She lives in a suburb of Chicago with her dog and cat. Elizabeth loved writing from the time she could hold a pencil. At the young age of nine, she submitted a poem to American Girl magazine. When the rejection letter came in the mail, she threw herself down on the bed and proclaimed that "she was NEVER writing again!"
It took her 25 years before she submitted anything again. It was for a contest in a magazine....and she won! She wrote for magazines for 10 years, then moved onto novels and 22 books later (one of which is a non-fiction book on writing) hasn't looked back.
I just finished reading her newest book, "The Last Time I Saw You."
It is about a 40th class reunion and centers around five different characters - their preconceived notions of what will happen at the reunion, how their lives changed from high school, what actually happens at the reunion, and how their lives change from it.
This led me to think of the reunions I have attended.
When you receive that invitation to the reunion in the mail, do you stop and wonder if you should attend? Who will be there? What will they look like? Will you old boyfriend(s)/girlfriend(s) be there? There is a lot of angst in attending a reunion, I think. At least with my class reunions, I can go with my twin sister, Pam. Plus I still am friends with a couple of people from high school. So I don't have to walk in not knowing anybody.
At our first High School reunion (10 years), Pam had painstakingly picked out a dress that she thought flattered her figure. She found out she was wrong the hard way.
She went into the restroom and entered one of the stalls. A woman in the next stall (who happened to be an ex-"Rah-Rah" - what we called the cheerleaders) and someone whom Pam disliked all through high school, piped up, "So, Pam, when are you due?"
Pam, being ever the clever one quipped, "Due for what? A vacation?"
"No. When is the BABY due?" The Rah-rah insisted on continuing this bogus point.
"I'm not pregnant."
"Oh, I'm SO sorry." Rah-rah replied. (NOT)
"Not as sorry as you're going to be when I get out of here!" Pam hissed. She heard the toilet suddenly flush and the clickity-clop of heels as Rah-rah hurried out of the bathroom.
Pam had a good laugh. You may remember her in my post Meet My F***ing Twin Sister.
Later on that evening, everyone was trying to figure out who the lady was with gray hair cut into a bob. Was she a teacher? Nobody seemed to remember a teacher looking like that. Then you could hear the whispers. It was Dee Dee So-and-so! Oh My God! When she was in high school, she had the most beautiful blue/black hair down to her waist. Ten years later? Totally gray and short. Now that's radical.
At 10 years, everyone's still out trying to prove themselves and the clicks are still in existence.
At 20 years, people are getting more settled and less clickish and more plump.
At 30 years, you don't recognize ANYBODY (thank GOD for name tags) and pretty much everyone has let go of their dreams.
At my ex-husband's reunion, a former classmate named "Paul" came back as "PaulA". Yep. Had the whole sex change and everything. Paula was married and had three children (from her husband's first marriage.) Gotta give the old gal credit for showing up. One problem - the name tag had Paul's high school picture on it. "Paula" did win the category for "Most Changed", though!
It's awkward to bring your spouse to your reunion; yet I didn't want to send Jim alone to his. Hmmmmm......
We went to a couple of Jim's class reunions. The last one made me a wee bit angry.
Let me explain.
You see, there was this divorcee name Gladys.
I KNOW. Who names their kid Gladys?
The only Gladys I know is Gladys Kravitz, the nosy neighbor from Bewitched.
Back to my story.
We ran into her the first time and Jim introduced us, badda bing, badda boom. Done.
We mingled with other people, ate, then Jim said he needed to get some coffee. I sat there waiting, with a smile pasted on my face, since I didn't know ANYBODY, and I wasn't even FROM the area.
Oookay, I can do this.
A few minutes ticked by and no Jim.
About 10 minutes had passed and now I'm ticked.
Where the heck was he? I cranked my neck around looking for him. I saw small groups of people laughing and talking. No Jim. Finally I spied the coffee pot, and there was Jim talking to - you guessed it -
Now you might think I'm coming down a little hard on her. No, no I don't think so. Because here's what happened next.
I immediately jumped up and ran over to rightfully claim what was mine. I didn't pack my Wonder Woman suit or I would have thrown that on for good measure.
Jim saw me approach and said, "Oh hi Hon!" like nothing was the matter. (Boy men are sure stupid!) (Sorry to all my male followers.) (Course Jim was doing nothing wrong here - Gladys was the one licking her lips.)
I threaded my
And do you know what she said?
She said, "Jim is one wonderful guy!"
I spit back, "I KNOW. Why do you think I MARRIED him?"
I'm sure Jim was loving every minute of this. He was just waiting for a cat fight to break out.
But it didn't stop there.
Gladys continued. "So Jim, do you ever travel to the Minneapolis area?"
"Yes I do," Jim answered as my nails dug into his arm.
"Well, you should look me up some time!"
Oh no she didn't!
Why, yes, yes she did.
Now I've told you all in the past that I'm a complete wuss, but at that moment, I really might have punched this woman in the face over my man. I.Kid.You.Not.
Jim kind of laughed awkwardly and then we turned and left.
But the story doesn't end there.
We were staying with Jim's parents in a teeny tiny town, population of 100. During the night someone came and stole our tire right off of the car. Not only that, but they went behind the house and gathered up some firewood to put under the axle so we wouldn't know that the tire was stolen till we came out of the house.
It happened to be the day we were leaving, the morning after the reunion. Jim and his dad carried out our bags. I walked around the car and saw the missing tire.
"WHAT?" I screamed. "Why didn't they just take all four tires?"
Jim and his dad dropped the bags in the driveway and walked over to me,then looked on in astonishment.
Meanwhile the garbage truck pulled up and mistook our luggage as garbage.
Luckily my mother-in-law was on the ball and yelled out for them to stop.
I can not make this crap up.
My brother-in-law heard about the tire incident. Nothing EVER happened in the small town. This was BIG NEWS.
"Wow," he said to me, "Who'd Jim piss off at the reunion last night to make them steal your tire?"
"Only me, only me!" I replied.
Note: Because we didn't have a full size spare, we ended up driving two hours on the little "donut" tire, taking one lug nut from each of the other tires,just to get to a place that had a used tire and rim. Fun times.