reunited

…and it feels so weird.

i missed my high school reunions. i missed old work reunions. in short, i have missed pretty much any opportunity to reunite with people i’ve known throughout the years. you should know this is not because i am an anti-social person; the dates or times simply didn’t work for me. (well, most of them didn’t. i didn’t attend my five year high school reunion because i didn’t feel ready to face most of the people who’d be there. i needed more time and space between us.) besides: most of the people i truly enjoyed, i probably already kept in touch with, i thought (erroneously, as it would turn out.)

about six months ago, my old friend phil started up a facebook page for people who were alums of our new jersey USY region. it was like a compulsive disease for me: i’d check back every day to see whether new old friends were signing on. and every time i’d find one, i’d friend the person and we’d have a mini-reunion. apparently, i wasn’t alone; for pretty soon, phil was helping to organize a real live reunion of folks.

which brings me to last saturday. i was nervous about attending a reunion. after all, after two babies and some pretty heavy duty illnesses and medications, i am no longer looking as i did when i was 17.

wreke at hagalil encampment, 1982?

wreke at hagalil encampment, 1982?

wise old middlebro, veteran of many reunions (remember the old part? the dude has three years on me.), pretty much quelled my fears. wreke, he said, everyone at reunions is older, fatter, and balder. don’t stress.

so i attempted to chill.

of course, then my old buddy wah began to stress, which meant i began to stress. we figured we’d drive up together; then we wondered whether we ought to go at all. after i volunteered to provide the evening’s soundtrack, i really knew i couldn’t back out. and wah probably knew she didn’t want to back out, either (right, wah?) besides, it would be my first weekend away from my husband and my kids. EVER. so it wasn’t sitting by a pool in some exotic location; i needed a break.

so wreke and wah had our excellent adventure. in nj.

after the most peaceful ride to NJ ever (no one needing a bathroom break, no one fighting over mp3 players, no one having to throw up — is traveling without kids always this calm?), a ride including some great music on XM thanks to old DJs i haven’t heard since i was young (pat st. john playing deep tracks! wheeeee!), wah dropped me at my folks’ house and then went up to her parents’ house. i had a wonderful friday and saturday with my parents, shopping, going to lunch as an early birthday present, and just being my parents’ child for a day instead of being someone’s mom.

my friend A picked me up for the reunion. (A is smart. she knew my parents would love to talk to her — they always love talking to my friends — and so she built in an extra 15 minutes so that she could chat. all my old USY friends like to talk to my parents. i always had to drag people AWAY from my parents. hello? you’re here to see ME!) anyway, we went to our friend D’s house, where we had some yummy things to eat and drink and just had a great time. another dear friend, leifer, came over. (those of you still traumatized by my blatantly bad 70s music month may remember my friend leifer. perhaps not fondly.)  i probably would have been pretty damn content to stay in D’s kitchen and just laugh and laugh and laugh. i realized then how wrong i had been about thinking that i was in touch with everyone i needed to be in touch with. how i’ve missed D! (yes, leifer, i always miss you, too. i just haven’t lost touch with you, have i?)

anyway, i knew i had music to deliver. so off i went.

many of you out in wreke-land know i am a little particular about music. i like what i like. i’m open-minded, but i am also a bit, er, what’s the word — snobby? trying to capture evocative music for a crowd that was in high school anywhere from roughly 1977 through 1994 was a little challenging, especially since i was limited to about four hours, and extra especially because there were only a few of my friends in USY (or high school, for that matter) who were listening to the music i listened to at the time. (it wasn’t until college at rutgers where i discovered others like me.) i’m sure there were those in the crowd who would clamor for michael jackson, for madonna, for debbie gibson.

for those of you, i’m sorry.

lucky for me, everyone was so busy yapping, i don’t think anyone noticed any of the songs except when paradise by the dashboard light came on. (gah, i hate that song.) suddenly, people started singing. (and yet no one sang to the smiths. go figure.) ah well. the music must have been somewhat successful; no one complained about it.

about the interpersonal aspect of the evening: i fell back into high school mode, flitting around people but never, ever having the chance to have much of a conversation with anyone. in some cases, that was okay — we will still have facebook. but in other cases, i was truly bummed. it was simply so hard to focus on any one person because i was just so overwhelmed by everything. i never thought in my wildest dreams that i would see some of these people again. and in most cases, i am so blessed that i had the chance.

and even though there were a few people i really, really wish i could talk to more (and may never get the chance), i’m delighted that there are people, like my friend Boog, who i’ve now found again — and i’ll never let her go. again.

so all in all, this reunion stuff is a mixed bag. yes, i literally saw people i haven’t seen in years. yes, middlebro was right – a lot of us are fatter or balding, and sometimes, you’d rather remember people as they were rather than as they are now. but reunions seem to me to be just the tip of the iceberg. now i want to corral a smaller subset of friends and actually converse.

i just have to make it happen.

boog, wah, and wreke. together at last!

boog, wah, and wreke. together at last!

