High school just seemed like well…just the other year. After not seeing some of these faces in twenty-five years, my memory power was in overdrive. I was not alone. The phrase,”Who’s that?” was overheard throughout the course of the night, until one of those organizing the event reveled the identity of the person in question. Mingling around the room, I happily greeted my now grown, classmates. A small class of approximately 150 students, although fewer attended. Many of those present spared their mates the social anxiety of being in a room full of strangers for three to four hours. My mate lovingly subjected himself to this cruel and unusual punishment. Later I learned of his secret angst via cell phone, when I could not locate him. Finally, he had migrated out to the car. Just in time for the group shot of the attendees. Rewind….As the guests ate and interchanged, their was laughter booming and stories retold. Female Questions: kids and location. Male Interests: location / occupation. As completely cliché as it sounds, it was unanimous amongst those I spoke with that we were more than former classmates. There was a binding process, that adhered our lives together, subtly through the formative years. Most of us felt a sense of being around an extended part of our family. This is attribute this to a small class size and the fact that many of us, journeyed from kindergarten to twelfth grade together. Living out our similar adolescence experiences, in a small northern town. Identities forming, insecurities in full swing. From Brownies to dances, secret crushes to outlandish teachers. From sleep-overs to cheering to finally…..graduation. It was a pure joy to see these memories come to life again, as I savored the company of my childhood friends.
One highlight: My dear friend and neighbor Nancy relayed a message from her kind Mother: “Tell Carla hello and I that still remember cooking fried bananas, with cinnamon for breakfast for the two of you when she would sleep over.” We were, most likely the only two Ukrainians families in town at that point in time. My girlfriend and I relived our carefree days of neighborhood kickball, playing Barbies and of barefoot, summertime walks to the Dairy Queen.
The funniest moment: While in line at the buffet, a person whom never spoke to me in school, was close by. As socially distant as this person was in the past, I was willing to reach out, be brave and test the waters. Hey, people change. Could I just keep silent? Fought it, thought about it….Nope! (There was a reason I was voted, “Most Talkative Girl” of my class.) Me: “Well, Hi______! How have you been?” Ex-classmate: “Oh, good. You look completely different from your Facebook picture.” Me (talking through the laughter): “That’s funny. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. How should I take that?” Ex-classmate: “Oh, that’s a good thing.” The woman then tossed her head and proceeded to faced forward. Ouch! (Time to put that cute pic of kitty back up.) Thankfully, the kind compliments and warmth from the rest of my pals made up for this isolated, frosty interjection. Brrrrrr…….