Friday, September 30, 2011

Help! I've Lost my Attention Span

Banking is big business in Charlotte which is where most people who live in our little town work, so it's no surprise when you go to a party here that you will be surrounded by folks employed at banks in one capacity or another.  Last night was just such an occasion and I put my big, fat foot into my mouth when I mentioned to one bright and witty woman I'd just met that, for me, her job as an auditor sounded dry and boring.  She spent the remainder of our conversation trying to convince me that her job was anything but.  She jet sets around America, eats out almost every meal, has a maid to clean her (hotel) room, and sees something interesting and different every single day at work.  For her, auditing is clearly a good career choice, but for me...

Who am I trying to kid here anyway?  I could never land a job as an auditor because no one in their right mind would hire me to be one!  One of my friends once did her Master's thesis on ADD and later when I was musing upon whether or not I was afflicted with that particular brand of malady, she said, "Are you kidding me?  You are the POSTER CHILD for ADD!!"  She said it with conviction so I knew she meant it.  Then she looked at me and started to laugh.  She laughed a lot harder and a lot longer than I felt was appropriate.  For a hot second, I hoped she peed her pants a little but my feelings of irritation passed quickly.  Probably because I got distracted....

I know that my attention span isn't all that long but that's normal for me - it's always been that way - and I make adjustments for it.  It does interfere with my life somewhat, but not necessarily in a bad way. I like to think of my little interruptions like commercials on TV programs. Sometimes funny things happen during the breaks but eventually I get back to the main event.  

For example, getting the house in order this week is top priority because our kids are coming to visit and I want it to look extra nice.  It took me two days to clean the guest bedroom and the closet, but on the up side, I did go through my entire wardrobe, try on and evaluate every single piece and take a huge pile of clothes to Goodwill. 

Today I am tackling the kitchen.  Midway through cleaning out the fridge, I found some dipping chocolate and I knew I had some pecan halves in the freezer.  Two + two = chocolate covered pecans!  (See, I can do math.)  When they are totally set, I will put them away and get back to my cleaning.  As time ticks by it will seem more and more like cramming for an exam, but I am accustomed to working well under pressure.  I have had a lot of practice at it.

My cleaning style drives Jerry crazy because one day's work often bleeds into the next and in the interim the whole place is a mess.  Clearly, he does not have ADD.  HE would be a wonderful auditor.  The first company where he interviewed would snap him up immediately.  Fortunately, he already has a job that he thoroughly enjoys.  I'm the one who is not .... how do they say it...[ahem] gainfully employed.   It's not that I'm not looking, it's that I have pretty specific job criteria [part-time, wildly creative, with fun, flexible co-workers and bosses who recognize the value in my varied life-experiences and therefore pay me more than I could ever imagine in my wildest dreams] and nothing has come up yet.  When it does though, I'm all over it.  If you know of such a job opportunity, please call me immediately. 

While I'm waiting for the phone to ring, I guess I'll go back and finish cleaning the kitchen.....or sweep off the deck....or do the laundry....or maybe play the piano...My new friend the auditor is also an accomplished knitter...maybe she can help me figure out a pattern for socks....I wonder what time she gets home from work....there's a little time before I have to start supper....what should I fix....maybe I should call my friend the ADD expert....I haven't talked to her in ages...

That's what the commercial break sounds like in my mind.  Now back to [cleaning] my regularly scheduled broadcast.  Maybe.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

P.S. My Shoes Passed the Test!!

P.S.  I wore my new old shoes to a party last night and nobody -- not one single person -- pointed and laughed.  Several people who knew the story were surprised at how nice the shoes looked.  Nobody was more stunned than I was when I realized that using porch stain on my shoes actually worked!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Shoes

A while back I broke my foot and when it healed none of my shoes were comfortable.  Then, during my waitress phase, I happened upon Crocs and have been wearing them pain-free ever since.  They're great except for one small thing - they're not stylish, a fact which my daughters mention, well, every time they see me.  I needed something a little dressier for occasions when Crocs with jeans wouldn't do.

Enter the NAOT shoes I bought on sale during a visit to Salt Lake City in 2005.  Now frugality (and college tuition) prohibits me from going wild buying shoes like my own dear mother did.  She had an entire closet devoted to shoes, aptly referred to as (drum roll, please) "the shoe closet."  That was an enchanted place where dreams were born!  Sadly, all that followed me into adulthood from it were the memories.

