Mind Candy

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Class Reunions: Torture or punishment

Posted by mandyf on July 19, 2012

With my twenty year high school reunion still fresh in my mind and lightening my purse I look back and wonder why? Why do we actually have reunions? Why for the love of God did I even think of going much less actually attend? I bet I am not the only one that has asked this question.

My class graduated seven hundred and ninety two people with maybe another forty or so that graduated early, late, or dropped out along the way. Organizing a reunion was going to be a major undertaking, one I certainly had no intention of participating in. I wasn’t even going to go. That was my stance until I received an email from a long lost classmate, one that was in fact so long lost I didn’t know who it was and deleted it as spam. By the third time I saw the name appear in my in-box I got curious, especially when I read the message heading “We went to HS together- classmate news.”

Okay what the heck I’ll read it. Inside related details that people had been searching for me to no avail for a few years and that finally I was located through court records for a name change petition. I had to admit I was impressed anyone would go to such lengths to find me. I read on to find the author of the email had started a website and over five hundred people had registered there already, best of all it’s completely free! Drop by and let us get to know you again it encouraged me. A week or so passed and finally I caved in and checked things out.

Now as my name was changed nobody would know me under that, so site admin asked me to use my old name just to ease things. I agreed and waited for something to happen. Nothing did. No emails, no calls, no letters. Then out of the blue an old friend wrote and begged me to attend, I could even stay at his house if I wanted to. This was a really good friend so on a days notice I agreed to go but decided to stay in a hotel. I departed the next morning headed to a wonderful experience or horrific tragedy. At this point it was still a coin toss in my mind.

Unlike many reunions I heard of ours ran for four days. The first night would be a casual get together over cocktails for those whom arrived early. The second a barbecue at a country club complete with pool and golfing. The third day the formal event set up much like a prom in the cities most exclusive hotel, and the fourth day a brunch before we all parted ways. On paper it sounded pretty good. In reality things rarely work out like they do on paper.

I arrived at the hotel having decided to stay where

most of our events were scheduled so I wouldn’t have to rent a car. I hadn’t been back in eighteen years and the city had doubled in size almost guaranteeing I would get lost at every turn given my navigation skills. I checked in and took a short nap followed by a long bath. I called our contact number letting the chairman know I’d arrived and needed to know where we were meeting. I got the details and realized I still had hours to go until our first event was planned. Bored and jet lagged still, I decided to watch television awhile and nodded off. I slept through our first event.

I was definitely well rested for the barbecue and ready to start participating. I grabbed a cab and to my surprise found it in fact would have been cheaper to rent a car. There was a table set up outside the clubhouse for all us guests to check in so I approached. “May I help you” the bubbly young girl asked? “Yes I’m here for the reunion”, and provided my name. She pored over the list only to look up with a pained face and inform me I was not there. Hmmm….I thought to myself a moment. “Please check under (My old name) I may be listed as that.” “I see that name but that is definitely not you. Do you have identification?” What good would identification in my current name do to prove my old name I wondered?

I grabbed my cellphone and called my old friend Greg. Finding he was there and nearby in the pro shop he came to my rescue. He arrived and looked right past me. “Greg thanks for coming! Would you tell her who I am?” He looked at me closer. Then even more closely. “Dear mother of God” he muttered in shocked amazement. “What do I have booger hanging? It’s me. Remember when we used to throw dirt clods at at Mikey’s house? What about when we were little and our moms used to bathe us together when we stayed at each others house?” That sealed the deal, he verified me and I was allowed in.

He walked me to the pool and decided my story might be better than a day of golf. I sat in lounge chair, ordered us some drinks and stripped down to my new bikini while we began catching up. The thing is I am transsexual. Now nobody aside from the one person that located me knew this, and I hadn’t been in contact with anyone since having surgery so this was quite a surprise. I thought he had told some people but found out later he decided it was better I do that. This was such a surprise in fact Greg’s wife quickly spotted us and thought perhaps something was afoot. What I didn’t know about him was

his penchant for extramarital affairs. Again I had to go through the story of who I was and as a lesbian not interested in her husband and my one time best friend. The label of home-wrecker was barely avoided but in her eyes I could see still possible. The rest of the day was spent hearing the expected whispers and returning stares coming in from every direction. Somehow I actually thought this would be a non issue as we had all grown and hopefully matured but for some seeing the person they changed next to in the locker room now a dare I say, rather attractive woman whom gravity and childbirth had not ravaged a bit too disarming.

By the time we had our formal event I was all the talk. Former teachers attended, even a couple of my old coaches. In all nearly five hundred people compared to the prvious days seventy or so. I decided if I was going to be stared at I would make an entrance. I chose a black low cut strapless Nicole Miller mini dress with silver rhinestone Jimmy Choo ice pick heels and my best diamonds handed down over generations. To top it off I decided to break out my Ms. Gay runner up tiara. Maybe it was a bit much but how often do you get to do such things?

Heads turned, a few jaws dropped. Fingers pointed and eyes seemed to bulge out of their sockets. Whether this was happening because I had made the entrance of the night or simply because I used to be a guy when they all knew me is unknown. Quickly two camps seemed to form, a rather large group of people that were just happy I was happy, and a small but expected group that encouraged me to find Jesus and please end my sinful ways. This was the bible belt after all and folks like me were still a bit of an oddity. Everything was just perfect right? No not really.

Many parties with an open bar experience problems and this was no exception. Two ladies became quite drunk and began arguing over some issue over twenty years old. No problem except they got physical and I wound up between them. While trying to distance myself they fell, and me with them, breaking a heel. Things happen, and I went to my room and changed shoes. When I got back another rather drunk guy I don’t think I ever spoke to before asked me if I wanted him to make me a real woman. I politely declined but he decided to try to grab my shoulder as I walked away only to grab my necklace and break the clasp.

Just to top the evening off a former classmate whom I allowed to stay in my room as she was far too drunk to drive awoke before I did and decided to help herself to my jewelry and the contents of my purse. I called the police immediately and to my surprise she was already apprehended. It seems she wasn’t terribly bright and decided to pawn my jewelry. The problem was she decided to use my license thinking it would keep her from being caught. It was a decent plan except I am extremely fair skinned and blond, while she is a black haired Latina. My cash was gone of course, and I had to cancel my credit cards. I would get my other items back after they were released from evidence as yes I was going to press charges. Another trip down south was in my future.

So was this torture or punishment? I think it was a bit of both but either way it was of my own doing. I was the one that decided to go. As awful as parts of it were some of it was fun. It was nowhere near enough fun to even think about going back for our twenty five year reunion but if I am alive I’ll consider the fiftieth and then only for a day, certainly not four. Reunions like fish stink after a few hours.

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2 Responses to “Class Reunions: Torture or punishment”

  1. Libby Keane said

    OMG! You just can’t make this stuff up! You’re a bigger person than I. I won’t go to my reunions. I too changed my name a long, long time ago. No one would know me. I figure, if anyone had wanted to find me, I would have heard, ( I’ve got a big family) or they would have by now. Great post.

  2. mandyf said

    It was really an…experience lol Not sure how else to put it. I’m glad I did it once, but i don’t think I need to do it again now.

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