I went to a high school reunion "after party" recently. The Class of '81 had its reunion, and then invited other classes to join in after the official event. See, that's what happens when you're far enough out of high school: people realize the pesky brats from their siblings' grades weren't so bad after all.
It was great, but there's always that awkward moment when you realize you're talking to someone and they have no idea who you are. Of course, when it's a husband saying this to his wife, the party ends for him real fast. But I didn't see that happen... very much.
No, there are times when you see someone you know you SHOULD know, but ya don't. My excuse is my children have destroyed every brain cell possible. Regular readers of this column also know that and steer clear -- fearing it's contagious.
Name tags are good for these awkward moments. Although, sometimes that isn't good enough. I won't name names, but I heard about a conversation that went something like this:
Person 1: "I know I should know you."
Person 2, pointing to name tag: "Yeah, I'm ____ ____."
Person 1: "No, doesn't ring a bell."
Person 2: "I sat on the bus with you every day for four years."
Person 1: "Nope, nothin'."
Person 2: "You dated my brother all of junior year!"
Person 1: "I'm drawing a complete blank."
Person 2: "I hate you."
Actually, I've been told I have a good memory for things that happened back in the day. My friend Denise always brings this up.
But Denise's husband is less than amazed.
Denise's husband, Jeff: "D, if you don't remember anything, Cath could just be making stuff up and you're believing her. She could say anything."
Now, Denise doesn't trust a thing out of my mouth, and is demanding I give back the $40 I said she borrowed back in '82.
Seriously, I love a party. I love bouncing from conversation to conversation.
I also like to dance -- many of my friends have seen that action, and the Elaine Benes jokes start flying pretty quickly, I might add. But there was no dancing at this party. Instead, there were games -- like horseshoes. Which I don't play because I'm afraid I'll inflict significant harm upon myself or others. I humiliated myself enough in high school, I didn't feel the need to revisit that feeling by doing something like chipping a tooth on an iron horseshoe. In front of the older kids, no less!
Regardless, it was a great time. And my own class is now trying to organize its reunion. That gives me a year to study up on people's names, work on my dance moves and figure out how to throw a horseshoe. I'm tellin' ya, high school pressure never ends!!