Party Like It’s 1986

I haven’t had a hangover this bad since the August I had a newborn, a toddler, and a kindergartner start school.

There comes a time when you know you’ve gone around the bend and maybe you should admit it.

It’s the first step.

My 30th high school reunion was Saturday night and it was fabulous.

It was, I am compelled to publish, a better turn-out than Hubby’s was, three weeks ago.

Yes, we graduated the same year on the same day at the same time from rival high schools and I am also compelled to explain that his was the one on the wrong side of the tracks, I don’t care what was yelled by a certain young lady wearing face paint and a pompon on her head and throwing all dignity to the wind, screamed herself silly over a football game that she never bothered learning the rules to.

My brain only has so much space in it.

Football games were for showing up with your girlfriends and letting the other side know how badly they were about to lose. Even if we lost, we had to insist we won. All about that attitude, baby.

The reunion was on point.

I showed up, jumped into a pile of girlfriends and turned up the volume.

The face paint is slightly more mature, but as you can see from the photos, I still have a pompon on my head.

Something I noticed that all future reunion organizers might want to write down:

  1. By the 30th reunion, people are flying in from all over the world to attend.
  2. They are fighting jet lag just to see their bestie from second grade.
  3. Skip the dance floor.

Both reunions tried, and I was one of six girls up there attempting to lure the party into the multi-colored strobe-lit, Van Halen pumping, fog machine mood-enhancing, MTV 80s love fest.

Perhaps everyone already has this at home. I should’ve asked.

The poor DJ was killing herself trying to earn her paycheck and the crowds would have none of it. She pumped up the volume, she pulled out classics and party tunes, she drove them up against the back wall of the building and out the door as they desperately tried to hear each other talk about little Timmy.

If only the DJ had taken the hint and dropped the beat, literally, so we could hear ourselves think.

I lost my voice and my hearing, which is always a good day-after football game sign, it means you took it seriously. But the headache is from drinking the wine poured under the table by my lawyer girlfriend who smuggled it in in a big fancy purse because open bars are for sissies.

The part where I’m staggering around is from doing the Electric Slide in high heels that should never, under any circumstances, slide.

I’m squinting because the daylight in SoCal in August does not take pity on a morning-after face that’s not be used to photo-boothing until all hours. I need a nap.

I’m pretty sure I made some new wrinkles, and I hope I made some new friends.

It’s hard to tell. Like my face, it’s a bit of a blur.

Hubby knew more people there than I did and seems to have no side effects from partying with his rival high school gang.

I’ll have to fix that.

Dear Class of 1986

The reunion check is in the mail.

I just can’t believe it’s been thirty years since we graduated high school.

I filled out your questionnaire and sent it too, but I admit that it took me, a writer, longer than expected to fill in the answers.

For example,

“Is there anything you know now, that you wish you would have known in high school?”

“Yes – to stop doubting myself and jump off more cliffs, because I really was meant to fly and breathe fire.”

Well I was.

Also wish I had invested every penny in a company called “Target”.

“Where will you be in ten years?”

This is the part where I just can’t help myself because I know we’re going to have to read this at the next reunion in ten years, and if I put something specific, I’m basically challenging myself to pull it off on a time line and that is WAY TOO MUCH STRESS.

“Changing the world, making a difference, and passionately parenting.”

That feels safe.

Vague, yet impressive.

I can pull that off in numerous ways and in ten years I’ll nod and say, “My writing/speaking/teaching/baking cupcakes has sure done that all right.”

And I just can’t think that I’ll be running out of parenting issues in ten, twenty, or infinity years.

Set myself up for success in that arena, anyway.

*eye roll*

*shakes pompons* because of next question.

“Favorite Quote:”

Attitude is Everything.

*weak smile*

“Favorite Book and/or Movie:”

My bible, trite as that sounds.

If you read the same book over and over your whole life, surely it qualifies.

Spoiler Alert: the book was better than the movie.

But seriously, what are we supposed to put there and why? Legions of books under the bridge, I really wanted to say, “The book I wrote, of course” but that’s a fib because I haven’t actually published one yet.


“Anything else you’d like to share?”

“Yes! But I put it into my blog because there are way too many words involved.”


“Is there a favorite high school memory you’d like to share?”

Okay, this is where I got all kinds of conflicted. I put the pat answers instead of what I really wanted to say. It’s a reunion, after all, and people are trying to be all nostalgic and starry-eyed about a blip on their life timeline.

“Writing for yearbook, being the Pep Club at football games, graduation day.”

That last one is a hint.

Because for me, life started after high school ended, and when you live your life on “fast forward”, looking back makes me cross-eyed, not starry-eyed.

If you’re sitting there on the fence that now circles our high school and stopped off-campus lunches forever, let me suggest that our reunion is no longer a popularity contest.

You have permission to not look 18 anymore. You have permission to not act 18 anymore. You are encouraged to show your well-earned battle scars because we all have them. I will not notice if you have genuine Jimmy Choo on your feet; I will notice if you have genuine caring on your face.

I am more interested in who you are now than who you were then.

Some of our classmates didn’t need a reason to party and plunked their money down, no questions asked.

They remember all the dance moves.

Sure, I made some friendships that have lasted – oh, wow – over thirty years, and I got my diploma and have a handful of memories involving Homecoming and Prom and the way my girlfriend and I used to drive across town during lunch and see our boyfriends at the rival high school (we’re such rebels) and come back late to Mr Sodeman’s Civics class and bring him a donut so he wouldn’t mark us tardy.

And the way projecting MTV music videos onto the gym wall during dances made us feel so turquoise eye-shadow cool.

And trying to decide whether cloisonné or giant plastic jewelry was a better bet.

Legwarmers. Hair scrunchies. Knight Rider.

Remember going to the movies (Remember when Romancing the Stone came out?) and getting Fenton’s ice cream? Remember cruising down Valley, trolling for other cars full of teens? Remember wearing poison-green tights under a denim mini-skirt and hair bigger than a Buick?

Okay, maybe we’ll have some selective memory lapses. Good plan.

Whatever happened to the guy I was a library aide with? Was his name Steve? I’ll have to dig out the yearbook and check. Where did all my wallflower friends end up?

I hope they are somewhere flying and breathing fire.

I hope they come to the reunion and sit at my table.

Don’t let the oldies station on the radio fool you.

The 80s are far more than classic.

They were epic.