Thirty YEAHS (said like a New Yorker).
It isn’t as if we were celebrating 30 years of marriage or a career. We were celebrating surviving for 30 years since we last saw each other as a group. “So, whatcha been doin’?” would require days, if not weeks, with every classmate, in order to catch up.
But we only had a few hours.
I was the class nerd whose parents couldn’t afford to have me keep up with the clothes and accessories of the others. So, I always felt I was on the outside looking in and, sometimes, some of the girls were mean. And, of course, I had an inkling that I was different somehow (later, to realize I was gay). I think it manifested by not understanding how to connect to the other girls; I was always at home talking with the guys.
So, this is was a loaded event for me. But I had a plan:
look thin and prosperous.
Except I hurt my arm 10 days ago and hadn’t been to the gym. And, POB (partner of blogger) is no longer employed.
Great plan; bad execution.
So, I was bloated and feeling unprosperous. And yet I am a lucky person in life and I am really happy, so, Saturday, I had a new plan:
Just make sure the make-up is flawless and the lipstick color is awesome.
So I put on comfy clothes and went. There was a small pre-party at a classmate’s chocolate shop, with people who were always quirky and kind enough to accept my bizarro-ness and eccentricities even then. Immediately upon entering the chocolate shop, all trepidation disappeared. And the years melted away in such a warm and wonderful way.
[Just a side bar about the chocolate shop: Bond Street Chocolate, www.bondstchocolate.com, a tiny, fabulous place that is worth the schlep to East 4th Street; it isn’t actually on Bond Street].
Everyone was instantly recognizable. Same laughs, same voices, same cadences and same energies. Some looked so fabulous that I just know they have their own Dorian Gray-like pictures in their closets. They were AGELESS. And no scalpel touched their faces. (Maybe some hair coloring and under-eye cover stick but that was it and we are 48!!)
We all arrived at the official party. The turn out was amazing. And, again, people were instantly recognizable.
Life has tread on all of us. We lost our harder edges. The mean girls weren’t mean anymore. Those old distinctions didn’t matter anymore. We all had happy times, disappointing times, scary times, and sad times and that makes us all a lot more grounded than teenagers spending grades 7-12 together in a tiny Upper East Side private school.
I left grateful for the occasion to reconnect with people who share some of my past and, I hope, part of my future.