This weekend was my high school class reunion. It has been 30 years since graduating high school, but my first time attending a reunion. I was looking forward to the event, but knew that I needed to prepare. First, my hair was getting a little out of control, so I went to get a hair cut. Of course, as the woman was cutting, she asked for my opinion regarding the length. I should have known better and should have chosen to stay on the conservative side. But no. I kept telling her to go just a little shorter. The end result: my hair was so short I looked like Jamie Lee Curtis in those yogurt commercials, complete with grey!
The next evening I grabbed the hair dye and chose a darker brown in order to get rid of that grey. This would have been okay, except that I am 48 and chose a color for a 28 year old.
Moving on from that, I decided to get a manicure. My nails were long, but in need of proper filing. Off to the salon I went, where I had a gift certificate from last Christmas that I hadn’t used yet. But alas, when I arrived at the salon they were closed. Since I had waited until the last day to get the manicure, I ended up going to a different nail salon. The Oriental woman took one look at my long nails and tried to convince me into getting a French manicure. She insisted that my nails would look great because of the length. But I didn’t want a French manicure, because the base they use is pink in color. It is fall, and in my opinion, pink is a spring/summer color.
After much debate, I insisted on an appropriate red. As she was starting to file the nails, the woman kept commenting on how dry my hands were, and that I needed their special paraffin wax treatment. I quickly grew tired of arguing with her, and acquiesced to the treatment.
The woman then rolled up the sleeves of my blouse, as she was talking to me, but I couldn’t understand much of what she was saying because her accent was very thick. Then she slapped a bunch of exfoliating gel on my arms and hands, and began to vigorously rub. As she continued to speak in her language, several other workers came over to observe. The next thing I knew five or six other nail technicians began to touch my arms, all the while talking to the woman in a language foreign to me!
After the exfoliating, she washed my arms and and hands, and then commented on how soft they were. That brought the attention of the other workers, who came over a second time to touch my arms and hands! I got feeling that perhaps I was the first sucker (uh, I mean customer) to actually say “yes” to the special treatment. Finally she finished with the manicure and my choice of color was perfect.
When the color was dry, and after placing my hands in baggies of hot wax, she placed moisturizing lotion with lemon oil in it and began rubbing it in to my hands and arms. The other workers must have seen this before, because none of them came to observe. I relaxed, thinking I was no longer subject to embarrassment, when she began to punch my arms, moving up and down them as if she was tenderizing meat! My arms had so much oil on them that they slipped off of the table and BAM, she hit the table with her fist, completely missing my arm! Finally the ordeal was over and I walked out of the shop wondering why I had subjected myself to such shenanigans and had paid $ 45 for it all!
The next day I dressed for the party,put on my makeup, and took a look in the mirror. A big guffaw escaped me, as I realized that with the short hair I looked like I was going to a Chaz Bono fan club event, instead of my class reunion!
Off to the event I went anyway. It was a strange occasion as I had not seen most of my classmates in thirty years. Surely I was in shock as people kept telling me that they recognized me and that I hadn’t changed in 30 years! I was thinking “Really? Did I look like this???”
I met my old friends and headed to the bar for a vodka with cranberry juice. We spent the rest of the night trying to figure out who everyone was. Some spouses came to the reunion, which ended up being a cause for confusion, as I tried to figure out if they were actual classmates, or spouses of classmates. I ended up just introducing myself to everyone and waited for them to respond!
Some of the women I recognized right away, as they had not changed much over the years. But there were others who I just could not place. I would have been upset with myself over this, since I had glanced at my old yearbook prior to the reunion, but everyone else seemed to be just as perplexed as I was, so I was able to laugh at the situation. I also realized that most of the women had done the last minute coloring to their hair, because some had the exact color that they had in high school, with no grey roots! Most of the men had changed drastically. Baldness or grey hair was prevelent among the men. No yearbook picture was going help me put names to their faces. But when I heard their voices, the memories returned.
There were appetizers available, and I figured that I’d better eat something. Drinking without eating is no longer a good idea for me. So I headed over the to table. It was an antipasto spread, which was nice. I lingered at the table, trying to decide what I could have that 1) would not give me bad breath and 2) would not get stuck in my teeth. I knew that the peppers and meats were out of the question. So I chose some marinated mushrooms, and put three on my plate. But then I was standing there trying to talk to people with a drink in one hand and a plate in the other. I could not shake hands and had to give open armed hugs instead, while balancing the plate of mushrooms and hoping that neither the drink or the food spilled on anyone! It was a useless situation, so I eventually put the plate down without eating anything, and chose to keep the drink.
After a while I headed over to the bar again, where I ordered a vodka tonic. The very young bartender said “you know that you ordered a vodka with cranberry last time, right?” Apparently the choice to dispense with the food was not a good one! I gave myself a break and laughed at the drink order. “Oh, yeah,” I said. “I meant to order the cranberry!”
“No problem,” he said. One minute later he placed the drink on the bar. But it was clear and not red.
“You know you just made the vodka tonic, right?” I asked him. We both laughed, and I felt better knowing that I wasn’t the only one who seemed out of sorts at the reunion. He then told me that he was also a graduate of the same high school, and had graduated in 2005. “You’ll be at one of these one day,” I told him. “And people that you knew so well will be hard to even remember!”
Later dinner was ready and again I was faced with choices. I viewed the options and chose a little salad, chicken, and a roll. I did not choose vegetables, since one of them was broccoli, and I did not want to worry all night that I was talking to people with that stuck in my teeth!
Oh, but it was good to reconnect with so many people from my past. Where have they been for the last 30 years, and what are they doing now? I could not tell you. Each time I reintroduced myself, the classmate would ask me where I was living now or what I was doing. By the time I told my story, someone else would come along, or we would be interrupted, and the other person never had the chance to tell his or her story to me!
For some odd reason I did not have to use the bathroom facilities all night. As I was driving home, I was thinking that I should have gone to do a makeup check, but I hadn’t. I was concerned that with all of the laughing, to the point of tears, that the mascara and eye liner I had put on had run. For all I knew, I had looked like a raccoon all night!
So when I arrived home I checked the mirror, and everything held. Phew. I actually still looked good after the evening of festivities, and was happy. That moment of bliss did not last long, however. I washed up and as I started to brush my teeth, I realized that there were pieces of chicken stuck in my teeth! I avoided the main “stuck in the teeth” foods, and was outdone by chicken. After 30 years, will I now be remembered as the classmate with food in her teeth?
Still, I shared many laughs with old friends as we spent three hours trying to identify the others in the room. By the end of the night my brain was exhausted from retrieving files stored in the archives for thirty years. But it was a great trip down memory lane and I am so glad that I was able to attend the reunion. I think I may suggest name tags for the 40th, though. And next time? I will get let my hair grow out just a little longer and will do a complete check of makeup and teeth right after dinner!