I attended my 20 year high school reunion on Saturday night. It was a little overwhelming, to say the least. I felt like I was hosting a party at my house, where you feel the need to go around and chat with everyone making sure they’re all okay, have everything you need, and yet you don’t get to spend actual quality time with any of them.
On my way, I said aloud to myself in the car, “Don’t say anything stupid tonight.” I sometimes need this reminder.
Upon arrival, I was met at the door by our class president. I met her when we were in the 4th grade. I remember what she was wearing: blue polo and khaki shorts. Cute as can be, short curly blonde hair. I thought she was a boy. I didn’t know. Her name is Teri and I had never met a Teri that was a girl. She could be completely responsible for my love of masculine names for girls. It’s a fantastic name. It suits her perfectly. She is married to her high school sweetheart. In two years, they will have been together longer than my parents were able to be married. Good for them.
Next to Teri was my dear little friend, Leah. I have a rather large area reserved in my heart for her. She has not aged a single day since I last saw her at her wedding. I remembered immediately every moment we spent together in choir and how much I cherished our friendship. She is probably the main reason so many of my friends are younger than I. We had a true connection. There wasn’t a thing I couldn’t tell her. She was accepting and honest and wise beyond her years. I fixed her up in high school with her now husband. They have two beautiful boys. I’m completely responsible for their life’s happiness and truly need to be recognized for my brilliance. I’ll wait, you go on thanking me. *pause* You’re welcome.
Anyhoo, Teri and Leah handed everyone two beer tickets. Since I’m wheat-free, I announced that I would give my tickets to whomever was nicest to me throughout the night. Approximately ten seconds later, I gave out my first ticket to a guy friend after I unwittingly stuck my foot in my mouth. (Hello, brain? We talked about this in the car.)
My second ticket went to my old friend, Jodi. She didn’t graduate with us. She and I worked together years ago when I was getting my first bachelor’s degree. She is now married to the boy my parents would have easily traded me for in a heartbeat after we broke up. They are such a lovely couple. I gave her my ticket, not because she was especially nice to me that evening but because she is especially nice, period.
I didn’t remember to get my camera out until about an hour and a half after the party was underway. I meant to take a picture of my senior photo. Teri had photocopied all our senior photos and placed them on all the tables. It’s probably best, though you can see it on the table in this shot, bottom right with the…airplane liquor bottle over my eyes? Yeah. That’s a lot of hair sticking out around it.
Now, in the center of the page is my dear friend, Allgeyer. That’s not her name anymore, but that’s the ONLY thing that has changed. She looks, talks, and acts exactly the same as she did when we cheered together in school. She is hilarious! There were gobs of Jennifer’s at my school, so we just started calling each other by our last names. When I would call Jennifer’s house, I’d ask for Allgeyer. Forget that she had eighty-nine siblings. Her mother used to always laugh at me. I never learned.
My college roommate/sister-from-another-mother brought her daughter as her date while her husband stayed home with their three other children. You heard me. This was the girl who was “never going to get married, never going to have children.” She is amazing. And she looks even better than she did in high school. Not fair.
I thought, for sure, there would be an iPad on every table and we would be sitting in silence all night IMing each other on Facebook. But, despite the non-stop communication, we actually had things to talk about with one another. I didn’t feel like I was in a room of near-40-year-old people, but was taken back in time to the Senior Dinner Dance. I wish everyone could have made it. All were missed. Looking forward to the next one, though…I refuse to be 48 years old. I’m going to start telling everyone I’m at least twenty years older. “Damn. You look great for 70!” Thanks!