I at last relented and attended the graduating class of '70 high school reunion - forty five years later. That final decision to go rests in equal parts from the flattery and skillful persuasion from my best high school buddy - and a "wild" girl who got in as much trouble as I did back in the day agreeing to meet me - and the fact that the clock is ticking. Now or never.
I almost changed my mind. Every day between the moment I agreed to go and the very day of the event, I decided to not attend and then changed my mind again. I could not imagine that anyone other than a few people would even remember me. Behind this loud-mouth exterior pounds the quivering heart of a truly shy person. I did not want to chance not remembering someone's name or to not recognize the people I spent more time with than any of my husbands! I needn't have feared. I only called one person by the wrong name - and that should not even count because I instantly recognized his face!
Oh, to see once again so many people who meant so much to me! Adolescence is a true rite of passage, and we survived that horrible and amazing time together. All of the women were instantly recognizable. Indeed, most of them had not changed at all, being beautiful to this day. The men were a little more difficult to recognize. It was difficult to match the young boys of my memory with the fully mature men in the room. And by "fully mature" I mean hats and white beards and either balding heads or a few long-hairs like me.
It made me smile to watch everyone lean in to hear, or turn their "good" ear toward the conversation. The acoustics in the large room made it difficult to hear - that, and all the laughter. While we were eating, the cacophony died down making normal conversation possible. Everyone filling his or her pie-hole with food was better than a hearing aid!
We hugged and laughed and told stories. We recalled the spectacular exploits of those wild boys, agreeing that most of their pranks would bring legal consequences in school today. There were amiable apologies, spontaneously welling from the common wisdom that we knew nothing then but believed we knew everything!
We fondly recalled those few who died young, or more recently took their leave. We looked at photos of children and grandchildren. We laughed and cried and hugged again. We caught up quickly. The most wonderful thing was the way we picked up where we left off. It was easy, like slipping on an old sweater, comfortable and well-loved. It was good - all the way through.