Saturday, November 12, 2011

High School Reunion, Part I

Tonight I will don irresponsible shoes and drive all the way to the Marriott in Riverside to attend my 40th high school reunion… from Rubidoux High School. Why am I going? I’m not sure.

I was not a memorable person for any reason when I was in high school. And when I began at Rubidoux in my sophomore year, my classmates, who had been attending school together since elementary school, had pretty much established their surrogate families on campus. I was the red-headed step-child, in more ways than one, an interloper from a foreign land. Add to that the dazed (read “closed”) look on my face brought on by culture shock; we had left Orange County, the haven of preppy white kids, and journeyed to West Riverside, the racially diverse, just-above-poverty-level home of my Wicked Step-father. Add to all of that my melancholy, tortured-poet-in-training persona, and you have an easily assembled loner chick.

I had five friends in high school: Pam, Molly, Mahala, my boyfriend Dennis and his sister Anita. After Dennis and I broke up, I did have a huge crush on Leo Wilson, football player and popular man on campus, but he was deeply in love with the woman who is, I’m pretty sure—and sincerely hope—still his wife.

I have not been in touch with Pam, but I’m certain she will not attend the reunion. Molly and Mahala have let me know they won’t be there. Perhaps Anita or Dennis or their older brother Preston who married Janice, from my year, will be there. 

I know that Diana, a person I wish I'd known in high school but met later in my professional life, will be there; she and her husband Bill were both kind friends to me when I taught at Jurupa Valley High School and it was Diana who let me know about the reunion.  I look forward to seeing them.
At my 20th high school reunion, no one remembered me. By my 30th, the people I’d met at the 20th had forgotten me.

So...  I've paid $75 to eat a vegetarian meal tonight in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott because….

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