THE BLOG

50th Reunion Tales, Part II

05/04/2015 12:27 pm ET | Updated May 04, 2016
Rudolf Balasko

In spite of Life in the Boomer Lane's best efforts at ending up in a geographic area other than the one intended by the organizers of her high school 50-year reunion, she did ultimately arrive. This was thanks to her close friend/fellow grad, who picked her up at 30th St Station in Philadelphia. We shall call this friend Phyllis, because that is her name.

Phyllis arrived time-warped from the years before the current century. She had a cute car with no GPS. She had a cell phone with no GPS. What she had was a sheaf of pages, dutifully printed out from Mapquest, which she handed to LBL. LBL, having never mastered the finer points of giving directions to anyone, and, being now used to GPSs that converse with her, failed to pay attention and to read the directions properly. After a certain amount of time spent going in the wrong direction, LBL pulled out her own phone, plugged the address in and let her cell GPS take the car's occupants where it may. Incredibly enough, it took them to the site of the reunion.

Because LBL was technically in negotiation on the real estate deal she had begun the day before, she brought her briefcase and laptop in with her. She still had no idea if she had destroyed the laptop by spilling coffee on it.

For the first 20 minutes, before everyone was registered and given their buttons to wear (with graduation photo and name), LBL spent a lot of time hugging women of whom she had no knowledge. After everyone had their buttons, LBL could then see who she had hugged. Some of them were women she actually remembered from school. Others turned out to be the wait staff at the facility.

Seventy-one grads and one wet laptop were in attendance. After a short period of schmoozing, everyone gathered in another room for photos. In years past, those who were smaller would kneel or sit on the floor in front of the majority of the women, who sat in chairs. The tallest would stand in back. On reunion day, the front row of kneelers/sitters was limited to those of any size who would be able to get down on the floor, and, more importantly, be then able to get up without the aid of a harness and pulley system.

In the main dining room were tables of eight. A couple seconds after being seated, LBL had to grab her briefcase and rush out to conduct real estate negotiations. She continued going back and forth between dining area and lobby, throughout the meal and presentations. In addition to her being out of town, one of her purchasers had just arrived in London, on a business trip. Given the circumstances, which included his own distractions, his jet lag and the time difference between here and the UK, as well as LBL's wet laptop and congealing salmon, the negotiations became a bit complicated. LBL persevered.

After lunch, and before the presentations, LBL took full advantage of the wealth of brain power and life achievements of the women seated at her table, to get down to what was important to her. She had everyone at her table go round-robin to reveal how old they were when they lost their virginity. She considered suggesting that all 71 women be afforded the same opportunity, but she was once again called out of the room.

The presentations were lovely, the in memoriam, given by the class President and LBL's close friend, brought everyone to tears. The questions asked of everyone were fascinating, although those involving sexual activity were limited to finding out who had the most children (4) and who had the most grandchildren (9). School songs were sung, LBL ran back and forth between dining room and lobby, and a lot of chatter and running around ensued after the formal program was over.

On her negotiating break, back in the main room, LBL suggested that the class start planning it's 60th reunion. This was greeted with a bit of skepticism, but a 55th was a possibility. After all, we were all still so vibrant, right? During this discussion, the head of dining services rushed in and announced that the class treasurer had inadvertently left the building with the unpaid bill. We then reassessed the wisdom of having another reunion.

All in all, it was a joyful afternoon, and LBL made it back to the train station and ultimately home with no further mishaps. And, for those of you who are concerned, she was able to complete negotiations the following day for the ratification of the big real estate deal. She plans to make a donation to the school in honor of that.

Three other items of note: The laptop didn't die. Also, LBL is fairly sure that one of her friends at the table was not, as she stated, 19, when she lost her virginity. LBL remembers pretty clearly that she was 16, and it happened at summer camp. She fully expects that at a 55-year reunion, her friend will announce that she was a virgin when she got married.

A final note: While in the round-robin sex discussion, another friend of LBL asked, "Do you remember when we had a New Years party at the Robert Morris Hotel in downtown Philadelphia? We had three couples and got two adjoining rooms, one for the party and the other for sex. Each couple took turns using the private room." LBL had not remembered such a major life event, but she has thought about it since. Although the event took place a couple years after graduation, it will now become part of her general high school memories.

Thanks, Girls High, for four of the sweetest and most intellectually inspiring years of LBL's life. The memories may have gotten a bit fuzzy over time, but the afterglow of joy has remained intact. And LBL solemnly promises she will never lie about her own answer to that crucial question: 19.