Cash, Shred, JJ, Booty, Goose, Cov and Buddy – all high school friends, whom 30 years later, I still call by their nicknames. Because we’ve remained very close. And I don’t actually know their real names.
Just kidding. Thanks to Facebook, I know everybody’s name. And the names of their wives – first and second. I know the names of their children and what they wore the first day of school, and I know what happened to the dog. Because it’s on Facebook – sort of killing the excitement of our 30th reunion.
At our last reunion, hardly any of us were on social media. So we reunited the old-fashioned way – just show up, with no clue who anybody is, where they’ve been, or what they do.
But this time I know everything. About everyone. I know Merikay vacationed in Caswell Beach. Sherman became a pastor. Jonathan had his first baby and Shelley is beating cancer. And Anna Banana was in the grocery store this week and they played Olivia Newton-John, then Gloria Gaynor, followed by the Go-Go’s. I think I speak for everyone in the class of ’84 when I say … that’s awesome.
I know all the girls who poured a bucket of ice water over their heads, which is funny because back in high school none of these girls would ever get their hair wet, not even at the pool. I know my chemistry lab partner, Danny Manning, is the new Wake Forest basketball coach.
And I know Melinda slow-cooks a pork tenderloin with a sauce made out of maple syrup, mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, onions and garlic salt. I don’t know if it’s any good, but it photographs real nice.
The point is, I’m all caught up. So what are we going to talk about? It’ll be like, “Oh hey, think Kay Hagan’s gonna eke it out? How ’bout them Panthers? You gonna see ‘Gone Girl,’ did you read the book?” Who cares …
Half the fun of reunions is seeing what everybody looks like now. But I already know that too. Boo just cut her long hair and posted the pictures. (Boo is a nickname for Eboo, which was a nickname for Elizabeth. People just called me Tracy, by the way. And I must have been voted “Most Likely To Forget What She Was Voted Most Likely To Do,” because I know it was something, but I can’t remember what it was.)
But maybe this is good. With all the who, what, when, where out of the way, we can have meaningful conversation. About what we care about, what we’re working on, and how life is really going. Reacquaint and reconnect with those who know us best.
Then maybe swap recipes with Melinda. Dance with Cash, Shred, JJ, Booty, Goose, Cov and Buddy. Maybe get Boo to give me a nickname. And Danny Manning to sign my arm.
And then totally crank the Go-Go’s.