Friday, October 7, 2011

confession: how to survive your high school reunion

The task:  my high school reunion.
The objective:  to survive with my dignity intact.
The end result:  mixed.

I loved seeing friends I hadn't seen in years.  It was a bit of a shock to see people that I remembered as kids now look like middle aged adults.  What happened?!  Then I realized I was a middle aged adult too.  On the downward slope of middle age if I am being honest.  As I spent several hours over two days with these people, I realized things had changed a lot.  Life raced by when I wasn't paying attention.  I felt like I was in a time warp.  Then I regained my senses and realized that this is life.  You are young one day with your whole life ahead of you, and poof! you blink your eyes and you have one foot in the grave.  It sounds like it depressed me, but it didn't.  I have my Dad's knack of living in the present and not worrying a whole lot about how much time I have left on earth.
the only decent photo I got of Vix because she was always talking

But I learned some valuable lessons too:
1.  Don't tell all the women you never spent time with in high school that they still look like they did when they were 17 years old.  There isn't enough plastic surgery in existence to make an almost 60 year old woman look like they did 40+ years ago.  Tell them they look good for their age.  Be brutally honest.  I plan to do this in ten years if there is anyone left by then.
2.  A glass of wine is a great equalizer.  It makes everything blur a bit around the edges.  (That might have been when I started telling the women #1.)
3.  You can still laugh as much with your best high school friend as you did in school.  I had some wonderful laughs, and it did make me feel like I was back in high school again, even if it was just a brief moment in time (maybe that was because of that second glass of wine).
4.  Bleaching your teeth and putting funky baboon-butt-red highlights in your hair won't hide hips that are no longer a girlish size.
5.  Wearing old clothes is good.  It puts you in your comfort zone.  Ever attend a function wearing new shoes or clothes that felt like they belonged on someone else?  I rest my point.
6. No one will remember who you are if you wore a blonde flip, glasses, and were a bookworm who never said anything.  Especially if your hair is dark with baboon-butt-red highlights, you wear contacts, and you have learned to carry on a conversation.  The only people easy to recognize are the ones who still wear the same clothes and hair they did in high school.
the dance floor (behind Barb) where I made my fatal dance move

But the best lesson I learned?  Don't make the first day of your exercise program a dance with your girlfriends and sister at your high school reunion.  I threw my right hip out to Sir Mixalot's My Baby Got Back just as he said "I like big butts and I cannot lie" and had to fake my way through the rest of it.  With my teeth gritted and a grin on my face.  In front of people I hadn't seen in 40 years and probably wouldn't see again.  It was a close call getting off the stage.  I thought I was going to pitch head first onto my face trying to step down.

I made it through without falling, or smiling with food stuck in my teeth.  But maybe I should have skipped that second glass of wine.

I love you Barb and Jerri.  I have lots of wonderful memories of us forty years ago.  Thanks for adding a few more to them, and adding joy to my heart.  
me, Dan, Barb, Steve and Jerri (Barb's hub was taking the photo)

~cath xo
Twitter @jonesbabie


  1. Sweet post Cath. I went to my 10 year reunion and then didn't go to any more. Not sure I will either. Everyone I want to talk to or see, I already do :)

  2. @Lalia it was wonderful to see my old friends. And reconnect. You are lucky you have contact with your friends. I hope to keep contact with the three I went to see. :D

  3. Nice post as always! I love the way you write...

  4. @doojy That's because you are prejudiced sister. Wait til you see what I said about the concert you and Vix went to. :D xoxo

  5. Lovely post Cath and great learning. I went to my 25th college reunion and wouldn't go to another. People I wanted to meet weren't there. But I'd love to meet up with my friends from secondary school.

  6. @hocam it was a good time Mary. I didn't realize how much I would enjoy it until I saw Barb and Jerri and we started talking like no time had gone by. Such a good time. I still hang out with some of the friends I made in grad school. :)