I’m heading off tonight for my thirtieth reunion. I still have mixed feelings about this – it’s not like I was the belle of the ball back in high school, after all, and an unexpectedly nasty FB comment from a classmate yesterday has sapped my confidence.
I said something about my book in a relevant conversation and he commented “You know what would go well with your book? A ball gag, for when you start talking about process documentation. I called him on it, because this is someone I generally like and I didn’t think he intended to sound that vicious, we had it out in a private discussion, and it turned out he’d been annoyed by some earlier unrelated things I’d said, thought I was being patronizing, and the frustration resulted in snark. I admit he’s justified in the annoyance (his feedback echoed some I’d recently gotten at work) so I thanked him for the honesty as gracefully as I could manage. I think we’re good now, but still – the nasty comment came and blindsided me when I totally didn’t expect it. He may be justified in his proginal annoyance, but that doesn’t make it less painful to hear. More, probably. Sigh. And this is someone I always thought had kind of a soft spot for me (in a nonromantic sense).
So this is all increasing my enthusiasm. Rah. Also, it occurred to me this morning that the people coming from next furthest away are traveling from South Carolina and New Hampshire – most others are still in the Philly area or at most in NJ or DC. So it will be me and a roomful of lifelong East Coasters – Philadelphia accents everywhere, yo. And unfortunately a lot of the people I’d most like to see aren’t going, though there are definitely a few I’m looking forward to hanging out with (just hope it’s mutual!)
Also, I’ll probably freeze. The dress I found to wear is this one, in the purple – that flared skirt is very flattering, it turns out. (That’s code for “makes my belly less obvious”.) I’m wearing it with black wool lace tights and heels and a shawl, but the shawl that went best is a smaller one, not all that warm. I am wearing a long wool coat, so if it’s too cold at least I have that to pull on.
Someone at work mentioned that the fun part of reunions is laughing at the people who were stars in high school and are failures now, but the thing is – the vast majority of the people I went to school with, even the popular ones, weren’t really jerks even then. A lot of them have aged badly, or are poor, or have been divorced or whatever, but I don’t find myself wanting to laugh at them. I probably do have a better life than a lot of them – yes, there’s all the material stuff and the travel and all that but the biggest thing is the very happy marriage. But the main thing I want to convey is “Yes, I have a great life so you don’t have to worry about me. But I’ve done lots of things so I have good stories! Let me tell you my stories! And I want to hear your stories! Tell them to me.” Hopefully I can convey that.
(The woman who is running this shindig thinks of herself as a fun person, but a bit of a loser. She spent some time homeless; these days she has a happy marriage and stable housing but still some struggles with money. She’s put on a lot of weight due to knee issues, then had both knees replaced, went through a terribly painful recovery, and is now getting back to the activity level she’d like. She is kind and generous, enthusiastic and seems to like everyone. See? Doesn’t sound like a loser to me either – and if she is willing to tell it, I want to hear the story of how she got from homelessness to where she is now, because that sounds like an amazing accomplishment to me. OK, there, a thing to look forward to.)
I also need to go see my family. My nephew is three and a half, so I feel like I need to see him more than once a year while he is growing so fast, and I want him to remember who I am. I’m told he’s looking forward to seeing “An’ Pawwa” but is disappointed that “Unca Ted” isn’t coming. I also want to check on my mom, who moved last summer from the house she’d lived in since I was a fetus to an independent community. As far as I can tell over the phone, she loves it and is flourishing there, but it will be good to see for myself. So that’s another thing to look forward to.
I’m flying the redeye, but used miles to upgrade to first class in hopes of getting some sleep so I’ll be ready to stay up late Saturday night – at least the time change will help me there.
Oh, well. I think one of two outcomes is most likely; either I’ll have a really terrific time – or I’ll have a boring wallflower evening bookended with some nice visits with my family. Great or not-terrible. I can live with that.