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.