Monday, August 4, 2014

Please Let There Be Nametags...

I got an invitation to a 35th High School Reunion the other day.

Let that sink in.

35th High School Reunion.

Here's the rub.

I didn't actually graduate from this particular school.

I moved away in 6th grade.

Which would actually make this my 42nd Sixth Grade Class Reunion.

(This is not helping.)

To be honest, I knew this was coming. I had a phone message about a month ago from one of the organizers, asking for a current address.

If this particular guy had called my house back in 1971 I would have had a heart attack in the "OMG! Jake* called ME! Not Francie*! But ME!" vein of heart attacks.

(of course, we didn't say OMG when I was in 6th grade. In fact, I can't think of an actual exclamation we made back then. Probably because my brain is 42 years older than it was in 1971.)

Yet, this pre-warning did nothing to fend off the shock of seeing all those names of all those people whom I haven't seen in....well...42 years. In my head I could place a face to every name. Granted, the faces were from the tiny postage stamp trading photos from picture day...(say it with me) 42 years ago.

Which is pretty good considering that I can't remember my husband's cell phone number.

What I do remember are the slumber parties-many, the seances-in which we once conjured Lincoln's ghost, the Saturday afternoons spent at the roller rink-drinking suicides. (You know, where the snack guy puts a spritz of each soda into a cup of ice.) We planned a surprise party for our 4th grade teacher. We were acutely aware of Mrs. Mose's love of Lysol spray and endured her varicose vein stories-of which I should have taken heed.

And why is that?

I suppose these people were my very first friends. Boys and Girls together. When I moved away, we had not quite entered that girls on one side of the gym, boys on the other, stage. We all liked Batman and Johnny Quest and the Monkees and the Brady Bunch.We played dodge ball and square danced.

(Stop it. There is a certain athleticism to square dancing.)

((You know I am talking to you, Bart.))

When junior high and high school happened I was one hundred miles away, experiencing the trials teendom with a whole new set of friends. I kept in touch with a couple of the girls from my first school, but we drifted apart as our life's began to revolve around other things.

And now it is 42 years later. These people have lived entire lives separate from me, as I have from them.

There is a call for photos on the invitation.

My high school photos are not theirs.

Should I send them a pic from 6th grade?

Should I even go to the reunion?

Will I be 'that weird girl with the curly hair who moved away in 6th grade'?

There is a part of me that wants to crumble the invitation up in a ball and throw it away.

But this girl:

Clearly, cheer leading has come a long way...

Really wants to say 'HI!' to Jake*, in person...

*Names have, of course, been changed to protect their pride. Mine is terminally wounded.


  1. What a fun piece!! I always always always hope for nametags (I am faceblind, which means it is difficult for me to tell people apart (topic for a different convo). My daughter recently got invited to a party for people sharing her name, so it was HEAVEN to know that everyone (pretty much) was named Tenley. Win Win Win. Hope you got to see Jake!

    1. Oh my! I have heard of face blindness. That must be terribly difficult. And how fun for your daughter! Tenley is a beautiful name.

  2. Go for it! If you want to go don't let anything stop you. If you decide you don't want to...they won't know anyway because they probably have 42 year memories to!

    1. Maybe I should send my daughter AS me!! Not only haven't I aged a bit...but I did it so much more beautifully!!! Lol!!

  3. I hope you go.
    I hope you say "Hi" to Jake.
    And most of all, I hope you dance!

    1. Susan-there will have to be alcohol for there to be dancing!!! And considering this is being held at a winery...

  4. If you go it is future blog material! I have yet to go to any of my reunions but friends have,tell me and I have a vicarious thrill. My excuse is it is 3,000 miles away and always held in November. Who wants to travel to New England in cold November, not me. My husband went to his 20th and when his 40th came around he sincerely said "I just saw them all 20 years ago", and he didn't go.

    1. Lol! 20 years is probably enough!! It had occurred to me that this has HUGE blog potential!! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. High school reunions - Uggh. I didn't go to mine. Your reply to your spam commenter cracked me up. Found you from SITS and am a new follower.

    1. Thank you Lori! I am really leaning towards passing but sending a nice note. Let my memory forever be of 6th grade me! (And as to the spammer, I guess they need love too!)

  7. I can't quite fathom the idea of meeting up with old classmates decades later--Angel's 10th high school reunion would have been last year, but he never got an invitation, we don't even know if they had one or not. When I was living with my grandparents while I was in college I helped my grandma shop for her 50th high school reunion....just this past year she went to her 55th--she also has a 9th grade class reunion nearly every year these days--many of her classmates stayed living in the same area their entire lives.

    1. How wonderful for your Grandma! There is certainly something appealing in the thought of seeing people who have known you for so many years.


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