Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Hello, Classmates!

Can you believe it's been thirty years?

When that invitation arrives in the mail it strikes fear in the heart of most of us who have gone ahead and aged like mortals. I skipped the last one. It's not much fun to be the one who "got really fat" (I hope you read that in a stage whisper so I would/wouldn't hear you...) Who can forget the words of Suzanne Sugarbaker when she accepted an award for 'Most Changed' at her reunion on the They Shoot Fat People, Don't They? episode of Designing Women:

Well, this is quite a surprise. I guess maybe I deserve this award for the Person-Most-Changed, but (pause) not for the reason you think. Last night I got my feelings hurt because I came to this reunion thinking I was beautiful and what I find out was that I'm fat (pause) at least you think I am. But that isn't the biggest change in me. The biggest change is that the old Suzanne wouldn't have shown up here tonight. She would've just gotten thin before the next reunion and then she would have gotten even. But I'm a little older and I hope a little wiser than that person used to be.

A lot of things have happened to me. A lot of things have happened to all of us. Sandy Smothers was killed the night before we graduated. Diane Mitchell's got two sets of twins and Gayland Chadwick's working in the White House. We had a lot of dreams together and there's no point in pretending some of mine came true and some didn't.

I met a little boy from Africa tonight whose family died of starvation and I realized that I spent the whole day at home worrying about the fact that I had too much to eat. I'm not sure the old Suzanne would have appreciated the absurdity of that but this one does.

Some of you men wanted to know about my bra size, but I’d rather talk about my heart because (pause) it's a little bigger than it used to be. The old Suzanne wouldn't have forgiven you for the things that you said, but this one will. Because when I look around this room tonight, I don't see receding hairlines and the beginnings of pot-bellies and crow's feet. I just see all the beautiful faces of old girlfriends and sweet young boys who used to stand on my front porch and try to kiss me goodnight. And you can remember me any way you'd like, but that's how I'll always remember you.

And so I thank you for giving me this award for the Person-Most-Changed, however you intended it. I'm gonna treasure it because #1. I love trophies and #2. I earned it. Thank you.

Suzanne rocked, no doubt.

But I've never had Sugarbaker strength. I am not going into it feeling beautiful. I feel - ashamed. I hate that I will be judged by it, but I will. It's not fair, and it's not right, but it will happen. I don't know if knowing that - like I do - or not knowing it - as was the case for Suzanne - is worse. Just because it won't catch me by surprise, doesn't mean it won't hurt.

So why don't I just skip it, then, for Pete's sake? Well, blame FB for that. I've renewed contact with so many friends from that period of my life. We've shared our stories - our trials and our triumphs. I would hate to deprive myself of the opportunity to spend face-time with these people just because my face now sports an extra chin (or so...).

So I stress about it. I've stressed about it since the invitation arrived months ago. I stressed about it every time I saw a classmate on FB mention that they hoped they could drop ten pounds before the reunion. I could gain or lose ten pounds without it being noticed. I suppose there's a sort of comfort there. Nothing to be done about it - certainly no quick fix. I'm not going to look good - no amount of torture at this point - or at the point where I got the invitation - is going to change that.

I should be packing, today. Packing for our trip, that begins with the reunion and ends with the shore with a lot of relative-visiting in between. I should be packing. I should be making my house ready for the time we'll be away. But I'm not. I'm trying to do a hundred things at once and not doing any of them well. I'm sitting here with a rock in my stomach, certain that I'm going to hurl. I can't concentrate on anything. I am - in a word - manic.

What the hell?

I'm sure I'll be telling you in a few days about how much fun it was.

Pretty sure.

Mostly sure.

But right now? I'm just gonna sit my fat self in a corner and rock. And maybe hurl.


Unknown said...

You will have a great time because it is the attitude you go with that makes it fun. When I went to my 30th, like Suzanne Sugarbaker, I didn't see how old we had gotten, I saw in every face how young we once were.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

I won't let anyone hurt you. We're going to have fun and pay no mind to anyone who isn't there in the same spirit.

The Redhead Riter said...

I don't think I am going to be brave enough to go to my 30 year reunion. Mine is next year!!!! How did that happen?????

Cheryl said...

I'm rooting for you. Attitude matters so much. I don't know if I can improve mine before November for my 35th. Yikes. I feel your pain.

Rosa said...

First of all, crap like this is one of the reasons I refuse to be on FB. No desire to reconnect with those people. (Which is why I haven't ever gone to a class reunion.) Second, you're one of the most beautiful people I know and screw anyone who doesn't see that. Last, you and Linda will have a great time, like she said, and you'll end up being glad you went. I know you--the fun is always in there waiting to get out. And it will, my friend, I know it will! Have a great time!

Carma Sez said...

I KNOW you are going to have an awesome time. I bet 75% of your classmates are sitting there feeling the exact same way - and the other 25% are too pompous to admit it ;-)

What I learned from the "Rastas" last weekend is that you just gotta go with the flow and keep smilin'

gayle said...

My ...reunion is next year!! You go and have a wonderful time!!

Amy DM said...

One of the fringe benefits of homeschooling. No reunions.

Great post, BTW!

Anonymous said...

A bad workman quarrels with his tools.............................................................

Unknown said...

Good luck and I can't wait to hear about it. I think the only thing people will notice is your beautiful smile and your wonderful sense of humor!!

Melissa B. said...

I've never been to a one of my reunions, but my friends who've gone say it's always a blast. One of these days I'll get up the gumption and go. In the meantime, have a drink on me, and a wonderful time, too!

Claudya Martinez said...

I know you'll have a great time and I'm proud of you for going regardless of your misgivings. I appreciate your honesty.

And DAMN, Suzanne gave an awesome speech.