Monday, May 21, 2012

You Should Be Dancing!

Only in the 70's could you wear a halter top
for your engagement picture!

     I've been feeling a bit nostalgic lately. I have a high school class reunion coming up in June and for the past several months, members of my high school class that have "found" each other on Facebook have talked of little else. Every time I see a name added to the list of who is coming...I'm either flooded with memories OR I'm reaching for my senior yearbook to try to figure out who the person is!

     My high school class had 300 some people in it, and at this point we have around 100 actual class members (plus spouses) coming to the weekend event. There are names that aren't on the list that I wish were, people that I can't wait to see and people who really surprise me that they are coming. For someone like me, who left for college at 17 and basically didn't ever go back "home", it has been a real trip down memory lane as well as a brain teaser to put my head back that many years. The funny thing is that I really thought I knew everyone in my class and I know now that there were many people that I never knew at all (several of those will be at the reunion)! I know there are people who hate class reunions, but I can't wait. It is hard for me to understand why everyone (who can afford the travel expenses) doesn't want to hang out for a couple of days and find out what happened to the people that they started their lives with.

     I have found that time is the great equalizer. You can't live as long as we all have and not have faced wonderful highs and devastating lows in your life. We have had the joys of college, marriage, careers, children and grandchildren but along with that has come divorce, troubled kids and certainly at this time the loss of our parents. That seems to be happening weekly for our class. Back in high school, some of us were "popular" and some were invisible. Some of us came from wonderful homes and some were not so lucky. Rarely did the two groups cross paths. It simply doesn't matter anymore. As we look at the list of 30 classmates that we have lost over the years, I think most of us are simply glad to have survived!

     We may not still look exactly like the pictures. I have to add that I am still proud to have been a "charter member" of The Wavettes pom pom squad...which still exists today at MHS. Some of my class has gone gray, some have gained weight and some have faced illness that has changed how they look. I'd like to say that I don't care how I look at the reunion, but I'd be lying. I wish I'd lost a few pounds, I wish that I could wear a turtleneck and cover my neck which seems to be changing (not in a good way) daily...but, those things aren't going to happen. One of my friends posted a picture during his chemo session captioned  "getting well for the reunion" and I am so glad he is coming and so thankful that all I was worried about was a few pounds. I've read others who now have fought cancer, hearing issues, heart problems, trouble walking...and I count my blessings that at least for today, my biggest complaint is that my neck looks "old"!

     We were the generation before AIDS and the generation who thought smoking pot and drinking watered down beer was wild enough (I didn't even smoke pot). We didn't have the money for fancy trips, shots of hard liquor or expensive drugs.We worked in restaurants and gas stations during high school and were simply glad to be paid anything. Our weddings didn't have wedding planners, catered dinners and bachelor parties in the islands, followed by exotic honeymoons. We wore bell bottoms, wedge heels and tights...big earrings and high boots. I still love the fashion!

I actually had brown suede hot pants...

...and wedges with designs in them!

This was my school clothes look, lots of plaid kilt skirts
but usually with a matching blouse and sweater for me.

     Somewhere in this house is a dress exactly like the one above. My black "disco dress" from the 70's and I loved it. We even took disco lessons (it wasn't a good thing). I can't end this post without mentioning the other things that have made me nostalgic in the past few days. Most of us of my generation probably have a copy of the Saturday Night Fever sountrack in a box somewhere. There is no doubt that the music from the film is more than just a bunch of takes us back to a very special time. It was a time before most of us knew pain, loss or really anything bad in our lives. It was a time when anything was possible and we all had big dreams. In the past few days we have lost 2 of the voices of that time.

     Donna Summer was truly the voice of the disco era. We may all be a little hardened to the lyrics in today's music, but when she came out with Love to Love You Baby, it was shocking to us. She was gorgeous, talented and so different from anything we had heard before. You may want to listen and remember (or learn)!

     We also lost Robin Gibb, one of the Bee Gees, yesterday. I have always been a Bee Gees fan and for many years bought everything they released. Now, after starting with four brothers (including Andy) there is only one Gibb brother surviving. How sad.

     For those of you who remember these times, I hope this post made you smile. For those too young to remember...maybe you learned a little history lesson! For all of you, I would suggest that if you have lost contact with your high school class members...consider trying to reconnect. I hear people say, "I didn't like those people in high school, why would I want to see or talk to them now". I didn't have that experience, I really didn't dislike anyone in high school...however, there were people I didn't know well. I do know that now that it is a few decades later, the bond of growing up at the same time, in the same place with people who remember your parents and remember you before life changed us something very special. It is a support system that you don't realize you have...and don't we all need that?


Barbara F. said...

Ditto ditto ditto......great post, Sue. Another chapter of my youth closed, it seems. May they both RIP. xo


Great post! Yep, had those cloths and sweade brown shorts and danced to that music! How wonderful you're having a class reunion. Have fun and enjoy every minute! Hugs,

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

I would be so nervous going to a big reunion like that. I went to school in Switzerland and my class was less than 30 people and the last reunion I attended was 16 years ago... when everyone still looked pretty much the same. Now it would be a very different picture.

Marydon said...

Right there with you! May they RIP.

Have a great day ~

Glenda/MidSouth said...

I remember the 70's well. I was out of school but a young adult.
Have a great time at your reunion.

Jennie Larsen said...

Hi Sue-

I totally loved reading this post.. and it is amazing how everyone grows up and there are no groups, everyone comes together. Life is to short, so I am so glad to hear you are going and I hope you have a blast. I totally dig that black dress and even though I was in HS in the late 90's I totally wore platforms and cute shoes all the time. P.S. gotta love bell bottoms.

Hugs, jen

dee dee said...

How beautifully written! I was an 80's highschooler, and one of our defining movies was Pretty In Pink. Ahhhh the memories! We haven't had a reunion in a while this year would be my 25th, but it could be fun getting back together with some old friends!
Dee Dee

bj said...

Fabulous post, Suz....
You did an awesome job of telling us just how you felt back then.
We had our 50th class reunion in '06 and it was SOOOO much fun. So fun to see everyone and you can just imagine how we all changed in 50 years. AMAZING...and of course, there were quite a few that were no longer with us. So, go to every single reunion they'll be so glad you did.

Low Tide High Style said...

Such a great post, and I hope you have a wonderful time at your reunion!


Jenny said...

I think we should always dance...even when we're too tired to do more than shuffle...even when our rhythm is compromised by worries weighing us down.

I'm glad that you're going to your reunion.

And glad that you're thinking about dancing in spite of the things that might be pulling you down.

Lovely post.

Kathleen said...

I hope you have fun!
It isn't so much fun for the spouses though, unless they went to the same school.
I went to an all girls Catholic academy, so no husbands involved in the reunions, makes it easier.

I was just contacted by a few "boys" I graduated with from Catholic Elementary School, K to 8. They want me to organize a reunion! Should be funny!

koralee said...

Such a great post! Have fun at your reunion! xoxo

Gypsy Heart said...

Beautiful post, Sue. I was a bit older in the 70's but oh my, I do remember those disco days! :-)

The Bee Gees were huge favorites of mine too and you haven't lived until you hear a Thai band doing "Night Feber". I was in Thailand in '78 and it was a joy, even though the words were not as we knew them...they tried though!

Donna Summer was truly the Disco Queen as you mentioned. So sad to be losing all these wonderfully talented souls.

I hope that you have a wonderful time!