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11 Responses to “reunited”

  1. allan gosdin Says:

    Great article! I had ALL of those same feelings myself. In particular, you just made me feel a lot better about not being able to talk to anyone as long as I would have liked.
    I “flitted around” too all night.

    I hope to be one of the lucky ones in your inner circle.

    Allan

    PS – did I have some code name also back then?? LOL

  2. Thank you for the kind words m’lady. I know that up here in garden state land, we will be having some smaller get togethers, so maybe some of your friends can do the same.

    I was singing to a lot of your music (why do you think I asked you to do the music?), although I will admit that I was one of the only ones.

    Anyway, your being there really meant a lot to me, especially since it was your first time away from your family (and other reasons). The only thing I am trying to figure out is who is D? I got all the others.

  3. I think I figured out who D is.

  4. D..(i think) Says:

    You know it never ceases to amaze me how some people complicate things. I know that women feel ueasy about the way they look no matter how good they look… (and you look great). You have forgoten one very simple fact. We love you wether you look 17 or not. Wether we think your nutz or not. (you are nutz by the way). We love you… we spent the hardest time of or life together. The time of zits, love , hate, confusion no confidence in who or what we are… in short the 4 years of high school. We all may have looked better in our youth but emotionaly we were clueless. Now we have kids, spouces, have been around the block more than a few times. I like to call it High Miles. We have a better understanding of life, loss, love and all that goes along with it. My point is we loved you then with all the flaws of youth. So to be surprised that we still love you is just plan silly. I see you… not what clothing you have on or the car you drive how many pounds we carry, or the Emotional walls we put up. I see you and all the heart you have the love and caring you show. So the next time you feel scared of what others may think of a few extra pounds or what you drive or any other useless bit of life people look at. Rember we who have known you, and love you in spite of your imperfections.

  5. love you D (i think) 😉

  6. pianoman Says:

    Wreke, as always your blog is great reading, but D message said it best. We all went through the time of our lives where we found ourselves, and if we were friends then, nothing will change it. Facebook has brought us together physically, but the friendship and caring for each other that was there remains. I look forward to talking with you more as you said no one got to talk at the reunion, but even if we don’t the friendship will remain. “If you are feeling sad just call out our name and we will be there, yes we will.” alright, I went to delete the lyrics but I can’t bring myself to do it, even though it is very sappy. Looking forward to next time..

  7. have Faith Says:

    Loved the article.
    Wished I could have been there.
    I would have sang all the Smiths songs with you.
    I am glad you had a good time.
    I hope we can have a mini reunion soon.
    You are in my thoughts!
    xoxox

  8. Glad you finally made a reunion. Maybe I’ll do the same someday. You seem to credit Facebook as the impetus to reunite. This is an interesting social phenomenom, don’t you think? I’ve reunited via FB with so many people I never thought I’d talk to again and glad for the opportunity.

  9. summer rivas Says:

    I am so glad you had a great time. We are loaded and ready to go Tuesday. Happy Bday Monday and see you then:) Ps…. you would have been proud of the choice words i had with bcbs:)

  10. Hi Sheryl,

    I went to the Hagalil FB page because Edna (Braun Fine), Judy (Weiner Solomon), and Dara (Elkin Enny) had all mentioned it. I saw you and your link to your blog. It really touched me, as did D’s comment.

    BTW, you look fantastic and totally youthful in your photos! Seriously, I’d have recognized you anywhere–not a wrinkle in sight! Amazing.

    You may not remember me, we weren’t close friends, but I do remember you and just wanted to let you know that you blog touched me…

    Warm regards,
    Pamela Abramson-Levine

    • ah shucks, i do remember you :)) thanks so much for the kindness. the evening was such a blur for me because i wanted soooo much to talk to soooo many of the people in the room, and i ended up just blurting bits here and there. i am in favor of mini-reunions so that we can all finish our sentences and find out how everyone is! i hope you’re doing well :)))

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