I had no intention of going to my 40th high school reunion. I got a postcard invitation months back and thought, I'm not sure I can even say the words "40th high school reunion" out loud, much less go to the thing.
I thought I had escaped my high school class. Then more invitations and information about the reunion started flowing via Facebook (my neglected little account where I became an expert at replying to friends on my status update). What did I know about Facebook? Nothing. I only remembered the name because it sounds like facelift! Whole Facebook concept sounded awful to me until one of my talented assistants started handling it. In fact, Blog Mistress Mandy said, "I've synced your Twitter and Facebook accounts so now we Tweet, twitter and roll and they are all tied in together." Okay. I trust her. She's snappy on a computer.
I almost love this whole social media thing. Almost.
The truth of the matter is that I am praying "Nude girl photographs" of me don't surface from UC Santa Barbara during the summer of 1969 (I've noticed that people post everything on Facebook). The basis of my fear stems from the "love the one you're with" party, which consisted of a whole lot of pot smoking, getting my best friend settled in to college life and copious talk about bank burnings. Who were those guys? No idea. I wasn't even enrolled at UCB, and I'm sure that was a serious violation on it's own.
I can't remember how we got naked so fast, must read that study on memory loss and long-term pot smoking, but to be honest that happened a lot that summer. Most of 1969, actually ... up until Jimmy Carter? And obviously black lights and body painting are not nearly as much fun when dressed. For crying out loud, Bill Graham and Janis Joplin taught me that.
My girlfriend and I were testing our free birth control pills from the clinic and our new developing cultural power, and proving that Gloria Steinem had indeed set us free. Not to mention, the dudes were cute. I remember we met them in Isla Vista when we were thinking of trying to catch a ride to Woodstock.
Enter the reunion committee: they have their own Facebook page. Go, old Bulldogs, go. It turns out that they are some of the nicest people you'd ever want to re- meet. They all seem to remember me as "SO sweet and SO nice!" Really? Well, I was a contender for Macy's Miss Teen High Board in San Rafael in 1968, but Celeste Jessen won. Macy's gave me a job in the gift-wrap department instead of being a teen inspiration.
Maybe that was my turning point. I still give great bows. Just not that often.
I'm not sure what I'm wearing to the reunion but I do know a pearl choker will be involved. When the neck goes and it's too hot for a turtleneck, simply wrap and tie the gobbler in pearls. My husband won't be coming with me, which is fine because I'm much younger then he is and all that talk of me being a trophy wife gets old. My best girlfriends are coming to my hotel for a slumber party post reunion. Honestly, the only thing missing will be my mother's stolen cigarettes and a bottle of Almaden.
Denise Vivaldo is the author of The Entertaining Encyclopedia. Robert Rose Publishing, available on Amazon.com .
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