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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Reunited

Well, hey, friends.

I've been out of town for almost an entire week so it feels nice to be back to my regular life which includes, but is not limited to, ignoring all the laundry that needs to be done, pretending that dinner is going to fix itself and wondering if there is a chance I might not need to put on real clothes today.

I was in Texas for my high school reunion and chose to add a couple of days on either side of the weekend to spend with my parents. (Also, the airlines feel like they're justified in asking you to empty all of your bank accounts and sell off one of your children if you want to fly Friday - Monday, so you might as well stay awhile.)

Rockwall County Courthouse

My family lived in Dallas until I was nine and then my dad bought a boat and decided we should live on a lake, so we moved out to a suburb, Rockwall, which is about 25 miles away from Dallas on Lake Ray Hubbard. The reunion was a delight. That would be because there is perhaps no better way to spend your weekend than hanging out with people who have known you since you were 10 years old wearing a ruffled purple shirt and Luv-It jeans with a comb stuck in the back pocket while you went roller skating on Friday nights.

My best friend from high school, Lori, came in from Birmingham (we left our people at home) and we both stayed with my parents so it was exactly like our sleepovers in high school. My mom and dad couldn't sleep waiting for us to come home and they made us breakfast each morning.

(Yes, my 48 year old self did get a text from Mom at 1:30 am saying "HELLO?!?!?" And for the thousandth time I praised God on behalf of my 17 year old self for the lack of Iphones in the 80s.)

We got ourselves all dolled up and had my parents take our picture about 75 times. We all like to drone on about how self-absorbed the new generation is, but I'm here to tell you that Lori and I spent an enormous amount of time curling our bangs and taking photos of each other in high school. The only difference this time was that we didn't have to rush to the drug store with our Kodak Disc Camera to develop our film.



Thank goodness for the Iphone which saved us the delay in throwing a fit over the state of our hair in said photos. Listen, you can take the girls out of Texas, folks, but you can't take the Texas out of the girls. I just cannot imagine the joy and sheer amount of time wasting the Photo Layout App would have brought to our high school selves.



Much of the conversation among my classmates throughout the weekend revolved around ye olden days. We talked about the fact that we didn't have a McDonald's until our junior year and when it was built you would have thought Jesus Himself had shown up. Over the years, my grandmother must have mentioned no less than three hundred times how proud she was of our first stoplight which came in at the intersection of the Sonic and one of our two 7-11s. What would really surprise my kids is that in the 80s at my high school if you broke a rule, you had a choice between detention and "getting licks" from the principal/coach. Our principal/coach who everyone adored had a photo of John Wayne on his wall. When you were told to put your hands on the desk and look at The Duke you knew what was coming. Getting licks was never as bad as you thought it would be. At least that's what I was told by all my delinquent friends. ;-)

We noticed a lot of changes in our not-so-little-anymore town, but the essence of the place was the same. Let it be known that Friday Night Lights is still alive and well in the great state of Texas. I got all misty eyed and giddy when my mom and I attended the Homecoming Parade. Everyone was wearing their Angry Orange shirts. 

Photo from Lisa Hayden Grandy -Class of '87 :-)

(Sidenote: we are the Yellowjackets so I really have no idea why we weren't yellow and black, but in Texas we do what we want, so whatever.)

I thought I might break into a full on meltdown when the band marched by playing our fight song. Then I got down right embarrassing when I yelled out to one of the Homecoming Princesses I recognized, "I KNOW YOUR MOM!".

Photo from Kathleen Plagens Evan's FB page - I KNOW HER.
When Lori and I drove up to the football game Friday night, it seemed at first like walking into a time machine except that now our quaint little town's stadium rivals some college stadiums in size and stature. When we got our tickets we were instructed to go up the elevator to meet the Class of 1987 on the mezzanine.



Elevator? Mezzanine? I don't mind telling you I was a little bit like this:



But once we got in and started seeing faces and hugging necks it seemed like not a thing had changed in thirty years.

Here we are on the Mezzanine because FANCY PANTS

I know that when we look back on high school we sometimes tend to remember how much angst there was. How much confusion about who we were supposed to be and who we really wanted to be. I was no stranger to insecurity and self-image issues. I wish I could go back and tell that girl how important she was to God exactly the way she was and that her hair and her weight and her looks were not at all what was important. But, I can't.

Last night I watched This is Us and there was a line that resonated with me so deeply after having spent my time among people I had known so long.

There's no such thing as a long time ago. There are only memories that mean something and memories that don't.

Of course all of the memories aren't the best for any of us because being a teenager is hard. But the memories that meant something to me this weekend were all the ones filled with being deeply, truly known and with a whole heckuva a lot of laughter. We laughed an awful lot during those days of football games and parades and trying to figure out who we would become.

At this 30 year Reunion there wasn't a lot of "What do you do for living?" or "Are you married?" or "How many kids?"  We're kind of over that at this point. There was just a whole lot of laughing. Laughter that made tears roll down my face and my stomach hurt and my cheeks sore. And make no mistake that I AM HERE for laughter. And my friends delivered.

BIG


TEXAS-SIZED



LAUGHTER.



Cheers to you, Rockwall High School Class of '87. You are full of the memories that mean something. I am so grateful.

2 comments:

Shae A said...

That was BEAUTIFUL!

Angela B said...

Thank you for sharing. The pictures are wonderful.