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‘What I learned by going to reunions’

Last weekend The Child wasn’t here to help celebrate The Dude’s birthday. Which wasn’t too big a deal, because A) it wasn’t a Big Birthday (just one of those annoying all-too-frequently occurring regular ones) and B) she’s here now, so we’re celebrating the birthday this weekend instead.

Celebrating not one but two birthdays last weekend. With not one but two cakes!

So, where was Her Childness last weekend? Celebrating her ten-year college reunion, that’s where. And if you think all-too-frequent birthdays give one pause, chew on that.

The Child and I at her college graduation ten years ago. Neither one of us looks one iota different. Well, not to me, anyway

I know, I know. You’ve heard me whine enough already about how quickly time passes. But seriously? Little Sammie Jane has been out of college for ten years?

Dude Man takes the measure of The Child. Then puts a brick on her head

Oddly enough, she did not invite me to go to her reunion with her. Though there is precedent for Mom-As-Reunion Date. My mother attended my ten-year high-school reunion with me. And, yes, she was a splendid date indeed.

Gosh, I don’t know why The Child didn’t invite me to her reunion. I got to go to this graduation party, didn’t I?

I also went to my 20-year and 40-year high-school reunions, though sans Mom. And I went to Dude Man’s 15-year and his 50th reunion, too. It was supposed to be in 2020, Dude having graduated in 1970. But, thanks to Mr. Virus, 2020 was not a year for reunions–or any gatherings, for that matter. And whomever was in charge of rescheduling sort of dropped the ball.

A couple of weeks ago Dude Man and I were happily ensconced in Amagansett with a major rainstorm of the deluge variety raging outside, when he plays a message left on his phone. Something about a 50th Reunion Bash being held that very night. “Did I want to go?” I motioned out the window. “Are you kidding?”

Well, one look at his little classmate-craving face and I caved. Soon we were hydroplaning our way on the Long Island Expressway back to Manhasset. Where 25 or so of his almost-200-strong Class of ’70 were gathered, damp but happy, clutching cocktails and peering intently at each other’s nametags.

The nametags, helpfully, were emblazoned with each attendee’s high-school yearbook photo. Although, sadly, this was not the one on The Dude’s. (hubba hubba)

So here’s where I go out on a limb and share what I’ve learned after going to so many high-school reunions. At the ten-year reunion, the men look better than the women. That’s because the women have tenaciously clung to the look they had in high school. Same hair style, same makeup techniques. But ten years have passed; maybe that flip needs to flop. They’ve also gained a few pounds. The men are still rocking high-school style too, but somehow it doesn’t matter, men’s styles not being quite so, well, changeable.

That’s Stanley rocking men’s style circa 1968. Still works, doesn’t it?

At the 20-year reunion, it’s the opposite. The women have figured it out. They’ve ditched the bouffants and (mostly) the pounds and look pretty darned terrific. Bonus discovery: the wallflowers have blossomed. So much so that (at my own 20-year bash) I heard more than one man exclaim to a formerly-invisible girl, “Sally (not her real name, of course) is that you?!?”

Meanwhile, the men have lost their hair and gained some paunch. Oh well. It pretty much all evens out at the (gasp) 50.

Oh. Before I forget — and before you ask. What about my college reunions? Didn’t I go to any of them? Well, actually, no. And not because I didn’t want to. No, as far as I know, good ole University of Missouri isn’t big on reunions. At least I’ve never heard tell of one. Gosh, maybe the rest of my class has been having incredible bashes every ten years since 1973 — and I just haven’t been asked.

Me, in college. Wouldn’t you want to get together with such a fun-looking girl at a reunion? One would think so.

I’ve been to Dude Man’s college reunions, though. The ten and the twenty. Here’s what I learned. The men at the ten (this was an all-guy’s school) were handsome and successful and showed off their wives and cars. At the twenty, they were (mostly) still handsome, and they were in the same cars — but they had new wives. I can hardly wait to see what they’re all up to at the 50th next year.

Dude and a bunch of Dartmouth Dudes at a reunion. Not sure which one, since The Dude, darn him, never ever changes

Oh, if, unlike me (I’m talking to you, Kim!) you’ve been to a Mizzou reunion, please keep it to yourself. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep going to any ole random reunion that’ll have me. Oh, and birthday parties.

Amagansett, New York. June 2023

 

 

Gone Baby Gone

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‘The Nest. Is it half-empty? Or half-full?’

I think I can trace my rather non-involved mommy style back to a certain babysitting gig where I┬áhad to keep track of the kids’ poops on a chart. There were two of them (kids, that is), and a correspondingly healthy number of poops.

That, and a few other instances of dealing with what we now call ‘helicopter parenting’ put me off hovering. But I have to admit in all honesty that I was never destined to be one of those let’s-bake-a-zillion-cookies-and-then-whip-up-some-papier-mache-heads kind of moms.

The Dude (thank you!) was happy to handle Playground Duty. When the Child would say ‘Run, Mommy, run!’, I was apt to reply ‘Mommies don’t run; babysitters run’. And when well-meaning adults would exclaim Continue reading