Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Upcoming "Prom Night" for us Older Folks

Ten days, and steadily counting down. Members of our 1972 class from Burbank High School will be gathering to catch up, reminisce, trade stories...and perhaps even rebuild a few bridges that got torn down over the past 40 years.

Speaking only for myself, a part of me is like a young girl again, giggling with anticipation, while I download YouTube clips of oldies I used to listen to on my little RCA transistor radio. I'm instantly transported back, from the responsibilities of my grownup present, and I can see the faces of those around me in my classes, as if we never left that time. In that wonderful never-ending alternate reality of misty nostalgia, we are all there, and always will be.

Another part of me is pretty damned nervous.

My new dress is hanging here in my closet, my shiny sandals are sitting newly-purchased in their box, and my bling-y jewelry has been carefully chosen. The dress code on the reunion website says "dressy casual." Dressy casual...what's that anyway? From my woman's perspective, there's only one or the other, and I'm determined to go with the former, to honor my friends, my gentleman friend-escort, and, of course, this occasion. And even though I'm not a betting woman, I'd put down a serious wager that I won't be the only one who'll be "gussied up" that night. C'mon, it's our special night, for heaven's sake!

I call this "prom night" because of the level of anticipatory energy--and because I didn't go to my 1972 prom. There were many reasons I wasn't at that once-in-a-lifetime event, and it made for one of the many regrets I've carried throughout my life.

At several points throughout this past year, and in response to various personal events, I have considered giving this reunion the go-by. Finally, I have decided that I don't want to add to the length of my "shoulda" list. The urgency of my life has gotten in the way of maintaining the importance of friendships, and perhaps reconnecting with classmates can help, in some ways, to make amends.

On August 18, I want to arrive with my heart and love. Stretching out my hands may be not only a social gesture for the evening, but a way to forge a whole new beginning.

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