With a nod to Mom's memory and a great big gulp, I bought the mint green shoes for $50.00, and, that like I said, was the sale price.  They were unbelievably comfortable though - maybe you really DO get what you pay for - and I wore them everywhere, including, as it turns out, to tile and grout the kitchen floor of our house in Mantua. 

What was I thinking?  The shoes did not weather that event well.  Both the toes got scuffed up pretty badly and their upscale look immediately vanished.  I loved the feel of these shoes so much though that I toyed with the idea of replacing them and looked them up online.  That's when I realized what a deal my $50.00 shoes were.

These shoes are made in Israel and the current sale price for my style is $130.00.  Faced with my internal spending constraints, I knew that was never gonna happen.  I looked on eBay but didn't find any within my shoe budget there either.  Still, I kept the shoes.  They were so comfortable.  Sometimes I wore them around the house when I didn't have anywhere to go.  Occasionally I even wore them in public, although even I knew that they looked horrible.  But they were so comfortable!

Did I mention that these shoes were mint green?  Nobody, I mean NOBODY makes mint green shoe polish.  I called the company and asked if I could buy a little dye in this color to repair the leather and they said no.  That didn't seem very friendly to me. 

Next I bought some Rit Dye and tried that.  What did I have to lose?  The results were disastrous.  The shoes actually looked worse now that they had Koolaid colored toes. Still, I kept them.  I'm not proud.  Comfortable shoes are difficult to find and I liked having one pair that weren't plastic.

Yesterday while staining our deck Carolina Mud Brown, I got bored.  As fortune would have it, I was wearing "the shoes" when inspiration struck.  I started staining them with the deck stain.  I figured, how could they look worse?  It was so exciting to watch them go from icky to cute again!  When I was finished staining them, I took a Sharpy marker and colored an accent band black.  Upcycling at its finest!

As it turns out, I can wear the brown shoes places mint green never would have gone.  Only you and I will know the secret.  You won't tell, will you?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Naughty, Naughty Erik

Both of my daughters have an impressive history of getting boys to do, well, pretty much anything the girls want them to.  We have an entire photo album filled with pictures of boys with moussed hairdos, boys with green goop on their faces and cucumber slices over their eyes, boys soaking their feet in peppermint foot soak. There are pictures of boys dressed in prom dresses, in cheerleading outfits, and my favorites of all -- the boys with the colorfully painted fingernails.
You have to be pretty persuasive to get a macho guy to let you paint his fingernails pink! 

Once my oldest daughter, now retired to wedded bliss and motherhood, actually shaved the chest of one hairy, hairy senior in high school.  God love him, he was working pouring asphalt that summer - a hot and miserable job.  At work, he would sweat profusely but after that fateful evening's shaving, he refused to remove his t-shirt because he knew the other guys on his crew would never let him live down his hairless chest.  (Later he admitted that when the hair grew back, it itched like crazy.)

Tonight my youngest daughter, a Chelsea Handler* in-training as well as a waitress at an upscale eatery, convinced one of her coworkers (who will now and henceforth be referred to as "naughty, naughty Erik") that it would be funny to pull a little prank on her mother.  (Me.)  I know that naughty, naughty Erik is not to blame for this hoax.  No, he was just the latest victim, lured into Katie's web of deceit.  Katie should be a lawyer.  She is very persuasive.  I have my own laundry list of things she's convinced me to do against my will, so what chance does one of her peers have to resist her?

(*Chelsea Handler is a comedian that is known for her elaborate practical jokes.)

Waitressing and I go way back - back to the time when we were waiters and waitresses, not just the generic "servers" of today.  I loved the thrill of a crazy busy shift and understand the boredom of a quiet one.  Serving is a demanding job, but if you perform it well, people leave money on the table for you.  How cool is that?

Tonight, just as we were finishing dinner, the phone rang.

"Hello, is Katie there?"  the very professional sounding man said.

"No, you've reached her mother.  I am in South Carolina.  She doesn't live here."

"Well, this is the contact number on her application form.  I am calling from her work trying to reach her because she didn't come in this evening."  he said.

"She worked the morning shift," I replied.

"She was supposed to work both, but she didn't show up." he countered, smooth as silk.

"I will have her call you right away," I said, already hearing imaginary ambulance sirens and feeling my blood pressure soaring to new heights.

"Thank you," said he and he hung up.

Now, only kids will think that calling somebody's mother and scaring the heck out of her is funny.  All mothers know that I went into panic mode and saw hundreds of scary scenarios unfold on the movie screen of my mind.  Mentally, I was already packing my bags and buying airline tickets, on my way to rescue my baby. 

