How fun is it to have lunch with old school chums you haven’t seen in many years? Really fun! There we all were, laughing and squealing as though we were still in junior high, and reminisced. Finally, we are old enough to confess how insecure we had been – “I just wanted to be like everybody else, and my parents made me wear galoshes to school.” It was a revelation to me. I thought I was the only one. And we remembered how mean kids could be, including ourselves, oblivious of our shy teacher’s feelings when we teased him unmercifully that day, until he rushed from the classroom in tears. We remembered old haunts, and how the teacher who terrorized us also led Camp Fire Girls and we tried to avoid it but were made to go, and how we used to take off on our bikes in the morning and not be expected home until dinnertime, and the adventures we’d have.
I looked around the table and could still make out the faces I had known, only Life had happened to them, and to mine. Clearly, we had all borne sorrows and traumas, as well as joys and children. But we didn’t talk much about that. The Pantherettes were back, the girls who played violin in the school orchestra, who performed jazz dance at assemblies, who brought home straight A’s (or not), who longed to be “popular” but were really, indisputably, nerds. We had all survived, and we were still laughing.