Back in time


The badge I wore at my husband’s 30th high-school reunion. Funny *and* interactive because sometimes I was “with him” and sometimes with some other random guy nearby.

So, we hit my husband’s 30th high-school reunion this past weekend.

I always have fun at his reunions. At the 10 year, I swiped an unclaimed name badge and pretended to be the high-haired girl in the pic.

“NO WAY! You two got married?!” one former classmate shrieked.

I nodded proudly.

I figured it would be quite the scandal this year when he showed up with me — his second, trophy, pilates-toned wife. At least, that’s what I hoped people would think. I couldn’t possibly be as old as all the middle-aged looking people around me because on the inside, I still feel like the insecure teenage girl who doesn’t want to smile too big and reveal that mouth full of metal.

Reunions are so weird. There are people you haven’t seen since you were 18 — and no one is a fully-formed person at that age. Nothing illustrates the passage of time more than catching up with an almost 50-year-old you’ve known since kindergarten. Lots of changes. Hopefully. No one should still be eating boogers and glue at this stage of the game. Who’d gotten chubby and gone bald was the opening topic of conversation for my husband and his buddies. Boys.

I intentionally avoided the tribute table for all those who’d died. The poignancy of lives cut short hit home all the more since senior yearbook photos adorned the swatch of purple cloth, every one of them so young and full of life. Three decades later, the class of 1987 is all too aware the clock is definitely ticking.

Flitting around the DoubleTree ballroom felt a lot like circulating at a work function, making small talk and finding out who did what and how many kids everyone has. I was amused by my husband’s revisionist history of our relationship:

“This is my wife, Kristen. Yeah, we’ve been married 27 years.”

Uh, no. Try 22.

“Yeah, we met at the newspaper where we worked.”

Strike 2. We met in college. I couldn’t wait to hear how many kids we had.

The food was bad but the company was good and afterward Joe was happy that he’d gone and marveled how his classmates had grown up to become a property manager, a stay-at-home dad, IT specialist, data storage manager, even a candidate for governor.

“I never would have figured people would be doing some of things they’re doing,” he said.

Well, no, of course not. No one ever thinks they’re going to graduate, land an 8-5 job and tool around town in a minivan. At 18, you’re going to conquer the world — because you no longer need a stinking hall pass to go to the bathroom.

Those skinny kids with the teased hair sprayed into submission to the detriment of the ozone layer have settled into middle age and now have kids old enough to tackle adulthood. Crazy. That was us….

In some ways, it feels like several lifetimes ago and yet at the same time, it could have been yesterday.



Me, at age 17, trying on the ugliest prom dresses at the mall because my best friend and I found that amusing. This is how I always feel on the inside, which is quite the disconnect when I see the 47-year-old in the mirror.

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