One of those high school reunions ending in a zero was fast approaching, and no way was I close to my goal of losing ten pounds and getting a facelift.
A classmate told me not to worry, that it was just “a bunch of old people,” but I do have my pride. So I bought a pair of Spanx. In case you’ve never watched Oprah, Spanx resemble what we called a “girdle” back in high school, a device I swore I’d never wear again after the invention of pantyhose. Then, a few years ago, I renounced pantyhose. So wearing Spanx would be a real devolution for me, though they promised to smooth out unwanted rolls, lumps, and whatnot.
I probably burned a few calories squeezing into them the week before the reunion and wearing them around the house for practice. But, in the end, I opted for the ability to breathe unassisted.
But to the reunion:
The Food: Since I still hoped to lose a few pounds, it was fine with me there was no dessert at Friday night’s $17 hotel dinner, but I did hear some grousing. At the next day’s luncheon, one woman eyed the red and white peppermint in our hamburger carton and drolly remarked, “Great, we got dessert this time.”
The Reading of the Dead: Good news for one classmate—as the reading of names began, someone pointed out that one person on the list was not only still alive, but was also eating his lunch at a nearby table. I think he stood up and someone congratulated him. The woman faced with the task of reading the names, obviously flustered, said in all seriousness, “If I call out your name, raise your hand.”
A REAL reunion story: I’ll call them Bob and Peggy Sue. Bob and Peggy Sue split up during high school. Seems Bob got another girl pregnant and did the honorable thing and married the girl without bothering to explain the situation to Peggy Sue. Peggy Sue—heartbroken—eventually married someone else. Then, after decades of marriage, Bob and Peggy Sue both divorced their respective partners.
Bob immediately began looking for Peggy Sue, found her, married her, and now both are living happily ever after. I told him he was lucky she took him back.
By the time I’d heard the same version of this story from each of them, I was missing my own husband and my dog, who were three hours away. Besides that, my hotel room was too hot, and the wind had whipped my hair into what looked like half-eaten cotton candy, so I cut out early and headed home.
As a result, I missed Elvis, who was set to perform that night, but since I’d seen him in concert years ago when he was alive, I’ll hang on to that memory.
I do regret missing out on the barbecue dinner, but I’m thinking of it as the equivalent of losing five pounds and avoiding Spanx again when the next reunion rolls around.