Change of class
If there’s one thing my high school class excelled at, it’s partying. And every five years like clockwork, it holds a reunion even better than the one before.
My indecision never changes either, so I hemmed and hawed for months over whether to attend. Okay, I never really mastered “hawing,” but I hemmed like crazy. And during that time, I confided to a classmate about my social phobia.
“It’s like I’m paralyzed in big groups,” I said.
“Then hang out in a little group,” she replied, “and move to another little one and another and...” You get the idea.
I assumed she was joking, but the more I thought about her advice, the more sense it made. An encouraging e-mail cinched the deal, and I threw in my hat at the last minute.
Trouble was, a friend who planned to go changed her mind as well. So I recruited another pal to help kidnap her, so to speak.
The nice thing about 35-year reunions is their lack of pretense. Ours was so laid back, we attached our name tags with duct tape. One guy even wore his upside down. Being a holdout meant that mine lacked a copy of my yearbook photo. Trust me when I say this was no great loss.
A few classmates made me talk to the hand but most posed for pictures without a fight. Thus, my trusty camera helped me focus on them instead of my usual neuroses.
That’s when I realized that some things DO change. “It takes me longer to shave,” said a former jock. “because I have a lot more face now.”
While half the guys sought the cover of facial hair, I noticed a serious lack of sideburns. Quite a few shed their fur north of the equator, too.
One guy commuted all the way from Alaska. “Where did you come from?” I queried another, who replied, “My mother.”
“Do you ever play your clarinet?” I asked a fellow former band member. Then I shared with her how I tried to blow mine awhile back and my cat ran over and bit me.
Ultimately, a good time was had by all, and the friend I kidnapped declined to press charges.
“Almost makes you want to wish away the next five years,” said another, eager for the next bash.
Because some things never change.