Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Reunion Part III

Whoever said you cannot go home again was wrong, at least in my case. Twenty three years had passed since I'd seen my classmates; their lives continued without me. Friendships had formed, marriages had occurred, children were born, and, for some, divorces were finalized. Careers took varied paths, geography separated many while others stayed in the same town. And all the while I was unaware, unaffected, and really, I suppose, uninterested. That was until Facebook. Once I had a taste of these former friendships I became dedicated to resurrecting them. I was on a quest to reconnect with childhood friends who "knew me when" so I could reconnect with a part of myself I had neglected for years. When I arrived at the Class of 1990 Montville Township High School Reunion I was bestowed innumerable gifts that will be forever etched in my memories and my heart.
Just because I feel compelled I'll begin with two facts that are tangential to my experiences at the Reunion. First, I mentioned I had been polling several friends as to what color dress I should wear to this function. Those I canvased were helpful in that they all held strong opinions. My choices were between a great little black dress that was a workhorse in my closet or a little red dress that spiced up my closet. The black number was proposed as the "right choice" by those who understand its importance as an appropriate pick no matter what the event; a slimming, sophisticated, sexy candidate that would keep me just under the radar. Others insisted the red dress because it would herald my arrival and I would not be forgotten. Black I was told always looked good, but red would make me look better in pictures and help me to stand out. I was still on the fence until my husband's vote was counted last. I cannot tell you what he said verbatim, but I can tell you I wore the red dress. Second, I am a woman whose daily life and extracurricular social life do not require the use of high heels. I am not against them and I find them very sexy and attractive, but I do not do them justice. I am my husband's height, and when I wear heels my feet hurt, period. So, although I brought the high heels that complemented my dress in a bag in the car, I left them there and instead rocked a "nude-colored" pair of Sketcher Mary Janes with rhinestones on the straps. I figured if all anyone noticed about me was my choice of footwear then we didn't need to reconnect anyway. I can tell you no one mentioned my shoes and I was comfortable the entire night!
The hostess of our event was classmate Lauren who was always a dynamo in my memory. She served in student government representing our class, had a fantastic sense of humor, and had the BEST hair in the 1980s, hair that you look back on and not cringe but compliment by saying how timeless it was. Lauren attended the 10th year Reunion with scant few others and was mortified by how poorly attended it was. She decided to take the bull by the horns and do a bang up job for the 20th. Mission accomplished, Lauren. With a team of classmates she was able to reach 90% of the class to at least invite them to the gala. We had a good turnout at a lovely venue with delicious food, open bar, and a lively DJ. Lauren gave a wildly humorous speech and capped it with a karaoke rendition of "Pour Some Sugar on Me", an 1980s classic, complete with  hair band wig! She looks long, lean, sexy, and still has GREAT hair. The Class of 1990 lucked out with Lauren!
I flitted about the evening bumping into one long lost friend after the other. I was struck by how utterly beautiful the women were. They blossomed into lovely creatures with grace, charm, confidence, and maturity. Some were thinner than high school, others were heavier, but everyone was simply radiant in my eyes. I found it more difficult to recognize the men than the ladies. I think the explanation is that most boys are not fully grown in high school. They have yet to completely reach their height potential, fill out, or grow into their faces. Once I read name tags I immediately recognized the boy in the man, but I would say the men changed the most since our high school days. And there were some handsome creatures there on Saturday night!
What blew me away was standing in one room with so many of my former "best friends". From Kate to Becky, Jill to Lori, I was surrounded by the women who taught me about friendship, love, caring, kindness, and myself. Although a quarter century or more separates the years since we were each other's best friend, I felt a proprietary closeness to these women. A flood of memories came back, all good, and I, of course, had to verbalize each and every one of them. My sixth grade best friend, Becky, the Indian goddess I mentioned before, matched me memory for memory. We saw twenty seven years melt away and we were elementary school children. My heart swelled with my brief moments with Becky, and, thanks again to Facebook, know that I will see Becky again and never will I let time and geography keep our friendship from growing.
Susan, Christine, Jessica, Jennifer, Tracey, Jeff, Ed, Jeff, Carlos, Kristin, Pete, Holly, Karen, and Susan (yes, names are repeated but they are different people) were among the friends I reminisced with and caught up. With Facebook's help we are online friends able to share pictures and life stories.

I am forever grateful to this invitation not just to a reunion but to my past. I was moved from my childhood town after my freshmen year and left a part of myself there. At the reunion I was able to repair that hole that was quietly festering for nearly twenty five years.
So, I take the pictures, my memories, my slew of old new friends, and my red dress and walk proudly and contentedly into the present. I went home again and was welcomed with open arms. Now I take my friends and put them in my now and take them into my future. Thanks, Montville Township High School Class of 1990, for the memories; I'll see you at the 30th! And Becky, I'll see you soon!


  1. Looks like you guys had a ball.

  2. Did the shoe choice have anything to do with the fact that I am a surveyor with a penchant for shoes that exemplify the design principle of "form follows function", which means I am constantly chastising the shoe industry for creating "instruments of torture" for the deluded female consumers, whose wallets they regularly rape?

    I had a fantastic time as well. Thank you for bringing me as your date. You have some really neat friends.

  3. I don't typically wear heels either! Post-pregnancy flats, who can go back?!?!?! Loved Part III! Looks like Lori Barbag shares your red dress "pop" philosophy too!

  4. So much fun to see those great pictures!! We are so glad you had a great time. Sounds like it was very well organized, which makes having fun so easy!! Can't wait to go back to the Montville yearbooks & look everyone up again!!

  5. First off, since I am new to your blog, I will start by saying what a tremendous writing talent you have! I truly felt as if I was there at that reunion with you…I am now addicted!
    What has amazed me the most about the reunion, with looking at pictures and seeing everyone’s comments about it, is that everyone was just there; enjoying themselves, celebrating all of the things we have done separately, together. There were no more cliques, no more rumors, no more labels; they left them all behind and have gotten to a place where we are just people, sharing an evening together. This is the lesson that I am trying, so desperately, to teach my senior in high school. Someday you will just be! It won’t matter what club you are in or what group you hung out with or what sport you played. You will get to a point in your life where you will reminisce of the past but most importantly, share the present!

  6. I knew you guys would have a good time. Good for you! Oh, the red dress... good choice. It brought out the color in Racers face ;-)