown- check
Commencement tickets- check
Good to go.
But the life of Molly is never this simple. A cab driver insisting on giving me a construction tour of Manhattan was not on the list, but did make me miss my train out of the city.
After sprinting the last three blocks and two avenues in the NYC version of Hail Mary attempts, I shamelessly cried in Penn Station and called my dad, because even at 22 I still see him as the man who can fix anything.
Jamarcus didn’t turn the train around, but he did point out that with two hours until the next one, I had plenty of time to calm down with a drink. And that’s when the weekend finally took the right turn.
I’ve had worse ideas than Long Island Iced Teas at TGI Friday’s before noon. Sitting at the bar I sparked up a conversation with a nice man in media on his way to a meeting with Donovan McNabb who picked up my tab. Who knew it would later be so easy to find someone with the last name Baker on LinkedIn? – Connected.
Soon after that I was northbound where two of my best friends picked me up in Albany to bring me back to the Castle. As we crossed state lines the air cleared and mountains replaced the skyscrapers that have become my day-to-day.
Reunited with the crew and even a few surprise visitors we made a final dive at Fishtail, where I escaped with both shoes and more dollars than I anticipated. Compared to Manhattan, Vermont bars are always on happy hour.
All of Team DeMellier hit the 802 on Friday. Spoiler alert: we managed to go the entire weekend without being kicked out of anywhere and without being banned from the state. Good work team.
While we waited for the tripod of Mom, Dad and Rob to arrive, Sarah, Mike and I got ahead of the game with some craft beers at Hop’n Moose Brewery in downtown Rutland. If you’ve never been to Rutland I promise you can’t picture it. So just think of all of the beautiful Castleton pictures I’ve posted and I think everyone will be happy.
We met up with the rest of the fam and joined five of my best friends and their families for dinner at Southside Steakhouse where we rented a private room.
Now we’re Irish, not rude. So we introduced everyone to the group before taking a celebratory shot of Jameson.
After dinner most of the group called it a night and made their way back to the Castle. The DeMellier’s weren’t quite ready to turn in and stayed out until after hours to introduce Rob to his first fried pickle experience at one of Rutland’s finest establishments, CJ’s Suds South.
Staying away from the Castle did have me sinking with more than just CJ’s Suds however, when another grad living in Ireland decided to crash the party now for two years running and sent me this text:
My bad because he’s the reincarnation of one of the best ’90’s bands.
I caught up with the Emerald Isle surprise the following morning and crossed the stage without falling.
Jamarcus was a one and done on the pictures before he was ready for a beer on Lake Bomoseen.
And in a blur the weekend was over. I found myself once again saying goodbye to the friends that have become my family and the College that came to be home. I was Manhattan bound back to the #ManhattanProjectRedux life and excited to watch as my friends begin to turn the pages on the next chapters of their lives.
Castleton brought us together, has since sent us apart, but I know one day soon will bring us all back together again.