Ah, the dreaded high school reunion. Some people can’t wait to reconnect; others wouldn’t be caught dead at their reunion. This past weekend was my handsome fiancée’s (Marc) high school reunion—I won’t say how many years it’s been. I know many of his friends from high school so I was happy to go. We had a great time and it was fun to see him reminisce with people he hadn’t seen in decades. I even brought a single girlfriend of mine because I heard high school reunions were great places to meet people. Turns out that wasn’t true for her, but we did overhear some crazy things.
As soon as we got there one of the first things that someone asked Marc was, “Is there a list of everyone that died?” What? Are you kidding? I thought we were there to relive the glory days, not be depressed. Yet Marc and his curious friend began listing all the fellow graduates that had passed away. There were more than a few people on the “dead list” and it was a very morbid way to start the night. I began drinking.
While my handsome fiancée got me that drink, two men approached me on separate occasions. They looked at my nametag and said, “I don’t remember you.” I pointed to the part of the label that said ‘Marc’s Fiancée,’ but what I really wanted to say was, “That’s because I was three when you were graduating from high school.” Instead I just smiled.
When my single friend starting chatting with people, one man said to her, “I’m glad I came to this one because they’re all going to start falling down from here. You never know if you’re ever going to see these people alive again.” Macabre. We kept drinking.
One man who was clearly not trying to impress her said he moved to Florida. She asked if he was on the east or west coast. He responded, “Yes.” Undeterred, she asked why he moved there. He said, “I went to be a writer, but it didn’t work out. Then I tried to invent something. It was a sheet cake slicer. You’d pull it up from the bottom of the cake and it would make slices. It could have been on every sheet cake in America but I could never figure out how to keep the frosting on. So I became a psychologist.” (I am not making this up.) By the way, I later heard he’s a very successful psychologist, so it’s a good thing the sheet cake slicer didn’t work out.
I noticed a man who had been alone most of the night and whispered to Marc that I felt bad for him, whoever he was. With a graduating class upward of 700, Marc had no idea who the solitary man was. He decided to ask the man if he wanted to join us. My single friend graciously began making conversation with him. She asked, “Do you still live here?” He responded, “Oh yeah, in the same house I grew up in. In 2001 my mother told me to watch the house so I never left.” She stared at him and he plowed on. “I have a million dollars in the bank, and I don’t work.” Stunned, she bravely asked, “What do you do all day?” He said, “I sleep till about 2 p.m., then I play video games the rest of the day.” The solitary man suddenly made sense.
In an effort to have some fun with our new friend, Marc introduced his fiancée, his ex-wife, and his mistress (myself and the two women standing next to me). Video game guy just looked at all of us and said, “Wow, Marc. Must have gotten rich.”
And with that I was done, although I sort of wish I’d stayed longer to hear more fodder for this blog. We had a great and bizarre time.
This week I wish you a lot of laughs with old friends and on this Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement in Judaism) may you be inscribed in the Book of Life so you aren’t on the “dead list” and can make it to many, many more reunions.