Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I did some calculations

What I didn’t do: attend my 35th class reunion for my high school, a private college-preparatory school in Ladue, Missouri, a white suburb of St. Louis this past weekend.

What I did not wear: Tiffany Elsa Peretti rose gold Diamonds by the Yard® Drop Earrings; wedding and engagement rings; Rolex watch; Tiffany Link clasp bracelet in 18k rose gold; black Maison Mayle Guipure Lace Wrap Dress from Barney’s NY; black Cosmos Opposition side-buckled heels from Fluevog; Wolford Individual 10 soft control top hose; black Natori Feathers plunge bra; Hanky Panky organic cotton boy shorts, eye-makeup, insincere smile.  

What I did beforehand: I was born in Missouri, a place my parents told me was the midwest, pointedly and often. As an adult, I have discovered that lots of people think Missouri is part of the American South. If you remember your U.S. history, you’ll know that Missouri was admitted to the union as a slave state in 1820; Maine was to be a free state, and this agreement was known as the Missouri Compromise.  Does this make Missouri a southern state? What about that Missouri accent (the one my parents said was so undetectable that middle-Americans were preferred as national television news anchors)? When I went off to college in 1981, I found out that people on the east coast thought I had an accent, and though I did not set out to never live in St. Louis again, I decided over the next ten years, building the argument for myself, one prejudice at a time, acquired on the left coast and east. 

Who stayed home with me: my husband and youngest son and four houseguests, including some lesbians, which is something I normally wouldn’t tell you, but, for the purposes of this post, it might be relevant.

How I much would I have spent on tickets: dog sitter, at $50 per day; round trip airfare on Delta, out of LaGuardia, $405; town car to LaGuardia $123 each way; hotel, two nights Ritz Carlton, in Clayton (because if I’m going, I’m staying someplace really nice) $659 per night; car rental, Cadillac XTS or similar  $282.00; ticket to party $25. Total? $2351.

Why I stayed home: the last time I went, I got creeped out by a couple of guys from my class. You either understand this, or you don’t (maybe you would like to explain it to me). This time, I got two nicely printed paper invitations in the mail (one included a printed class mailing list with emails and phone numbers), a few prodding emails, and I was tagged along with a bunch of classmates in a Facebook post. I could not bring myself to respond to any of it until a classmate sent a simply worded, direct inquiry. My reply? “I will not be able to make it. Thanks.”

Yes, actually, this is what we wore to graduation
What I did instead: I added up what I would have spent on the reunion. I decided that the money would be better spent on donations to some non-profits doing work I believe in. 
The list below is in alphabetical order, with links.

Things that were sad: per federal law, I was unable to contribute to efforts to raise the minimum wage, the PACs for UNITE HERE (the Hotel and Restaurant Workers Union), or the United Auto Workers. You have to be a member to do that. 

Things that were funny: I enjoyed virtually shopping for this much more than I enjoy shopping in real life.

Things that were not funny: there are probably people I went to high school with who will disagree with my politics and have something to say about the organizations I have donated to. If any of them choose to comment about it here or on my Facebook wall, I will increase my donations in increments of 50%, to a maximum of 200% of my original donation. There may be a special bonus for the use of "brainwashed Libtard."

What it is: I have a few close friends from high school who I do a mediocre job of keeping in contact with. But they know how to reach me. It's easier than ever: email, DM on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and in the comments section of this blog. Outside of the close friends that I do miss, and would love to see as soon as possible, almost everyone else from high school falls into that category of people I'd hang out with if they reached out to me in a not-creepy way. We could go out to dinner in New York City, and/or maybe take in a show. I’m always up for that. Especially if it’s just like you and me for 90 minutes. Like, you know, a small production, off-Broadway, and not like a two hour and fifteen minute parade of one minute big production number conversations with 90 different people. 

Who should see it: my mother grew up in Clayton, a suburb of St. Louis, went to Clayton High School, and lived there her whole life. She stayed close to a core group of friends, organized and attended reunions, and enjoyed it. If that’s your thing, be like her. Knock yourself out. There are folks who prefer the big, lively spectacle of a Broadway show, too. I'm just finding out that I'm not one of them.

What I saw on the way home: I woke up Sunday morning to find that it is suddenly fall in Bedhead Hills. The sky is gray. There are yellow leaves strewn on the green grass. We made breakfast sandwiches with local bacon and local eggs and sourdough english muffins I made from scratch. We got around to watching football and drinking beer. I cooked too many things for dinner, and we watched the "presidential" debate. I'm not interested in arguing with anyone about it. I was plenty creeped-out, though.