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Judine B Slaughter

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My 30th High School Reunion Experience
By Judine B Slaughter
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

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Approximately three weeks ago, I needed the locks changed on my house. No lost keys or anything - just a roomie no longer lived with us, and they wouldn’t have access to my dwelling in normal circumstances. I called the lock company at 8am, and the locksmith promptly arrived with two hours. As he completed my bill, I passed the time by updating my Facebook wall and playing Mafia Wars. He politely asked if I worked from home. When I answered in the negative, he then asked, “What do you do?”

I had already been contemplating my occupation recently, as I knew I would attend my 30th high school reunion.  What kind of conversation would I have with these people who are near strangers to me, except for the last three educational years before college? Who would I feel comfortable to summarize the last 30 years of my life in many 10-minute or less conversations? Why would they even be interested in my life, as I haven’t made the effort to keep in contact with absolutely none of them?

On the night of the reunion, I quickly got up to pace with the general questions and even quicker formulated my answers.  Arriving early at Camp Letts in Annapolis, MD, I learned to vaguely respond to:

Q. What have you been doing with yourself?

A. Oh, nothing out of the usual.


Q. Do you have any children?

A. Three.


Q. Do you live far?

A. It only took me thirty minutes.  


It’s not that I wasn’t happy to see everyone, or else I wouldn’t have paid the $65 to stay for only two hours, when the event lasted for five hours.  The appearance, cadence, and mannerisms of most of my classmates hadn’t changed.  Not that I recognized all right away.  While some exclaimed “Judine” without squinting at my name tag, I often had to quickly look down at their printed badge, and then respond with the same exuberance, hoping they wouldn’t notice the paused greeting.

To my surprise, only a handful of people asked my occupation.  And, irregardless of my previous hills and valleys all seemed genuinely glad to see me.  For the most part, we look as if this were really the 20th class reunion.  Our Catholic school education apparently prepared us for the means to face the world's challenges with a peace knowing we would succeed despite the circumstances.  This peace has delayed the aging wrinkles, gray hair and premenopausal bulges (t-hee).  Since I left before the party started, I promised to send Christmas cards.

But, let me get back to how I answered the locksmith’s question.  Did I mention he was a handsome 34 year old young man?  I’m a beautiful 37 year old (sshhh), and I’ve heard about those fly-by-day maintenance call flings.  Two thoughts raced through my mind – answer to impress or like someone ten years my junior. For some odd reason I wanted to impress him with what would seem like a lucrative career, and I replied, “I’m a writer.” My second response was to tell him, “Step into my bedroom, and let me show you what I do.”

(Written for literary fun.)






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