Not for one second did it occur to me that this might have been a prank phone call, so trustworthy and believable did this guy sound. He missed his calling, too. He should have been an actor.

I called Kate.  She didn't pick up.  I called again.  And again.  And again.  I had the feeling that she was avoiding me, which relieved me somewhat and caused my fear to morph into irritation.  I texted her that she had to CALL NOW.  I called again.  I got a text from her but I was already calling again.

Finally she picked up and said, "Gotcha!  I'm actually at work.  That's what happens when we get bored.  It was my friend Erik who called you."  I didn't believe her, so she sent me a picture of them to prove it.

As my blood pressure was falling back into the normal range, I thought next time there's a lull in the action, maybe she could just paint Erik's fingernails pink.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What You Said isn't Exactly What I Heard

I just saw a bakery truck on the road and on its side was the slogan, "Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee."  This somewhat surprised me because for years I've been singing their jingle, "Nobody Does it Like Sara Lee."  I started thinking about times when kids' creative interpretations of what they heard didn't quite match what was said and also of those times when they tried to remember something, but came up with a near miss.


Jessica was finally getting old enough to wear big-girl underpants.  She looked up at me and said she wanted a pink pair of "on-dah-butts."  Made sense to me!

                                              * * *          * * *          * * *

...then there was her little cousin who couldn't remember his new friend (Matt's) name so he called him "Carpet."

                                              * * *          * * *          * * *

Little Elizabeth was looking through Granny's button box, a huge tin of sparkly treasures.  She came upon several stick pins with a glass drop of blood at the top.  Granny saw her puzzled expression and said, "The Red Cross gives those to Grandpa when he donates blood." 

A horrified Elizabeth replied,  "Oh, YUCK!  I don't eat blood, either!"

                                              * * *         * * *          * * *

Jason and his mom Pam were in a crowded pediatrician's office.  Pam was reading a magazine when Jason got excited.  "Mom, Mom!  God's in the waiting room."

"Yes, dear.  God is everywhere."

"No, Mom, God's in this waiting room."

"Yes, Jason, that's right.  God is in this waiting room too..."

"MOM!  God from my Sunday School Class is here!"

Pam looked up to see a little boy from Sunday School - a little boy named Noah.

                                              *  *  *         *  *  *         *  *  *

And, finally...what color are fleas?

Everyone knows this answer!  Fleas are white.  "Mary had a little lamb with fleas as white as snow."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Perfect Porch Color

Even though my house is usually a cluttery mess, I am a very picky person.  If we hang a picture a fraction of an inch off, it drives me crazy.  If we move it so it's right and it leaves a visible nail hole in the wall, that drives me crazy too.  Crazy, crazy. 
Usually when choosing paint colors, I am all over it.  I get color samples, stress over what goes with what, ask three or four artistic friends, sleep on their advice then cautiously proceed with the decision.  I buy a paint sample, paint a piece or two of poster board, hang it on the wall and see how it feels living with it.  After a couple of days, I allow myself to get a gallon of paint and take the plunge.    

This approach to paint selection was born by experience about three years ago when we had to repaint a wallThere's this certain shade of red that's vibrant and exciting and I wanted it as an accent color in my dining room.  It falls on the orange side of the red family and it's tricky.  Tinted one shade too orange and it would be like living inside Cinderella's coach.  That's the exact color we painted onto our dining room wall - and painted over two days later.  With that mistake corrected, all the colors in the house were perfect!

We were so in love with those colors that we painted stripes of them on a yardstick and brought it with us to our newest home.  Since we already had the colors we wanted, painting this house was a breeze.  I guess that's why I let my guard down.

Last weekend while I was moving furniture all around and cleaning out closets, my husband was looking for something to do outside to avoid getting sucked into my project. He hit upon the idea to stain the porch, the deck and the stairs going up the hill.  He asked me to go help pick out the stain, but I said no, I trusted his judgment.  What was I thinking?

Jerry was gone a long time and when he came back, he was smoke-billowing-out-his-ears mad.  He had purchased a five gallon bucket of pumpkin colored stain - in your face pumpkin - and paid a premium for the privilege. This was a serious error on his part and he knew it.  That this color was never going to see the bristle end of one of our paint brushes was beyond obvious to us both.  That it was a "custom color, non-returnable" was also clearly evident to anyone who could read.

The literature that came with the stain said that it was guaranteed to last for nine years.   After reflecting upon what it would be like living in the third ring of Hell with me for nine long years, my husband wisely decided to take the stain back and throw himself on the mercy of the paint clerk.

