It’s All About the Shoes

Happy Days

Hi there! How in the world are you?   You look fabulous! Me? Oh, you're too kind.   It's been great catching up with you; let's talk again later.

Who was that? Hubby asks.   I have no idea , I reply.

Yep, it was high school reunion time.   That fun yet awkward situation where you feel like you're in a room with a bunch of people you went to high school with, but you can't quite recognize anyone.

Yikes. This was going to be a tough night.

I kept hoping it was just poor lighting or that I needed new glasses or that it was because I hadn't seen these people in quite some time.     After all, I know I look EXACTLY the same as I did in high school, right? Surely everyone else does too.

Never mind that most of the guys had long hair when we were in high school.   And we women were each a mere 90 lbs soaking wet, back in the day.     Not to mention that all of us, men and women, had yet to meet Ms. Clairol or Mr. Grecian Formula.

I spent hours agonizing over what to wear.   You ™d think this would be easy yet youthful insecurities started creeping in.   As any high school girl will tell you, if you so much as wear the wrong shoes, it's over.   As usual, it's all about the shoes.

Hubby, do you like this outfit or this one?   I ask.   Uh, either look fine to me , responds Hubby.   Sweet, I guess.       Should I wear a dress or pants? Which shoes, the high heels or the flats?   What about earrings?   I ™m almost pleading with Hubby at this point; the party's in an hour and I still have to pick up the cake.

Hubby, in a desperate attempt to retreat to the living room to watch football, blurts out, Why are you so concerned? It's not like you have to impress anyone.

Ohhh ¦ those are the wrong words for a woman getting ready to attend her Xth high school reunion.   No, I ™m not going to say how many years.   Let's just say it's been a few.

Deep down I know he's right, although I ™m not going to tell him that. Why am I so concerned about what others think of me?   Who am I so desperately trying to impress?   After all, I ™ve enjoyed career success, traveled the world and married the man of my dreams.   Seems like that would be enough.   What am I worried about?

Memories come flooding in.   I enjoyed high school, although I didn't consider myself to be in with the popular crowd.   I sort of stayed on the fringe of several crowds, with friends all over the place.   And boy was I shy!   Hard for my current friends to believe that of me, as I am definitely not shy now.

My BFF from high school is still my BFF, even though we live across town from each other.   I tease about being her shadow in high school.   You see, she was (and is) beautiful and very popular, always had a boyfriend.

I, on the other hand, was none of those.   I was “ and in some ways still am “ convinced that many people didn't know my name except that I was popular girls ™ friend and locker-mate.       BFF insists this was not the case.   We ™ll just have to agree to disagree here.

Even if I wasn't the most popular girl in the school, I had a great time.   We had a great class, and we remain very devoted to each other.   Probably more so than most high school classes.   Our experience was more Happy Days than Fast Times at Ridgemont High .

Back to the reunion.

Thank goodness someone in the group had enough sense to get name tags for the party “ ones with our pictures from high school.   It was the only way we stood a chance of recognizing each other.

Walking in, I suddenly felt a safe feeling, as though I was visiting family.   Maybe long-lost family, but family just the same.   Warm smiles and hugs were all around.   With each new arrival, shouts and laughter rang out as we greeted each other.

Gone were the cliques that were so evident in high school.   Jocks, nerds, ropers, long-hairs, band weenies, cheerleaders and all others were now together as one class remembering the great times.

We smiled politely as we tried to remember each others ™ names without looking at the name tags.   We shared stories of family, children and friends. The conversations were lively, funny and sometimes surprising.

How many children do you have?   Eighteen and counting What???   At least I know what you ™ve been doing since high school.   And you? How are your children?     Ours are all married and we ™ve got about a bazillion grandkids .   Yikes.   For someone like me with only a four-legged daughter, I ™m about to hyper-ventilate.

Memories were everywhere. Remember when? was heard over and over. Amazingly we remembered the words to our school song, which we sang together before the awards were given out.

Awards for most children , married the longest , traveled the farthest and changed the least . Personally, I think we ALL should have won for changed the least .  Ms. Clairol and Mr. Grecian Formula are the only ones that know otherwise.

Our group, together again, as tight as ever.   In fact I think we ™ve gotten better with age. For the most part, the further away we get from high school the less need there is to impress.   We ™ve all gained experience and maturity.

I ™m happy to be part of a high school class that remains so united after all these years.   And just in case you're wondering, my shoes made all the difference.

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