I made it to my 10th high-school reunion, but it wasn’t much fun because it had only been 10 years since graduation and none of us had really changed. Plus I had a stomach bug and I couldn’t drink.
I skipped my 20th high-school reunion because we had out-of-town guests that weekend, which was a handy excuse, because I was little afraid that if I went it would turn out like “Carrie.”
I made it to my husband’s 20th high-school reunion, but as a spouse I spent much of the evening feeling left out of the conversations. The evening ended with one of his old football buddies driving around in the parking lot performing donuts. I suspect there was alcohol involved.
Last weekend, I attended my husband’s 30th high-school reunion. Whatever pretension or awkwardness had existed at previous reunions was mostly gone by this point in our lives. Spouses talked to spouses. Heck, classmates even talked to spouses.
The reunion was held at a beautiful home out in the country. As the evening began, the old gang gathered around the appetizers spread out in the kitchen. On the other side of the room, several of us spouses congregated into a sort of lineup.
One of my husband’s classmates arrived with a burst of energy and immediately started trying to name everybody. She was on a roll, made it all the way around the room, until she got to me.
“Wait a minute, wait a minute, I’ll get it,” she said, staring at me and growing increasingly distressed that she didn’t recognize me.
I just smiled at her, until somebody ratted me out.
The food was glorious. Our hosts had an enormous grill hooked to the back of a Gator, and there was salmon on the grill and chicken and steaks and bacon-on-a-stick and corn-on-the-cob.
There was coleslaw and baked beans and roasted potatoes and corn casserole and corn muffins.
There was orange cheesecake and red velvet cake and caramel pie and coconut cake.
We sat outside. We ate and we drank (but not too much), and talked about raising kids and fixing houses. We shared stories of 12-year-old boys who hate to take showers, who will wet their hair and crumple their towels on the floor when it would be so much simpler to just take the shower.
I asked for hairstyling tips from the woman who couldn’t remember my name at the beginning of the evening. I didn’t get a chance to ask for the coleslaw recipe.
My husband’s old football buddy brought old game film.
At one point, I looked around and marveled at how good everybody else looked: fit, trim, tan, blonde. I wondered, “How do they all look so good at 50?” Then I remembered that they’re not 50 yet. They’re all a couple of years younger than me, like my husband. This didn’t make me feel any better, though.
Afterwards, my husband’s mother asked him about the reunion. “Who’s changed the most?” she asked. My husband thought about it, and answered, “Me.”
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