Later, much later, he arrived home once again.  Dark tint had been added to the orange stain.  I didn't think enough tint could ever be put in there, but Jer painted a sample board to check.  By this time it was twilight so we couldn't really see the results well enough to decide.  Jerry had already prepped the porch though so we rolled the dice, took our chances and painted it.  In the morning, we climbed up our driveway to survey our paint job from afar.

A miracle had occurred!  Somehow, bumbling fools that we clearly are, we'd managed to buy the perfect porch color, in spite of ourselves.  People will marvel at our clever choice!  This porch will never look dirty because we stained it the exact color of South Carolina mud.  

Crazy, crazy.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Big messes and Gorilla Glue

My husband is a do-it-yourselfer from way back and Jerry's been working especially hard at making our newest place liveable for over a year and a half now.  These have been big projects, coming at us like a freight train.  Our place was abandoned to foreclosure, had water damage, was moldy and had been vandalized.  Drywall hung off the ceiling like skin peeling off sunburn.   We knew we were walking in to a real party.

A month ago, I decided to surprise Jerry by having a professional lay the hardwood flooring in our bedroom.  Even though Jer is perfectly capable of doing this himself, our neighbor Charlie does it for a living and so we were delighted to give him our business.  The thought of no longer walking over carpets covered with evidence of a lifestyle that we do not embrace lifted our spirits.  Of course everything from the bedroom needed to be removed and the carpet disposed of before this process could begin.  This all was accomplished while I was in Michigan and the floor was finally laid on Friday.  We could not be happier with it.

The floor is gorgeous and, of course, we decided to rearrange the furniture as we brought it back in.  By "we" I mean me.  Jerry wasn't really onboard and he kind of grumbled when he realized that this would involve a lot of heavy lifting.  He moved the bedroom set from the basement to the master bedroom on the first floor and took the master furniture to the basement. The bedroom ended up looking noticeably improved with less stuff in it.   We left the excess in the living room. 

Jerry'd already invested a lot of time and energy carrying heavy things up and down staircases but I was on a roll!  Inspired by our success, I decided to exchange the loveseat upstairs with the one in the living room downstairs and had him take two overstuffed chairs upstairs in its place.  While Jer was moving furniture, I took everything out of the bedroom closets to clean them out and I put the all of the junk on our bed to sort through.

Meanwhile, Jerry felt the loveseat in the living room wasn't the right color to show off the new paint on our walls and, while I lobbied for re-painting, he fought for a new sofa.  (It didn't occur to either of us to just take the loveseat back upstairs and bring the two chairs back down.)  We ended up going to Ikea where we found the perfect color loveseat for $775 and bought a couple of throw pillows instead. 

When we got home, it was evening already and time to go to a farewell party for a friend, followed by a sunset after-glow event. We wound up leaving our house a giant mess and returned too late to do anything but fall into bed.  We couldn't sleep in our bed though because all the stuff was stilled piled on it, so we ended up sleeping in our guest room.

Today our house looks like we've just moved in.  Stuff is piled randomly everywhere. I find this kind of situation extremely stressful and early on Jerry bailed to start a new project - outside - where he can keep out of my way.    

It will not surprise my family and friends when I tell you that I decided to clean out my basement bedroom.  We recently bought a beautiful round oriental rug and it fits nicely under the bed we brought downstairs yesterday.  It's an ornate antique bed, the kind with a headboard that comes nearly to the ceiling and all kinds of carving.  During the move a piece of the ornamental work that belonged on the side rail fell off.  Jerry mentioned that he needed to borrow a clamp from Mary Ann but that didn't really register with me.  I decided that this was a little job and I could handle it alone.  By this time Jerry was pulling out of the driveway on his own little quest to purchase stain for our porch and deck.  (Wives will recognize this for what it is - an attempt to "get out of Dodge" while the getting is good.)

I stepped into the garage to get the Gorilla glue.  That stuff is great and I love using it.  It was on the third shelf, so I had to stand on tiptoe on top of the cooler which was conveniently located in front of the workbench.  I know better than to do this balancing act, but I'm under five feet tall so this scenario presents itself pretty often and laziness sometimes wins out.  When I secured the Gorilla bottle and got back into the bedroom, I realized that the tip was glued shut so I took off the cap to pour a tiny bit onto the wood piece.  Way too much gushed out so I ran to the bathroom, carrying the whole drippy mess in my hand.  On the way a blob dripped onto the new carpet.  I grabbed it with my index finger, continued my journey to the john, set the bottle down on the vanity, cleaned my hands, the bottle, the sink and then went back to clean the carpet.  I saw a drop on the sheets on the bed and cleaned that first.  By the time I started looking for the spot on the carpet, it had vanished.

