I just mailed my registration form for my 25th class reunion next month. I had a freak out moment when I noticed a line on the form where you could list any grandchildren you have. GRANDCHILDREN!!!! We’re not old enough to have grandchildren! Are we? Surely not. Let’s see. Hmm. Maybe we are. Great balls of fire! We are. Are we really that old? How did that happen? It just seems like yesterday we were cruising the Sonic and basting our backsides in the tanning bed. $2 could buy you a gallon of gas and a quart of Budweiser. Skirts were short and hair was big, really big. And curly. REO Speed Wagon, The Police and Joan Jett blasted from our eight tracks, and we didn’t have a care in the world, other than whether or not we had a date on Friday night. The summer after graduation was a good one.
It didn’t take long though, for real life to start knocking on our door. By spring, two of our classmates had been killed in accidents. Another had been arrested for drugs. A couple of classmates got married, quickly discovering that marriage wasn’t as easy as they thought it would be. Those who didn’t go to college soon figured out they weren’t going to get rich working at the local gas station and started looking for other ways to make a living. Some of us pushed those lessons back a few years by running off to college. We started scattering to different corners of the country. By our first reunion, we were starting to catch on that the adulthood thing was not going to be easy.
By the 15 year reunion we had done some living, some more than others. We had lost a classmate to suicide. Another was in prison. Marriages had fallen apart, and children were adding up. A few faces were starting to show the signs of too many dares and challenges accepted. Many though, were doing well. Businesses were being started. Career advancements were taking place and those two early marriages I mentioned were still kicking. We were still scattered across the country but making our mark in corporate America and building our own homes. We had learned to roll with a few punches but were still a little naïve about the years ahead.
We didn’t have a 20 year reunion, so I suspect a lot of things have changed since we last gathered. They sure have changed since 1982. Today $2 won’t even buy one drink, let alone a gallon of gas. Our skirts are longer to hide our flabby thighs and Spanx. Our hair is straighter and MUCH more flat. We are balder and fatter. Memories are shorter. I recently realized that I don’t remember the names of all my classmates. The lines that document our life’s journey have crept onto our faces. Some of us use reading classes. Many of my classmates have buried a parent…or two. But our businesses have thrived. We sit on the boards of our local schools and service agencies. We hold government positions and run the corner drug store. Our children are nearly grown, and in some cases, fully grown. I’ll bet a few even have grandchildren. Holy Cow! We really are that old….and a lot wiser.
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