Twenty years after storming the graduation hall to the tune of Rob Base's "Joy and Pain," we gathered in a room in which I had passed many a crazy night, yet that night I did not drink...I absorbed. Twenty years later there was a lot, a lot less hair:-)but a lot more heart. People have lived marriages, births, betrayals, divorces, heartbreak and loss. Yet, there were smilin' faces that night. Genuine smiling faces, not phony shit. And I liked that...
I maybe didn't recognize three people, the rest looked enough like they did in high school to elicit a "Wow" and an "Oh MY GOD!"
I made small-talk the entire night, but it was quality small-talk. I will say that the girls were way hotter than the guys, we know our products. Some people have never changed from the peppy, spunky, flirty, sit-on-your-lap type, while very few others had a silent, self-assured look about them that spoke a clear message of business success and worldliness. Strange, yet true.
I saw my junior prom date and met his wife- an adorable couple. He asked me why I straightened my hair and said he preferred girls with curly hair..hahahaha.
I saw an ex-really good friend who I haven't spoken to for many years after a falling out. I would have stayed and talked to her for hours, asked her about her children and family, but when she saw me, she "Over-hello'd" me and scared the shit out of me by how phony that hello was...I kissed her on the cheek and wished her well.
As far as I lived that reunion, and I'm glad I went, I was genuinely happy to see faces from the past, faces I've reconnected with via facebook and whose lives still touch me.
Someone came up to me and said, "I can't believe this person did not say hi to me, is it possible that people haven't changed after 20 years??"
I said, "Are you sure she recognized you??" He wasn't sure.
What I didn't say is that, maybe, just maybe, those same old high school insecurities re-surfaced in the face of a once-popular smokin' hot girl *smile*.
Another person talked to a friend of ours about how she was having problems making her boyfriend commit. We discussed how people are always looking for more, something "better" and they are never happy with what they have. I met her boyfriend. Slime-city...SHE deserves more. Sometimes love is so blind..blinded by our own self-doubts and not really believing WE deserve better.
Sometimes we choose a path and we are convinced that is the 100% absolute right path for us to the point that we insist in making it the right path. We fight with all we are because it truly seems to be the right direction, because the idea of taking another path is so completely scary that we cannot fathom stepping off that smoothly-paved road. One day, something knocks us off that path and we find our feet walking another one, a little rougher, but maybe..the right one in the end.
The most bizarre event of the evening was that the guy who took me to school every day of High School told me about his life for at least twenty minutes straight..I swear he did not say one word for four years while driving me to school. People evolve. LOL..adorable.
Then, I noticed one girl being helped to the bathroom because she drank too much and two 38 year old girls dancing together and they did get down...just like they did 20 years ago- LOVED THAT!
We all deal with shit every single day, yet some people really have to dig excessive loads and they always manage to find the daisy peeping out of that mound - while others focus and dwell on the color, texture and odor of it. My friend Debbie was born with a daisy halo, because as difficult and challenging as her life may be, she always finds the meaning behind her journey.
And that night, she looked just like she did twenty years ago, not like when I saw her during the summer, but just like in high school- when the only worries we had were whether or not our crush was going to say hi to us in the hall during breaks or if we'd pass our SATs and get into the college of our choice.
*This American Mom is back in Tuscany...but I definitely enjoyed the ride*