I could not find the glue drip!  I looked.  I ran my hand across the carpet.  I got down on all fours and looked some more.  I laid down on the floor and peered at the rug's surface.  I stood up and ran my bare foot over it.  I looked some more.  I took off my glasses and looked.  I put my glasses back on and looked some more.  I tried feeling for it with my hand again.  I was tumbling into the insanity zone where I do the same thing over and over and expect different results. I was still looking when I heard the car pulling into our driveway.

Are there fairies or elves that follow me around and clean up glue drips from my carpet?  If so, could I exchange a couple of them for fairies, elves or even gnomes of the clutter-removing kind?  On second thought, I'm gonna need more than just a couple.  This mess is bigger than usual.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cowboy Haircuts

My first five years of childhood were spent in a gang of two, my brother and I as partners in crime unwittingly terrorizing our parents.  Some of our best work occurred while Mom was grocery shopping and Dad was supposed to be watching us but was actually napping.  We dragged the mattress to the stairs then rode it down like it was a sled; we tunneled through bales of hay in the barn; we stuck knives in outlets. 

One day we added baby lotion to the fish bowl.  The reasoning escapes me, but maybe it was as simple as we thought it might make it smell pretty.  Mom was fairly put out at us for that one.  (I don't remember which one of us had the bright idea to add the lotion to the water but I do remember that the fish died.)  We wanted to get back on Mom's good side, so decided to entertain ourselves in the bedroom while she cooled down.

During this unsupervised portion of the evening, my brother -- a creative thinker even at five -- struck entertainment gold when he announced that he would be opening a Cowboy Barbershop and I would be his first customer.  I had way more hair than he did and he had a cowboy hat, so this arrangement made perfect sense to both of us.  After elaborate preparations including the sheet around my neck, shop opened.  By the time Mom discovered us, all the hair below my ear on one side of my head had been meticulously shorn.  She burst into tears.  We were scheduled to have our pictures taken at Olan Mills the next day. 

The years roll by.  Now I'm the mom and little Kate is in the bathroom a long, long, long time.  That she's in there too long should have registered with me, but it didn't.  Suddenly, she bursts through the door, glowing with pride!  She had taken her little safety scissors and scalped herself.  She said, "Now I look like my cousin Levi!"  And she did.

I was laughing so hard I couldn't catch my breath as I dialed Mom's phone number.  "You cried, didn't you?' she asked. 

Same story, two different responses.  That's what makes life so sweet.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Africa Hot: The Prequel

Fifteen years ago, our son moved out of his dorm room and into his first apartment.  For some reason, he expected us to help him move - and we did.  In honor of all the parents sending their children off to college, here's that story:

People who live in air conditioning are pansies.  Our son is a perfect example.  Josh lives in a fancy apartment in Indianapolis.  He is a student and I remember the weekend we helped him move from his dorm room into his new apartment.

"Wow!" my husband Jerry said.  "This is a nice complex.  How can he afford this place?"

I tried to allow a respectful moment of silence (after all, the man is my husband) but instead I burst out laughing.

"Oh," said Jerry.  "We're paying for it."

That night we stayed in the new apartment.  I slept in flannel pajamas in a goose down sleeping bag.  Still I dreamed of Arctic winds and woke up in the dead of the night freezing.  It was mid-August.

The next day we worked moving more furniture until noon when we decided to go out for lunch.  We found a quaint little pizza parlor with outdoor seating.  I noticed our son looking around.  "Isn't there anywhere inside to sit?"


He hesitated like he was going to say something else, then allowed the waiter to lead the way to our table.  August in Indiana is like August most everywhere else in this country:  hot.  This day was no different, but we were sitting on a covered patio and a pleasant, warm breeze was blowing.  You might have thought we were in the middle of the Sahara Desert with the sun beating relentlessly down upon us.

"Are you sure you want to stay here and eat?" Josh said.

Now Jerry is not a patient man and when he gets hungry he wants to eat and he wants to eat right now.  He'd been working hard doing heavy lifting all morning and he was hungry.  "This is fine."

The waiter came and asked us for our drink orders.

"Ice water," said Josh.

