Saturday, August 11, 2007

Class of '87

This evening I am home alone with Nicknack while my husband attends his 20th high school reunion! I am not tagging along because... well... I don't want to go. And Penn doesn't mind, so that works out. Hanging out with a bunch of people I don't know for five hours, hearing (potential unflattering) stories about my husband doesn't sound like fun.

What makes it sound especially unpleasant is the fact that the friends Penn has kept in touch with since high school are not attending. Penn was in one of those "too cool for school" crowds. You know, the ones who skip a lot of school, have a secret place on campus for smoking, and throw the wildest parties. Not one of them was curious enough to shell out $100 to attend the Clover Park class of 1987 soiree. Except for Penn. He decided to go at the very last minute (last night) because he thought it would be "interesting." He loves to people watch. So he is actually showing up at this reunion all alone. To me, this sounds uncomfortable and awkward... at best. To Penn, not so much.

He isn't the slightest bit nervous. I have been anxious for him all day.

Me: What if no one talks to you?
Penn: So what?
Me: What if no one remembers you?
Penn: They will.
Me: What if they don't?
Penn: Who cares?
Me: What if that one guy who you got into a fight with in high school is there and he challenges you to another fight! DON'T FIGHT HIM!
Penn: Honey! What do you take me for?
Me: Oh yeah. Okay, what if he says something mean to you?
Penn: He won't.
Me: What if he DOES?
Penn: I'll walk away from him, dear.
Me: What if there is dancing?
Penn: I'll dance.
Me: By yourself!?
Penn: Or I won't dance. Whatever.
Me: What are you going to wear?
Penn: Whatever you say I should.
Me: Okay. Just have fun. And be yourself.

And so on. I feel like I'm sending him off to his first day of school.

I'm so thankful that he doesn't mind me staying home because I would be hyperventilating with anxiety right about now. Penn is unflappable. He really doesn't care very much what people think of him. And he's not really a joiner.

I care very much what other people think of me, and I usually assume they are thinking the worst. I never feel like anyone likes me. Even if they are nice to me I figure they are just being polite. I'm insecure. It's annoying. No wonder no one likes me. :)

Which is why I've signed up for and attended the Seattle Junior League orientation twice, then chickened out and not joined. But I am going to muster up my courage and join MOPS this fall.

By the way, I did not attend my own tenth high school reunion a few years ago. I never even entertained the idea. Now if there was a middle school reunion, I might make an appearance. I was at the top of my game in middle school. A cheerleader. Tons of good friends. Lots of great memories. Then we moved and it took me a little while, but I made up a lot of ground (socially). Then we moved again. This high school was a bad fit for me. I latched on to the first group of kids who reached out to me. Which turned out to be a crowd that was way too fast and cool and rebellious for yours truly. I got in serious trouble (Saturday detention!) for the first time in my life. So finally I ended up at my alma mater, where I spent two and a half fairly happy years. I was way past the point of trying to fit in. I eventually made some decent friends and life was pretty good. But it just wasn't the kind of experience that meant that much to me. I have only kept in touch with one friend from high school, and we're hardly what you would call close. I barely remember high school. I wish my classmates well. And that's that.

We visited with Penn's family today and I dropped him off at the swanky reunion location on the way home. Boy was I relieved to pull away as he strode confidently across the street toward the building entrance. I wonder what he's doing right now. I'm picturing the scene from Pretty in Pink. Same music, same decor. But full of middle aged, "dressy casual" partiers. I hope everyone remembers him and everyone talks to him and there are no awkard moments or fistfights. I can't wait until he comes home late late tonight so I can hear all the details.


Alana said...

Now I can't wait to hear about it either!

My husband is the same way. He doesn't care what people think of him and I wish I could be the same way. But I'm not.

Okay, so here's my postly bit of advice. I know I'm always giving you advice (mostly unsolicited), so forgive me for that!

Go to MOPS and push through any awkwardness at first. Because most likely there will be some. My first MOPS meeting was when I had first moved to town and I had my very first 6 WEEK old baby. It was awkward at first. It seemed like everyone else knew each other and they weren't interested in making new friends. For some, that was probably true, but there were others who were just like me and were desperate for another Mom friend. After that first meeting (actually first few meetings) It would have been easy for me to not go back. In fact, if I hadn't been so desperate for a social outlet, I would not have returned. BUT, I am sooooo glad I did. I have made the BEST friends there. It took some time and you have to put yourself out there, but it is worth it. Several of my blogging friends are also my friends in real life (like Janelle). Guess where I met them? MOPS!

The Small Scribbler said...

I loved the conversation between you and Penn in the middle of your post. You had me laughing out loud. Penn sounds like my Stuart. I'm more like you.

I hope you post an an after the reunion post and fill us in on the details. I want to know if Penn gets challenged to a duel or anything.


Janelle said...

Oh, Alana is so right. I am so glad she hung in there because her friendship has blessed my life in so many ways. I pray that happens for you, too.

OK...Saturday detention? That is so Breakfast Club. I can just picture you running the halls with all the other detainees. :)

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

My class didn't have a 20th, but decided to have a 21st this year. Hubby said he would go, but I opted out. Didn't want to spend the $$ to hang out reliving the good ole' days...which weren't that good in my opinion.

Hope Penn has a good time. Kudos to him for not feeling intimidated to go alone! I SO COULD NOT DO THAT!

Amanda said...

I will have my 10th next year and my hubby will probably offer me good money not to make him go. I hope Penn had fun!

Teri said...

Kitty, you are charming, funny and smart, whats not to like? Plus, you adore Anne are a friend for life!

I blogged once about how my best friend moved away and how terrible it was. I actually joined a Bible Study, where I knew nobody, and it ended up being the best thing I have done in my Christian walk. Not spiritually, at first, but relationally. Which ended up affecting me spiritually too, because well, for me it all goes hand in hand. Anyway, this is just an encouragement to GO FOR IT! You are highly likeable in bloggy land...I'm sure you will do wonderfully in MOPS-land too!

Susan said...

I definitely think you should go to MOPS! I love reading your are witty and charming and down-right fun! I, too, am shy/awkward/whatever at first, but I have forced myself to just get over it and get out there. I refuse, however, to attend anymore of my spouse's high school or college reunions. I've done my share and HATED it. Turned out that hardly anyone he hung out with ever attends anyway. Which, now that I think of it, is probably good because I actually KNOW those people and I'm glad he's moved on!

Anyway, go for the MOPS thing and be sure to update us with they reunion-goings-on!

Robin said...

I hope you do go to MOPS. I never had the opportunity to go when my kids were young. I think I would have loved it!
And I like you! I know we have never met and you would probably say something like, "Yeah but if she met me and really knew me she wouldn't like me"! But I really think we would be great friends. I love your depth of thinking and the way your are raising your son. I like how you think and how you write.
Let us know how things worked out at the reunion!

JennaG said...

Go to MOPS--it will be wonderful to meet other mothers who are at the same stage in life as you. I attended for 2 years and enjoyed it. I am also a big fan of ladies Bible studies. I have been attending the same one for 7 years now.