Picture 1: The Man and I at a brewpub in Parkville, MO, just prior to the big reunion.
I had brought several dresses to KC, not knowing what a) would be appropriate and b) would fit over my hips on that particular day. (Eating at the parents' for 10 days = 5 pound Mags weight gain, on average.)
The invitation stated that the attire would be "business casual." Not believing that in the slightest, I brought many of my nice to fancy-ish dresses. There was the purple linen, the red linen, two clingy black ones, the brown and black patterned sleeveless dress, the feisty aqua party dress with the 50's print. Just as a lark, I threw in the lined pink taffeta dress that I bought last year for $9 at Ross.
I also brought both pairs of cowboy boots, and also some new Clark Artisan sandals that I had just bought. They're not formal, but they are damned near comfortable. Thus, I declare that these will be THE HEELS THAT I HAVE TILL I DIE. (You know your mother has a pair. Come on now, she does!)
Anyway, up until the evening of, I had anticipated wearing either the purple linen or the brown and black dress; maybe the red linen with the teal and red cowboy boots just to shake things up a bit. I couldn't settle on one, maybe due to the gaping maw of apprehension that was suddenly festering in my belly.
And then, it occured to me: Pink. Taffeta. With my favorite necklace and earrings - my grandmother's sparkly beveled plastic beads - ironically, worn many times when I was in high school. It. Could. Work.
Voila! Instant suck-it-uppage. I suddenly had the strength to attend this thing.
It's very different from anything I would have worn in high school - not a big wearer of the pink, me, then or now - but, at the same time, reflects that some things haven't changed.
Picture 2: Erin, me, and Wanda, an old friend (in the "it's been a long time" sense) that I had not seen since high school.
Erin (who, as you can tell from her picture, has clearly been busy lately) flew in from Philly; Wanda from Little Rock, I think mostly to see Erin. We all had a great conversation at the brew pub. I remembered immediately why I had always liked Wanda. And both are clearly still as lovely as ever. Damn them.
This was the best time of the evening; no question. The reunion itself was...actually, it was OK. It was way better than the 10-year, as it had awards and yearbooks and a genuinely sweet slideshow, that sort of stuff. And, it had a live 80's cover band with two soccer-moms-in-fishnets lead singers, singing all your favorites...yes, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" and "You Shook Me All Night Long" were played, as was, I daresay, "Love Shack!"
But, perhaps most importantly, it had free booze, to which your humble narrator always says "fuck, yes," and at which I partook until they ran out of white wine. They offered the pink zin, saying, "This looks white," but I declined. (That's a Kansas City sommelier for you.) Probably fortuitous, that; I had a lovely buzz, but didn't crash over the edge. But, I did have enough to cut loose on the dance floor with The Man most of the evening...I even closed down the party that I swore I would cut out early on.
(Note: Big snaps to The Man. He was the coolest spouse there. Not only did he dance with me all night, to music that does not involve two-stepping, but he ALSO made sparkling conversation with anyone he met. Seriously, you should have seen the pickle pusses on some of these husbands and wives. I'm a very lucky woman.)
I enjoyed speaking to many people, and the general consensus was that I haven't changed since high school. Good to know. Truth be told, the women all looked fantastic. ("Business Casual?" Sheeright! I'm relatively certain that few of them wear sequins and four-inch heels to their "business," or, if they do, they didn't share that particular detail.)
Many of the men were showing their age. (My age? No, seriously, it can't be. Some of these fuckers were bald and had gray hair.) But, those that I noticed as handsome back then? I still noticed as handsome. Strange.
Weirdly, so many of the people there had four kids. Wanda and Erin decided that four must be the new two. Four! One had FIVE! Many were divorced now. Also, many still lived in the general KC perimeter. However, that could be because that they are the ones that showed up. Most people I know that moved away didn't show. (They were missed, too.) Also sadly underrepresented was the misanthropic theater kids clique; I really could have stood to have seen some more of them.
All in all, though, not too bad. I may actually keep in touch with more people this time.
Pictures 3 and 4: Worlds of Fun, in the rain
Oh, sure, I got tons of other, more typical, WOF pics, but I think these are great. This is my archetypal memory of Worlds of Fun when I was a kid. Trapped under some funnel cake stand awning in the rain, freezing my ass off on what was, just minutes before, a sweltering day. (It was pretty awesome, though; I don't ever remember getting hailed on there before.)
OG and I rode the Mamba, a rollercoaster that has a first drop that is so precipitous that it is religion-inducing, and then goes right back up and does the same goddamn thing again. OG liked it, but didn't want to ride it again.
Oh, a bit of hilarious conversation from that ride, as it was pulling into the station:
OG: "OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD!" (Looks over at me) "Oh, um...can I say 'oh god?;"
Me: (having had this conversation many times) "Well...not usually, of course, but, hey, on a rollercoaster, it's probably appropriate."
OG: "Oh god, that ride shook the hell out of me!"
We also rode the Detonator a couple of times, one of those things that shoots you straight into the air really really fast. I kind of hate it and love it. It's ever so briefly shit-your-pants terrifying, and then suddenly kind of pleasant.
YG, on the other hand? COMPLETE PANSY. The rides at the SNOOPY PARK were too scary for her, for the love of god! We finally got her to ride the train, and some cars that you just sit in and ride around in circles. She made me sit on a BENCH on the MERRY-GO-ROUND, for cripes' sake! Seriously, who is this child?
Picture 5: OG's first catch
OG wanted so badly to learn to fish. My mother dredged up a rod and some line from somewhere - one my nephews from Boston use when they come to visit - and, though the line was all tangled up and the reel wasn't winding properly, she and OG went down to the dock and just tossed the lure into the water. And, as my mother went to pull it up, there was a fish on it!
OG was, frankly, kind of stunned. And, when it turned out that the poor thing had swallowed the hook and was thusly a goner, I think she was kind of freaked out.
Gamely, The Man chopped off its head and my mother threw it into a saucepan, though I don't think either were very well versed in this sort of thing at all. I instilled upon OG that she should eat some of it, as she caught it, and it gave its life for her and all. (What can I say? I was visiting home. It rubs off.) She choked down a bit, good girl that she is.
However, she did not express any desire whatsoever to go fishing again.
Picture 6: Random Cowgirl Cuties
For no reason whatsoever.
So, I leave for 10 days, and when I get back, it is HOT AS FUCK.
Summer hits this town like a freight train, don't it?