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The Last to Arrive

The Last to Arrive

The reunion of my best girlfriends from high school can now be called an “annual event.” That’s because
technically you can’t call something an annual event until it’s happened twice. Last year I hosted the
inaugural, and while I enjoyed the company, it’s more fun to be a guest.

This year’s hostess invited us to her vacation home in Bethany Beach, Delaware and specified we were
welcome any time after 4:00 PM. Apparently, we were all raised right because no one was early. I left
after work and was the last to arrive at about 10:00 PM.

Every hellish minute in I-95 traffic was worth it when I was greeted by six screaming ladies on the front
porch, brandishing wine glasses. Each of them embraced me in turn and continued to scream their
greetings in my ear. If you’re ever feeling low, be the last one to arrive at a reunion of half-tanked high
school friends. It’s an amazing ego boost. At that point in the festivities the air conditioner repairman
might have gotten the same reaction, but I’ll take the love just the same.

I was offered food and beverages immediately by my amazing hostess. This was the girl in high school
who most guys wanted to date but got too tongue tied in her presence to form the words. Strangely enough, all that adoration never went to her head. To this day that amazes me. After all the screaming had stopped she took me by the hand, looked very seriously into my eyes and said, “Would you like some chocolate lava cake?”

I turned down the chocolate lava cake but managed to drink waaaay too much Prosecco. So much so
that I fell out of my bunk and had to be tended to by the group’s remaining cogent person. Thank you
Dr. P. I owe you one. She informed me the next morning that I speak fluent Wookie. Who knew?
The rest of the weekend was wonderful. Time on the beach, good food, nonstop talking. I’m still
touched by the memories we all own of each other. It’s like the various puzzle pieces form a complete
cohort’s experience.

We talked a lot about parenting; the way we were parented, the way we parent our kids, and the way
our kids are raising their own kids. I’m more convinced than ever that having a safe and stable home life
is the most important gift you can give a child. It doesn’t have to fit traditional models, but simple
stability is crucial. I’m in awe of the women who could create stable and loving homes when that was
not their experience growing up.

I’m hoping to raise a glass of Presecco among these precious friends for many years to come. We should
probably take turns being the last one to arrive.

Thank you for visiting,


Gracious Hosting in the Workplace

Gracious Hosting in the Workplace

I recently went back to work after a long hiatus. I took a job as a management specialist for a local police department…and I love it! The hours are good, it’s great for my retirement, and the commute is beautiful. I pass Patrick Henry’s house twice a day. Yeah, that Patrick Henry.

But the main reason I like it so much is because my co-workers are so damn nice! They are the world’s best workplace hosts. It’s been almost a month now and I have yet to meet one person who isn’t openly, aggressively, nice! I have worked in law enforcement before and this is not normal. What’s with this place? Is it in the water? Are they piping it in through the air ducts? Have the real people been replaced by the Stepford Staff? Am I next to emerge from my cubicle-pod as a nice employee? I’m already starting to feel nicer a little around the edges. There goes my rep.

Example, the woman who’s training me. After a long session of correcting my numerous mistakes from the previous day with amazing patience…she asks me if I work out because I seem like I’m in good shape. Are you serious? No, I don’t work out and believe me it shows. Are they all blind too?

I have sort of a cubicle-office in the corner. When I pipe in on a conversation from the common area, they refer to me as The Cubicle. “See, I told you so! Even The Cubicle agrees with me.” Because of my cubicle’s placement there are two male officers I can hear but not see. They are hilarious and I call them Lucy and Ethel (only in my head). The other day they got some new camera equipment that they were just gaga about. “Oh my gosh, it’s waterproof! That is so cool! Did you take it in the bathtub to check it out?” I finally met them in person the day when I was fighting with my new “Date Received” stamp. I just kept slamming it down harder and harder on my desk waiting for it to submit and release its precious ink. Finally Ethel came over and offered his assistance. Then Lucy piped in as well. I love those guys. Ethel is on vacation this week and I think Lucy kind of misses him.

Of course my perspective may be skewed by that “hiatus” I mentioned earlier. I quit my previous job to finish my degree and it took me a lot longer to get work than I’d expected. We’re talking a soul killing long time. So maybe I’m just really happy to have a J-O-B! And a P-A-Y-C-H-E-C-K. Maybe that’s part of it.

Anyway, thank you for visiting and I hope you have a fabulous day and you look great and I love your outfit and please let me know if you need anything and have a nice weekend.


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The High School Reunion and House Guests, Traveling to the Past

The High School Reunion and House Guests, Traveling to the Past

About a year ago I hosted six of my closest female friends from high school for a mini-reunion. This may have been the first time all of us had been together in one place since graduation; I know it was the first time we’d been together without the distractions of spouses, children, or other classmates.

There is something about hosting women that sends me into crazed-preparation mode. If I’m hosting a man, I might clean the toilet. If I’m hosting a woman I turn into Rosie Jetson on rocket fuel, dusting the basement rafters and detailing the cat. When did I become more concerned with the looks of my house than my own looks? Is it just me?

When you’re hosting, events tend to go by in a blur as you’re dealing with details, and that’s what happened to me with this reunion. But there are some lasting impressions.

Sorry to be cliché but, “we picked right up as though we’d never been apart,” sharing our memories, lives, and emotions. There’s something about spending your teenage years together that creates an enduring bond of familiarity.

We talked about boyfriends and spouses. We compared notes about the high school guys we dated, what they were like, why the relationships ended. Our fumblings with teenage lust and infatuation were pretty funny. Some of the lines guys used back then are really hilarious! For instance, “Don’t you just love the way skin feels on skin? Let’s pull up our shirts and touch stomachs.” Two of the ladies married their high school sweethearts, one of whom has the closest thing to a fairy tale marriage I’ve ever known. The other high school marriage lasted only a few years. We also talked about betrayal and the scars it leaves on your ability to trust going forward.

We talked about losing our parents, a discussion that led to revelations about my classmates’ childhood struggles that I didn’t know about at the time. I realized I was tremendously self-absorbed back then, and I hope that’s changed. It was fun to hear their memories of my parents, who were considered “quirky” for the times. My dad told a friend her prom dress looked just like our shower curtain. Another was made to sit on our front porch during dinner for calling him “sir” one too many times. Intellectually we all know we’re now the senior generation and next in line for the cosmic compost heap, but I don’t think any of us are really ready to accept it yet.

After all the reminiscing and catching up, we talked about motherhood. When you’re the mother of sons, your energy goes into keeping them alive until adulthood. When you’re the mother of daughters you just try not to kill them. Several of us had received calls from our sons that went like this, “Hey mom, how’s it going? Just out of curiosity, what’s my blood type?” My son actually called me once and said, “Hey mom, when do you know it’s time to go to the emergency room?”

We also talked about parenting experiences that did not end in amusing anecdotes. I was deeply touched by two of the women who were witnessing their adult children go through tragic losses, and were deeply affected by their inability to make the pain go away as they did when their kids were young.

As I sat among these friends, feeling a profound sense of wisdom and survival, I glanced up and saw one of the ladies pressing her bare butt checks against the picture window, mooning us. We laughed until Chardonnay came out our noses.  Some things never change.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you’ll share comments and advice about your own reunion experiences.






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