I take full responsibility. Maybe I had too much confidence in my ability to squeeeeeeze a story out of any amount of raw material. Maybe my expectations of this event were just too high.
Regardless of the 'whys' here is the ugly truth:
I can't wrestle a decent blog out of this class reunion.
I have spent the last several days trying to find an angle. I even tried to put a sci-fi spin on it.... nothing has worked. It pains me to admit defeat but I feel I owe it to you all to just stick a fork in it.
The problem isn't that it wasn't perfectly nice. It was nice. The venue was nice. The food was nice. The one small adult beverage I had was nice. The decorations were nice. The company was nice.
Seriously? What do I do with something like that? Nothing really terribly praiseworthy. I did not find my one true love. The food did not transcend my soul to another alternate universe. No roofie in my drink. I wasn't underdressed nor overdressed. And nothing to mock really. No slutty drunk woman. No hoochie mama with her tatas jumping ship. I didn't run into an old boyfriend nor did I renew an old neglected friendship.
There were a few outstanding moments.
First, we have the arrival of my hostage/date Wayne.
Wayne drove all the way down from the bay area and when it wall all over and we had partied ourselves into mediocrity he drove all the way back.
So I understand why he wanted to be comfortable and wear sweatpants and tennis shoes.
I told him that he was dressed perfectly for the "People of Walmart Reunion"
Thankfully he was just joking around.
This is how we really looked right before we left. He is a truly handsome gentleman and all night he treated me with chivalry that I had forgotten existed. He was actually not ashamed to be seen with me. I did manage to look okay at least--- but he didn't even seem to mind that people mistakenly thought we were 'together'. That was very cool.
It was like going to prom all over again---- except I never went to prom with Wayne. I went with his best friend. I should have gone with him but he didn't ask. Let's see-- back then I was a lot younger and I sewed my own dress. And then, like now, I bought my own ticket. At least this time we didn't drive in a yellow baja bug with a window that fell out!
Anyhow...... on to the event.
We got there. Made small talk. Looked for old friends but didn't see too many. Wayne had better luck. We sat at a table where this guy who I remembered being an arrogant fart was true to form and asked everyone at the table except for me and the wives (I was a graduate--- hello??? Ugly name tag??) what they did for a living etc.... And I just sat there and felt inadequate... ah now there is an emotion I remembered from High School. I was by far the fattest one there so... recognized that feeling also. We came across several people who we had all gone to elementary school with (Yay Monte Vista!!) and Jr High (Yay Parkview Lancers!). An old neighbor found me and we talked about how we used to play outside until the street lights came on and it was time to go home to eat dinner. We used to make forts in the desert and sail boats down the gutters. We talked about how we rode our bikes to the liquor store for sodas and we talked about our parents and their struggles with health and how amazing it is that my parents still live in the same house. My sister even dated him a couple of times. I chatted with my best girlfriend from High School's ex-husband who used to be my dance partner back in the day when we were part of the schools show choir-- that is right. The real Glee but with far geekier members who had to actually practise for months at a time to get one number done. Had he shown the slightest bit of dis-respect for my friend I would have had to stab him with a butter knife but he didn't. Smart man-- for an idiot who didn't know what a treasure he had all those years ago.
And just about the time the dancing and the boozing was kicking into gear we made our exit because Wayne still had a long drive home and I was starting to fall asleep-- it was 11:30pm you know and the night before I had been up most of the night waiting for my wandering daughter to come home.
So there you go, Geeezers. I wish it had been more noteworthy.
Ironic, is it not, that the best part of the whole story was the build up!
What did I learn from this adventure?
That most people are just average-- which actually makes mathmatical sense! There are some who are still pilots and have 30 year marriages and some who weren 't there because they are in destitude situations.
There were several who have passed away from various things. A very good friend (as adults-- we didn't ever know each other in high school) who was murdered. A very good friend from our teenage years who took his own life just a few years out of high school. I am sure he was gay but we never spoke of it. I wonder if that pressure ended his life. I wish I had been mature enough then to have allowed him to be himself.
But overall we are all about in the same place.
We haven't 'arrived' yet at where we expected to be by now. Still we are grateful because we know it could be worse. Seeing the ignorance of teenaged 'wisdom' reflected in our own children and realizing that you really aren't done when they are 18 and graduated from high school-- understanding why our parents worried so much then and still do. Because even a 48 year old adult is still their child. We all wonder about what might have been if we had choosen a different spouse, a different career, different schooling, different ... everything. Coming around to the conclusion that whatever might have been just wasn't and that the 'we' that we are today is the sum total of all those choices and missed opportunities for better or for worse.
But being reminded that we aren't without choices to still make, lives to still live out in ways over which we yet have some measure of control. Schooling can still be completed. Brains that may work slower and have some blank spaces, also have spaces that are filled with wisdom and experience. So we have to take a picture of the sign next to the car at the amusement park so we can find it later-- big deal, right?
Here is it Geeezers, the Bottom Line:
The party just isn't over yet. Shouldn't we just go for it and party like it is 1999?
Loves to all and Especially Wayne who is the best Hostage/Friend a girl could ask for!!
LeAnn Rittel-Fenner Class of 1980!