My 47th reunion coming up made me excited. It also made me nervous. Would I recognize people? Would they recognize me? Would it be fun or awkward?
A classmate told me how she once went to a reunion, peeked into the room, didn’t recognize a soul, turned around and went home. This would be a funny anecdote,
but she didn’t even recognize me. Or, I could have been in the ladies’ room because I couldn’t have changed much over the decades? I decided to go because I knew some people for sure. Needed to think. Number One: Should I cut out all desserts? Number Two: What about my hair? Number Three, and most importantly: What should I wear?
My daughter, Kim, frowned when I voiced these questions. “Why, do you NOW care about these things?” (I haven’t been that superficial in the past.) “Well, I’m retired and have time to think about these things and at this age, I have to think about them. Can’t coast by on the beauty that is youth. Youth is beautiful.” I sighed.
I charged ahead with preparations—ordered an embroidered shirt from Amazon. I had my hair trimmed. But, what was going to help? (Short of false eyelashes, liposuction and plastic surgery?) Aha! Maybe new make-up. How about a new blush without that big hole in the middle? A new tube of liquid makeup? Perhaps I could get wild and get a different lipstick color?
I needed tips. I Facebooked my concerns to my godson, Alex Tang, New York makeup artist. He suggested that we Facetime. I impressed myself because I had jumped into the world of technology. My husband, Carlos, set up the I-Pad and my dog, Finn, bounded into the picture. Since he’s already a cutie and doesn’t need any help, he had to leave the room. No photo bombing, puppy.
But, I did allow Reina to stay since my godson and I are cat lovers. Alex and I held up our cats: his lovely rescue kitty, Lo Mein, and our tortie rescue kitty, Reina. Lo Mein smiled sweetly. Reina squirmed and peed on my favorite blanket to protest. (I discovered this act of protest later.)
I had my first makeup lesson from Alex and he showed me twelve steps to beauty—or, at least, to a great improvement for my face. Two days later, a box of carefully chosen make-up arrived from him. Am I a lucky godmom or what? Hugs to Alex. Fed Ex. The ultimate!
My friend (the one who didn’t enter the previous reunion) texted me to make sure that I was attending. I said yes, but that I was feeling fat. She replied that I could join the crowd. But, she would look great.
The big evening approached rapidly. My daughter, Kim, painted my nails. She read the twelve steps to beauty that I had jotted down from Alex’s lesson and I followed them to the best of my ability. His lessons and choice of make-up did improve my appearance. Now I know why the stars love Alex.
Off I went in my son-in-law’s silver Altima with Kim driving and my grandbaby in the car seat. When I got into the banquet room of Vitarelli’s in Cherry Hill, I was relieved and pleased to see so many people that I knew or recognized. How could I almost forget how many wonderful people had graduated from WWHS with me?
My new shirt and my makeup gave me confidence in the room of stunning Woodrow Wilson gals and handsome Woodrow Wilson guys. Durn! What a crowd of lookers we were…
Lots of talking, lots of eating, lots of hugging fabulous people… I was glad that I decided to attend. There was no loud band or DJ music so we could talk to each other without screaming. People made a real effort to make each other feel welcome.
I didn’t win the fifty-fifty. I was crushed, but I did win a baby book, TIGER, because I had the newest grandchild at my table and someone gave me a plastic tiger to take home for her. Nora is only three weeks old, but she’s going to love when I sing the Woodrow Wilson alma mater to her. She won’t care about Rock-A-Bye Baby.
Finally, it was time to bid my friends good-bye. My daughter texted me that she was on the way. I kept peeking outside Vitarelli’s banquet room door. Where was she? Perhaps the baby needed a diaper change or she got caught up in a basketball game on TV? Two young men, Bruce and Jim, were talking to me near the entrance and said, “Someone’s beeping the horn, Marguerite.”
“Yes, I saw that silver Altima for a while, but my daughter has a blue car, a blue Sonata.”
I looked again. Oh boy. It was my daughter in my son-in-law’s silver car. I said my good-byes again and popped into the Altima.
“Mom, you kept looking at me! Didn’t you know it was me?” She laughed.
I said, “I’m so sorry. I was looking for your blue car.”
Thanks to everyone who made the reunion such a nice affair. Thanks to my friends who encouraged me to go. You know who you are. Love you.