This is the third installment of a description of my high school reunion. If missed the first, about the football game, and second, about going to the bar, about you might want to read them first for a bit of context. Here is a recap: The football game felt somewhat awkward. The next part of the evening at the bar I started having conversations with people from my youth who turned out to be pretty interesting.
The last segment ended while I and the cute flautist were holding court. She was one of the only people whom I remembered having a connection with in high school and she had been my crag that first night. Whenever I got whelmed (I was never really overwhelmed), I would go back and hang out with her, her husband, and whoever else happened to be around. Actually, by this point in evening, she may have left the premises. About 30 minutes earlier she said that she had gotten some kind of communication that indicated that one of her offspring had somehow misbehaved on a school excursion which required her, or, perhaps, allowed her, to take her leave. She related later that her experience at the football game was fairly similar to mine and that she just wanted to go home, but her husband had insisted that she go out to the bar. Even without the flautist’s company, I enjoyed my place by the wall with the pretty flowers I had attended school with three decades earlier.
Another highlight of the evening was running into a woman that in my memory was the cutest girl at Crestline Elementary. As a forty-eight year old woman, I found her no less attractive. Now she is a teacher. Having spent my adult life as a teacher or teacher educator, I rather like teachers. I also learned that she is recently divorced–but not too recently. Perhaps now the girl whom I was too intimidated to talk to in my childhood could now be interested in me. Since she was a teacher, I hoped that my being an education professor would make me somewhat attractive. I save the part about being unemployed and living in a van for later. I did tell her that forty years earlier I had a crush on her, something I could never admit in my youth. As I would learn over this weekend, we are not held entirely accountable for who we were and what we did in our youth. She said something about how she looked different now. Being considerably less shy about making my desires known than I was forty years ago, I related that I found her no less attractive. She responded with something like “Aren’t you sweet!” I could not quite tell whether her lukewarm response was due to her being shy or my being no more desirable than a twelve year old was unclear. Ever hopeful, as that conversation ended, I hoped that I would see her the following night.
As the crowd thinned out I got a chance to talk to the guy with the Really Cool Job whom I had seen at the football game. We reminisced that we had also been to preschool together. It was fun hearing about what his job that had him traveling the world doing cool stuff to help people. As with the banker, I would have liked to spend a lot more time hearing about what he did; unlike the banker, I was pretty sure that our political leanings would not interfere with our having an actual friendship. I had gone to see Cool Job because I had heard that he was with was another woman whom I remembered having a crush on in 8th grade. I had the good luck to get assigned to do a group social studies project with her. She was still strikingly beautiful. And a dancer. And she had a cool air about her. Really Cool Job remarked that Annie Leibovitz had photographed her. Nude. This was turning out to be more fun than I had anticipated. (A few days later, when I typed “Annie Leibovitz” and my friend’s–I want to count her as a friend–first name and last initial Google completed her last name.)
When I left for the football game I figured I would be back to my cousin’s place by ten and with the pesky reunion activities out of the way, I could hang out with my cousin and her husband, an activity that I really enjoy. As the conversation with Really Cool Job and Ms. Photogenic came to an end, I noticed that we had closed down the bar. This reunion thing was turning out to be a substantially more fun than I had imagined.