There I sat with the co-valedictorians and other dignitaries from the class of 1986. I don't really know how I fell in with this group unless I was unknowingly part of some advanced placement class research of lower IQ specimens. I mean, we certainly didn't have any classes together back then. Their kind was kept in a separate building away from those of us who were there, primarily, to have fun. I've always found, however, if you keep company with the smart ones, people will assume that you are smart too, so that's the angle I came at hanging out with them. While they were busy jockeying for position on the graduation podium back then, I was thoroughly enjoying not applying myself, content to be seated with the "N's" among the herd of alphabetically ordered mediocre students, who did not have to prepare a speech or wear those annoying embellishments around their necks.
There's nothing like getting together with friends from your teenage years...friends who knew you when you wore jelly shoes and a Swatch watch....and when your hair flew back in wings. It's strange, but I feel like I haven't been out of school all that long and that I'm still that same young girl that I was back then.
The same young girl, that is, with about 25 lbs. added to her girth. Here's where some of that "mom math" can be applied. Twenty-five pounds is equivalent to a bag of sugar strapped onto each limb and one around the waist. I suppose that's what happens when a couple of human beings take up residence inside your body and then exit between your hip bones 9 months later. I think that's your metabolism that the nurse sucks out of the baby's nose with that bulb syringe in the delivery room.
Anyway, we talked about all sorts of things at our three hour dinner like how we don't entertain like we once did, how ridiculously crazy and busy life is, our frustrations with the "new" math, how much it costs to feed insatiable children these days, and the pros and cons of a variety of weight loss programs. Something seemed to be different this time though...like maybe we were rounding a corner as we broached new, previously untouched subjects. There was talk about blood pressure problems and cholesterol for the first time ever. I thought, "this can't be happening....this is what my mother and her friends talk about." I don't recall the salt shaker being passed and there was more grilled chicken, steamed broccoli, and low fat salad dressing on the table than at our last gathering.
We tried to find solace in one another's inability to recall pin numbers, birth dates, and passwords....things we should know like the back of our hand. One of us shared that she'd forgotten how old she was when asked and I remembered that a couple of years ago, for several months, I thought I was a year older than I actually was. It was like Christmas in March that year when I realized I was younger than I thought. It helps one's feelings to hear that others also find refrigerated items that they've put up in the cabinet and had we gotten together tonight, I could have shared that, this morning, I discovered I only shaved under one arm yesterday, but I suppose that story will have to wait until next time.
It was a real ego booster to see that, even though we can't always remember how old we are or what we were about to say, we can still turn a few heads. The heads looked to be about 68 years old as they gazed admiringly in our direction..... probably a couple of widowers looking for someone to cook their low sodium dinners and drive them to the doctor, but let it be noted that heads were turned, nonetheless.
I don't know where the 28 years have gone. I just know, in that time, Molly Ringwald disappeared from the silver screen, VH-1 quit playing music videos, skinny jeans went away and came back, Doogie Howser grew up to be a handsome man, and a group of teenage girls became middle aged, responsible, working, nurturing mothers and wives.
One thing that hadn't changed was our ability to make each other laugh, feel loved.......and young again.