There’s a layer of nostalgia clinging to me today that I’m loath to wash away. After a full helping of Thanksgiving fun, I attended my high school reunion this past weekend. I’d tell you how many years I’ve been out of high school, but that’s classified information, and I’d have to kill one of us once you figured it out. Let’s just say it was somewhere between the time Rod Stewart was cool, and when he became a walking parody of himself. As if that narrowed it down.
After the first cocktail, made with top shelf booze for a change, I stopped worrying about my middle aged mommy tummy and began to dance. Alone. For several songs. Until finally a kind woman I’ve never met before joined me. We staged an unintended homage to the scene from Seinfeld when Elaine demonstrates her mad dancing skills to her staff, but we could not have cared less. Until the second lovely cocktail when I absolutely cared less. No longer wishing for backlighting to erase my wrinkles, I began chatting widely and wildly with people about anything and everything. Laughter of the snorting variety ensued. I met the adult daughter of a rather accomplished classmate and found out that her youngest child (as in, my classmate’s grandchild) was the same age as my youngest child. Yes, I felt old. Oldy oldy old old. And my suspicions about being terribly under-accomplished and uncool were finally confirmed. It was quite freeing to drop the pretense that I ever was, or ever would be, hip. Or even relevant. I enjoyed swapping versions of the past and learning about where people’s lives had taken them. When I became sufficiently envious of someone else, the dance floor called to me and I answered its siren’s call with some serious shaking. Luckily the dance floor could take it and no one was hurt. Except for my knees, but that pain didn’t present itself until the following morning so I continued to get down on it.
After the third, and final cocktail, I found myself asking a classmate for forgiveness for breaking his wrist in fourth grade. He thought it had been his arm I had broken (as if!) but he recalled wearing a cast as a result of our spat. I remembered the burning shame of walking up the front steps of his house to apologize and deliver a check to cover his medical bills. He absolved me and I moved on, vowing to drink only water for the rest of the evening. Once more, I licked my wounds on the tiny dance floor which I shared with a group of party people by this time. And we were dancing, and singing, and movin to the groovin.
There were also some beautifully poignant moments that I couldn’t do justice to here if I tried. Moments that have wrapped themselves around me warmly. Learning that others had traveled some of the same rocky roads that I’ve bumped along was bittersweet. There were people and memories I wanted to drink in, except that I had already decided to stick to water for the rest of the evening, so that possibility was out. Suffice to say, I wasn’t ready for the evening to end when it did. I suppose longing for more of something is always preferable to wearing out one’s welcome.