When I was in the 8th grade, I ran for student body treasurer. My slogan was “Vote N i l e s for Miles of Smiles”. Catchy, right? Maybe not, but I stood a chance, until my competition’s mother took a real dollar bill, put the competition’s face in the middle and made about a million copies. She crushed me. And these days I am thinking I should have left well enough alone.
But my junior year of high school, my French teacher begged me to run for senior class treasurer. The concept of “running” was somewhat muffled by the fact that I was running unopposed, and since no one else wanted the job you would think I might have been a little more wary. Nonetheless, I think I mistook a student council position with some sort of popularity contest (of one, admittedly – since people could only choose between me, myself and I). And there really wasn’t that much involved in being treasurer.
Which maybe should also have been some sort of warning. You see, I wasn’t popular, I wasn’t infused with some hyped up level of school spirit, and I really didn’t even have that many friends. The close friends I had in high school are pretty much still my friends. I love hanging out with them, because they make me feel good. They help me remember how far I have come and how hard I worked to get here. They help me remember that I was once dreamy, and reckless and 18 under all this grown up good sense, and that it doesn’t matter that I wasn’t popular then. I am happy, productive, married, and secure in myself.
But here’s the thing. Unbeknownst to me, the treasurer job came with a lifetime of servitude. Because I was the treasurer, I have been largely responsible for keeping track of people and helping plan the reunions. Turns out that while I was probably the least enthusiastic of the bunch, I have more need to achieve (and maybe control) than the other officers. So, if it wasn’t enough of a big deal to get my hair cut and colored, get my nails done, arrange for a weekend of child care, and buy a new dress or two, I have to actually throw a party and try to inspire people to come. Which is hard since I am not, and don’t want to seem like, the kind of person who is living for their 20 year reunion. Heck, I might not even go if I wasn’t throwing the damned thing.
And really, throwing the party isn’t that hard, in spite of the fact that you can’t find the people you want to invite, and you are throwing a party to entertain people who won’t tell you what kind of party they want, when it should be or what they feel like paying. But still, Eeeeeasy. Party planning – I can do that. It’s acting like a cheerleader that is hard for me.
I am realizing, as we near the event and I more frequently dream about the food not showing up, or people not showing up, or some other doom befalling the event, that it isn’t necessarily about showing off at my reunion, it’s about being successful. I am not worried that other people will think I am successful; I am worried the actual event won’t be successful. In college I was known for throwing parties no one came to. I hope that doesn’t happen.
Either way, I guess, at this point, it is out of my control. So I will get pretty, and hope for the best. After all, I did win best personality 20 years ago, and I hope I haven’t grown out of that. I know I won’t grow out of my new dress before Saturday. Unfortunately, my high and mighty attitude about not caring is all for naught – I didn’t realize until I got home that my smashing new dress is our school color. It may as well have come with pompoms. Go Panthers!
You’ll have to post about how it went. A 20 year reunion is rich material for a blog post. The husband has his 20 reunion coming up in a couple of weeks too. I’m looking forward to it from a purely voyeuristic perspective.
Yea, and mix it up with a couple funerals, the first day of school and a job, and it is fixing to be a pretty crazy weekend. Blog post HEAVEN. If only I can remember my inspiration after 4 straight nights of heavy drinking (2 for reunion, 2 for funeral – Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday). In the words of Gilda Radner, “It is always something”.
Is there some unstated rule that only people with ‘j’ names can post?? It seems to be the case and as I qualify, I want to say, Jenine, that the reunion was lovely. You did a great job, as you do with everything you take on. I am sure the memorial has also gone well and wish for you a couple days of peace and reflection.
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