Friday, March 27, 2009

all those rude shocks

We have reached the time in our life when we no longer refer to last year, but to "ten years ago" or "thirty years ago" with a certain amount of awe and amazement that it came and went so fast. The 60s are a blur, the 70s I can honestly not recall as "the 70s" at ALL, as to current events.

Ive learned to date events with the year we graduated from high school, the year we got married, and four years after that, 1972 the year we moved here. Everything else is reckoned by that set of milestones. Photos help me remember the blizzard of this year or that, the year we had the roof replaced, the summer of the turkeys or butterflies (2006).

Last week I was saying to my husband, you know, we might want to consider actually going to our 50th class reunion, and he said, well, I guess, but we got plenty of time to think about it...I said, 3 years. He stopped dead. Do the math, I said. He said my god you mean...I nodded.
We old, baby.

I have become like that lady with the crooked hat. She looks in the mirror on the way out the door and straightens, pulls her chins in and her shoulders back, and marches out to do battle with the world. In her mind, she is that image in the mirror, never realizing that her hat has slid a bit sideways, and as she walks her posture returns to a comfy slouch and her chins appear again. In her mind she is not only who she saw in the mirror, she is that 18 year old kid that lives in all of us.

And when a reunion happens, we all bring our 18 year old along for the ride. Immediately old bonds reappear, old grudges, and "oh you always used to..." rings out across the hall. No matter what you do, everyone insists on forcing you back into high school mode. The CEO of a company, the retired college professor, the guy who showed such promise and now works for the town, they all become who they were, not who they became. Something in us refuses to grow up, and in a way that's cool. Peter Pan lives.

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