Dear Class of ’77 Reunion Committee,
Thank you for your kind invitation to attend the upcoming Vestal High School fortieth reunion. Although I must regretfully decline, please allow me to explain my well considered reasons.
As fate would have it, I was only made aware of the festivities earlier this month, which would leave me very little chance to prepare. July 30 is fast approaching and I could not possibly accomplish any of the unattainable goals I set for myself in such a short time. Surely I could get my roots colored and my nails manicured, but how do you expect me to firm my jowls, publish a book of essays and achieve a peaceful resolution to the Middle East crisis by then? I might possibly make a dent in finding a cure for gingivitis, but we’re talking 5 weeks. That’s asking a lot.
I don’t think that we are being realistic and by ‘we’ I mean you, the entire committee who voted me Class Clown, Most Likely to Gain Weight and Best Co-conspirator to provide cover to your parents while you snuck off to the lake with your boyfriend.
Besides, that weekend I have longstanding plans that I simply cannot cancel.
July 30 happens to be the day I chose to binge watch the first three seasons of ‘Fixer Upper’ and water all of my outdoor plants. Additionally, please understand that at this late date it would be bad form to renege on my commitment to house sit, even if it is my own house.
Although I would truly love to reconnect, what if I showed up and we didn’t recognize one another? How embarrassing would that be?
Understand that while we are all probably still the same fun loving souls on the inside, we might be just a tad transformed on the outside. In fact, I might have a lot more ‘outside’ than when we last met. Call it life padding or middle age middle, I’ve changed. Naturally, I’ve doffed the yellow suede gaucho pants and grown out the Vidal Sassoon ‘Wedge’ haircut (I promise it was an anomaly), but I don’t know that I’m ready to appear back in your life without proper preparation.
Frankly, I must admit that I’m mildly apprehensive of what my reaction to reconnecting might be.
It could be sorely disappointing to see the former All-Star Jocks sporting chrome domes where they once wore helmets and watch our Chirpiest Cheerleaders in need of bifocals to fasten their bunion friendly Birkenstocks. I’m not sure my heart could handle watching the Cutest Class Couple shoot daggers at one another from across the room. And I’m sorry, there is no guarantee that I could keep my jaw from dropping if I ran into Perennial Party Girl who now dons a sober nun’s habit and answers to ‘Sister’.
No, I think it’s best to keep our memories safe and stored away where they belong. At least until next year.
Yes. Yes! Say, that’s a thought; let’s hold this shindig next July. Give me a year and I’ll happily attend. Heck, I’ll even host it. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating a 41st reunion. I mean come on; the ’70s were a weird decade to begin with. Let’s be quirky and celebrate 41! Think about it: 12 months to hone our 50 something bodies, add polish to our resumes and arrive at the next level of our potential. We could call it the VHS Class of ’77 Dream Big Reunion. I love the idea, and know you will, too.
With that settled, I look forward to seeing you next July.
Love to you all,
Mimi Janian Lawless
PS Look for directions to my home, local hotels and other useful tips such as websites of competent life coaches, aesthetic surgeons and reliable podiatrists in my next email.