Journal entry: October 5, 2007 (age 38) — Class Reunion
In my sophomore and junior years at Seton Catholic Central High School, I was elected class president. For my senior year, I chose to run for Student Council president instead. That position allowed me to work on projects that affected the entire student body, and not just my class. It also allowed me to avoid the most onerous commitment made by the senior class president: The class president is expected to organize all the high school class reunions, till death do they make sparsely attended.
Being a commitment-phobe even before I had my first girlfriend, I happily stepped aside. Our class vice-president (and my good friend), Mark Murphy, stepped up and was elected to the presidency. With that vaunted position, Mark accepted the mantle of leadership for a future littered with awkward dinner-dances.
Flash forward 20 years to 2007. Mark is a very successful telecom executive living in Rochester with his wife, Margaret, and two young children. (The children’s names – Jack and Caroline – lend the family a Kennedy-esque air.) Meanwhile, I work from home, 10 minutes from our alma mater, and my wife, Amanda, and I do not have children. (If we did have children, their names might be Mamie, Lady Bird, and Delano.)
Given Mark’s busy schedule and distance from home, it made sense for me to step in for him and help plan the 20-year class reunion. This has not prevented me from frequently busting his chops about his lack of involvement. Over the past year, I have peppered our conversations with questions about event planning minutiae. “Have you decided on an ice sculpture design yet, Mark? What shape bowl should the rye dip be in?” In reply, Mark always deadpans something like “Well, I’m still crunching the numbers, and I’ll get back to you.”
The actual planning turned out to be fun. I’ve re-connected with a great group of classmates who have done most of the heavy lifting. The class reunion committee consists of eight women and me. (This arrangement nicely mirrors the prom date I imagined for myself in 1987.) Over the past year, we’ve celebrated milestones among our merry band, such as Liz Kilmer’s engagement, and Sue Woycechowsky White’s SEVEN children. I will use the latter information to guilt-trip Mark for his lack of involvement.
Sue was our class secretary throughout high school, and she has taken her ancient obligation to the SCC Saints very seriously. At our last meeting, she brought in a folder full of notes from class officer meetings in the ‘80s. This made us long for the days when the biggest issue on our agendas was how much to charge our normally dress-coded classmates for the right to wear designer jeans and legwarmers on “Dress-down Day.” The $14 fee we charged for our junior prom also seems quaint today, when we have to charge $55 just for the reunion dinner.
Well, I’m off to Thirsty’s banquet facility for the mixer. I hope that anyone who is not in dress code brings a quarter, or we might have to send him or her home.