In contrast to the Mixer I went to but didn’t attend the night before (depressing details available here), I managed to arrive at the Richmond, Texas venue for this multi-class reunion a tad early. I bought a plastic cup of wine, sat myself down at one of the smaller tables—close to the get-your-nametag-here table, and where I could easily see the door—crossed my legs, and waited for one or more of the following events to occur: (a) someone to walk through the door who I recognized (not likely); (b) someone to walk through the door who recognized me (even more not likely); and/or (c) the wine to kick in (a sure thing).
As apprehensive as I was, I managed to sit there, gulp my White Zinfandel, and, with an air nonchalance that any Frenchman would envy, stare fixedly at the door. I was projecting such an air of nonchalance, in fact, that even if Mark Harmon himself were to walk through that door, I would have reacted with the proper dignity and reserve appropriate for any woman my age, especially since there was a clear shot between me and that door, and no shoving, pushing, or tackling would have been necessary for me to get there first—which was a good thing, because I wasn’t dressed for it. In addition, I had the advantage of the element of surprise, since no one else was watching that door like I was.
But, alas, no Mark Harmon. Only normal, ordinary, old people… like me.
Out of the thousands attending from the four graduating classes invited (such observation being based upon the length of the food line), there were only seven people in attendance with whom I graduated in 1970 (christened, just now, by me, and referred to herein forthwith as the “Seven from Seventy”). The rest graduated in ’69, ’71, and ’72, and because no one showed up from ’69, I qualified for a shot at the title of Most Senior Senior. The upside, though, was that all but one of the Seven from Seventy had signed my yearbook, which meant that I might have actually met five of them before now. And, not counting my sister, that just left a mere crowd of people I didn’t know.
I really shouldn’t have worried about connecting or re-connecting…it turned out that the shared experience (or trauma, if you prefer) of high school was enough for me to assume a familiarity with my fellow classmates that I would not have assumed otherwise. I renewed friendships long deemed dead, and made some new ones that, hopefully (or miraculously), will last another forty-one years.
Just one more insightful observation: People there seemed to just pick up where they left off, and I’m thankful I wasn’t grilled about how I spent my last forty-one years. I would have had the devil of a time condensing my life since graduation into a short—albeit fascinating—synopsis.
And that’s assuming, of course, I could remember any of it.
I’ve been doing this blog-thing for a little while now, and I’m doing my best to post something consistently, just like all the expert bloggers advise (“expert” denoting anyone who knows more about it than me, which means there are a lot of experts). If I’ve learned anything at all during this little exercise, it’s that with writing a weekly blog comes a significant amount of pressure. It seems the closer my self-imposed deadline gets, the more time I spend in the middle of a creative desert, with no water to drink or anybody to talk to. Yes, I know that there are others out there writing daily or hourly, and I can’t speak for them; but this weekly gig is about as easy as climbing out of the Grand Canyon, on your knees, alone, sans donkey.
However, all is not lost, because, being the dedicated, hopeful, and persistent writer that I am, I will find a way to forge a path across said desert to arrive at the lush, green, idea-filled oasis that is rumored to exist on the other side. I just have to figure out how I’m going to do that.
I need a plan that, ideally, will not involve research, because I hate research…and not because it’s hard or boring. I hate it because I cannot stay focused on just one topic. Something I read while looking for something else always sends me tacking in an entirely different direction, and before I know it, I’m reading about jelly beans when I should be learning about polar bears.
So, anyway, I stumbled upon the following set of questions while recently not researching on the internet, the answers to which are supposed to provide some needed inspiration. I wish I could tell you where I found them, but alas, no one said anything about taking notes. They were much harder to answer than I thought they would be; I probably know more about the guy who delivers my morning paper than I do about myself, which I find quite ironic, given my answer to the first question:
1. What do I feel strongly about?
- Self-awareness – Everyone should understand why they cut in front of me in the fast lane on the highway and then slow down to five miles per hour under the speed limit.
- Punctuality – Not being somewhere on time is equivalent to breaking a contract, in my opinion, and offenders found guilty should be required to attend a time management course every six months for life. I’m sorry to say that without tort reform, this will never happen.
- My weight – Let’s just say this is up there with world peace.
- Mark Harmon – Who doesn’t feel strongly about Mark Harmon?!?
2. What excites and motivates me?
- Joe Bonamassa – Smooth, incredible, sexy blues!
- History – I suppose this could go hand-in-hand with self-awareness…how can we know ourselves if we don’t know from whence we came? For example, it’s highly probable that I’m a writer because my father played the accordion.
- Fear – This motivates me to run. Very Fast.
- Laptops – They come in designer colors and have pretty, sparkling lights when they’re thinking. And I like that.
3. How do I spend most of my time?
- Thinking about writing – Isn’t it obvious?
- Regretting the past – Why, oh why, did I put all that money into those slot machines?
- Worrying about the future – Will social security be solvent? What kind of world will my grandchildren inherit? Will my 16-year old dishwasher flood the kitchen?
- Dazed and confused – Caused by worrying about the future and regretting the past and thinking about writing. All at the same time.
4. What events have impacted my life?
- Marriage – Both of them.
- Divorce – If one must lose weight really fast, this diet works wonders.
- Birth of my son – This event, more than any other, has made me the grandmother I am today.
- Cancellation of “Star Trek” – This, and the release of “Star Trek – The Motion Picture” sent me into a blue funk that lasted until “Star Trek – The Wrath of Khan.”
5. What types of reading do I enjoy?
- Anything other than William Faulkner – I have no more brain cells left with which to comprehend what he’s talking about…they died a long time ago.
- Biography – And only if the subject has been dead for a while.
- Books with time travel in them…the last remaining, totally fantastical subject matter that has absolutely no chance of becoming reality.
- Nutrition labels – Fiber, fiber, fiber.
So, do I feel inspired? Yes, I think so.
Shoot – I could do 750 words on Mark Harmon alone!