While we were waiting for the drinks to come, Josh fanned himself and remarked about how hot he was. When the waiter reappeared with the drinks, he served Josh first.  Before all of us at the table had even gotten our drinks, Josh was finished.  "Could I get some more water?"

"Sure.  Are you ready to order?"

We had an interesting lunch.  The pizza was excellent and before the meal was over, the waiter brought an entire pitcher of water over and set it in front of Josh.  Beads of sweat were trickling down his forehead and he had intensified his fanning efforts.  The entire conversation consisted of him grumbling about the heat.  Then he started chewing the ice cubes.  "When we're done here, want to go get ice cream?" he said.

We stopped at one of those designer ice cream saloons where a thimble full of the flavor-of-the-month costs slightly less than a house payment.  We were licking our cones on the way back to the car.  I glanced over at Josh.  Melting ice cream was running down the side of the cone, onto his arm and dripping off his elbow.  Only he was having this problem.  The rest of us had rock-solid ice cream.  I was beginning to wonder if his internal thermostat was out of whack.

When we got back to the apartment, it was like stepping into the freezer section of the grocery store.  "Thank God we're home!" said Josh.

I went to search for a sweater.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our wild class reunion

My class reunion on Saturday night was the best one I've ever attended.  There was no band which meant we could actually hear each other talking, so talk we did.  The event was scheduled from 4:30 until 7:30 and we closed the place down after 10:00.  I woke up on Sunday morning hoarse.  I guess we're finally old enough to throw a good party.

(I'd like to publicly thank Colleen's husband for buying me a drink even though I am aware that Colleen told him to do so.  It was the only beverage of any sort I drank all night and by the time it came I was parched.) 

I did not bring my own dear husband to the reunion because he knew no one and I didn't want to feel I had to waste time by filling him in on all the back-stories that went with each conversation.  Plus, he refused to come.  Said he didn't want to attend his own reunion, why would he want to come to mine?  It's hard to argue with that kind of logic.

I stretched my memory to recall things about everyone I talked to.  I told Tim I was sorry that I hit him in the stomach and made him cry at that basketball game long ago.  I talked about the notes Betsy and I passed in Mrs. Morey's math class.  I thanked Glenn for dancing with me at the twice-a-year mixers in junior high.  I forgave Tom for declaring his undying love for Diane while simultaneously telling me he wouldn't date me if I were the last girl on earth.  (Sixth grade was a tough year for me.)

I told Robin I remembered that slumber party where she told the scary story about the lady with the beehive hairdo who never washed it and then ants got in there and they chewed through her scalp.  I admired Teri's beautiful, long nails.  I reminded Jamie about how kicked me in the mouth while practicing his cartwheels.  I mentioned to Steve the time we skipped Sunday school to go hang out by the river. I told Pam she owed me the quarter that she borrowed at the county fair in eighth grade.  That was actually a joke (or was it?) but, to her credit, she fished around in her purse for one.

It seemed weird to me but not one of these people I talked to seemed to remember any of these insignificant events.  I could have dug deeper into my treasure box of memories but I was so busy having fun that I didn't bother.  Plus, I felt certain that at least Tim really did remember, I mean - come on!  How often does a girl punch you in the stomach hard enough to make you cry? 

During a lull in the conversations, one of the sweetest (and cutest) boys from our class came up to me and announced that he'd had a crush on me in high school.  (Information, it seems, that might have been more useful forty years ago.)
                  "But you knew that." he said.

                  "No, this is the first I've heard of it."

                  "Yes you did.  I told your best friend."

                  "Well, she didn't tell me." I replied.

                  "I told her not to."

Mystery solved!  Apparently Kendra is one of a select group of women in this world who can actually keep a secret.  Although I felt a twinge of regret for what might have been, how cool to find evidence at this late date that my friend was a woman of her word! 

Every class has that painfully shy girl with the long brown hair. Ours has dyed hers a flattering shade of red, had it stylishly cut and was dressed to kill - great outfit, beautiful jewelry, the whole deal.  Absolutely everything about her looked perfect.  Most of the evening she stood sizzlin' at the bar surrounded by guys - both single and married  - who were falling all over themselves to buy her drinks.  That's gotta feel good!  She looked absolutely terrific.  Said she gained confidence when she had her first child at age forty.  You go, girl!

After the party was over and I had stopped at the beer tent to say my final farewells, I immediately went back to Detroit.  As much fun as reminiscing can be, it can't compare to waking up to your daughter bringing her beautiful baby boy into your bedroom to play.  All of the women I talked to in the Class of '71 would agree with that.