Kim has been to a few of mine. They always require a 500-mile trip to Pennsylvania, which is hard enough right off the bat. It also means she has no familiar faces to connect with during the actual reunion, so she has to call on her sincere Southern charm and make new friends with my old friends.
The last one she went to — my 40th — involved putting up with a Vietnam vet who may have tangled a little too much with some Agent Orange and couldn't stop talking her ear off about it. I made a couple of feeble attempts to rescue her in the course of the night, but the only real solution was to leave. Which we did, but only after several hours of war stories about Khe Sanh, My Lai, Tet, and Huey helicopter gunships had slipped by.
You know, the usual class reunion fare.
Last night, we went to Kim's 35th class reunion, of which she is a proud member of the Lexington Senior High School Class of 1978. We probably didn't have to drive more than five miles to get there.
|Not a bad class reunion as class reunions go. (Click on picture to enlarge)|
Kim was immediately in her element, social butterflying her way from one cluster of classmates to the next, catching up and renewing contacts. It was actually kind of neat to watch. Kim tells me how shy and reserved she was in high school, but over the years she's blossomed into a virtual class resource center. People actually seek her out. She has a memory for memories and a gentle touch for enhancing them.
As her spouse, I'm in an unique situation. Because I live in a small town, and I was the local newspaper's sportswriter for 30 years, I probably know almost as many of her friends as she does. I also know many of the spouses of her friends, so when she was off reminiscing with a girlfriend or two, I'd be chatting it up about the Alabama-Texas A&M game with their husbands.
Somewhat surprisingly, the chick talk that I overheard last night wasn't so much about men as it was about menopause. I am serious. These are women in their early 50s and, for the most part, they've been gobsmacked by life's changes. Even Kim occasionally would point out one of her friends in the room who might be fanning her face, saying, "She's having a hot flash..."
I casually mentioned the M-word to one of her friends, suggesting it could be the theme of this particular reunion, and she politely answered by saying "Men just have no idea..." Well, she might be right, but I doubt if women really do, either. I hear a lot of "What's going on with me?" at home.
Anyway, the best story of the evening came from a spouse who told me that he solved the night sweats problem by their switching places in bed — she now sleeps directly under the ceiling air conditioning vent, and their life is good again.
I laughed out loud when he told me that. It was so simple it was brilliant. All problems should be so easy to figure.
Next year will be my 45th class reunion (I'm nine years older than Kim). That means another weekend trip to Pennsylvania. Most of the men in my class will be around 63 years old, talking about their knee replacement surgeries, heart medications and low T.
I just hope it's not a hard night for Kim.