I received the following “poem” in the mail. It announced my 50-year high school reunion.
“It’s 25 years since last we met,
Is it time to get together??? It IS, you bet!!!
So save the day, and join the fun,
Just think: you will see everyONE!!!”
Obviously, it did not come from the person voted class poet laureate but from the one chosen “most likely to volunteer for anything and everything the rest of her life.”
No matter how badly I felt for Volunteer Vicki, I did not want to save the day; I wanted to save my sanity. The reason: I HAD attended the 25th.
I was still naďve at the time of that reunion. I assumed the high school “in” crowd would, a quarter of a century later, accept those of us who in our teens sat outside, pressing our pimpled noses to the glass, longing to get in. (Okay, that’s pathetic, but you get the picture.)
Despite my bad recollections, I convinced a few friends and their spouses that we, too, belonged at the 25-year reunion. Because our egos hadn’t healed completely, I figured we’d have one another to cling to at the tables.
Trouble was Volunteer Vicki put the Haves and Have Nots together. My (now former) husband and I were in the august company of the football captain and his wife, Cookie the head cheerleader, and the class president plus his spouse, the once-upon-a-time teen model, Peggy Sue.
Cookie, dressed in her cheerleading outfit, whooped, “Go team!” between gulps of wine. Tired of sitting, she attempted a cartwheel and landed in my ex-husband’s lap, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Peggy Sue, clad in her cashmere sweater-set and matching skirt, informed us that her son had gotten in to the most elite fraternity. “He’s following in his Daddy’s footsteps,” she gushed. I held tight to the table so I wouldn’t bolt from it, crawl under it, or vomit on it.
To add to the great time I was having, Vicki announced we had to sing the class song, which I had, unfortunately, written. In senior year, it won by default when no one else entered the song-writing competition. One could sing the ditty to the melody of either “The Marine’s Hymn” or “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” It was so atrocious I hoped everyone had forgotten it, but of course Volunteer Vicki hadn’t. “Let’s sing it with gusto!” she exclaimed. As the words tumbled across a giant screen at the front of the room, the confused crowd sang it to both melodies. Coyotes screeching in the night would have done a more harmonious job.
I heard the football captain say to the class president, “Who the heck wrote that stupid song?”
“I think,” he answered “it was written by some broad named Judi, whoever she is.”
I ripped off my nametag and fled to a bathroom stall where I stayed until my friends assured me everyone had left.
So you can see why, years later, I had no choice but to throw out the invitation to the 50th. Still, I thought Volunteer Vicki deserved an answer. To that end, I sent her my own bad poem:
50 years is a mighty long time.
And not attending might be a crime.
Though many have mellowed—or passed away
I’ll play it safe. At home I’ll stay.