Diversity…or the lack thereof…or therein….or something….

So, I have blogged on attending my high school reunion, which I, at one point, had absolutely NO intention of being present at. But my husband and friends convinced me I should go. I think they wanted to see me squirm, since I quite PUBLICLY told all my old high school buddies why I would not be attending.

Shhhh. It’s the A-word. You know. Not adultery. A-postate.

At any rate, here are some of the things that have occurred to me now, a few days later, when I am not exhausted from standing my ground….

1. There were NO African-Americans in our graduating class. Not one. There was ONE African-American family in our school. In short, everybody who came to this reunion was mostly white with some darker tints of brown thrown in for color. And old. And wrinkled. Well, some people didn’t wrinkle, but damn, we are nearly 50. What would you expect?

2. Not all the Native Americans who were shipped off to the Indian Placement Program, so they could become “white and delightsome” were unhappy about it. I spent a long while visiting with one of my fellow classmates who lives in New Mexico, and was a participant in the IPP. She is still an active and believing Mormon, but is dating an Italian Catholic. And very open-minded.

3. Everybody has a story. Have I said this? Well, it’s true.

4. Some people were just as snooty as they were in high school.

5. I learned that many people thought I was snooty and stuck-up in high school.

6. Some people were more than a little dim as to life’s vagaries, and were probably that way in high school. For example, the classmate who called one of our classmates a lady killer. He died, not from killing ladies, but another horrible disease. Leaving behind a male partner. It’s always the handsome ones…..

7. The girl who I believe to be the most stuck up and snooty in our class did not come to our reunion, although she shared some choice words with us on how wonderful HER high school years were, just to bring those of us who mentioned that LIFE WAS NOT PERFECT IN HIGH SCHOOL down a notch or two. Jesus wants HER for a Sun-BEAM. I just smiled and played the game when people talked about how sad they were she couldn’t come. Waaahhhh. She has her own Website. You can visit if you want to be “beamed.” I do not.

8. Plenty of people steered clear of me, which actually suited me just fine. You see, I had this dark fear that someone would come up to me, and start telling stories about how much fun we had, and all the crazy things we did, and I would be all, “Who the hell are you, and how did you get invited to this reunion?” Luckily for me that did not happen.

9. I saw a lot of people who looked familiar but I could not put a name to their face. So I waited for them to come up to me. Apparently, I also was a person who looked familiar but could not have a name put to their face, because those peeps never did come up to me.

10. The only person who did not know me, and admitted it to my face, was someone I did not recognize as well. Phew.

11. I reconnected with a friend who defriended me on Facebook, because I am an outspoken former Mormon. She was as nice as she has always been. And the defriending was apparently some sort techno-phobe error. She holds her beliefs dear, but she also holds me dear. That was nice to learn.

12. I learned who all the drinkers were, because they held the reunion at Davis High School, and thus, we were forced to have pre- and post-parties.

13. I became good friends with someone I knew in high school, but didn’t really hang out with. It was great to get to know her better.

14. I don’t have to do this again for at LEAST ten years.

15. I intend to advocate quite vocally for NO PRAYER at our next reunion, since they sprung this one on me as a surprise. And a non-Mormon prayer, too! Amazing.

16. Our entire class was responsible for burning off at least 1/4 of the ozone layer. No one had hair that would move. We’ve moved away from our environmentally unfriendly ways, but back then, well, doggies. I could have gone through a tornado and come out missing limbs and body parts but with hair completely intact, complete with lovely feathered bangs.

 

 

 

 

 

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About Natalie R. Collins

Natalie has more than 30 years writing, editing, proofreading and design experience. She has written 20 books (and counting), has worked for the Sundance Film Festival, and as an investigative journalist, editor, and proofreader. She embraces her gypsy-heart and is following her new free-thinking journey through life. Follow her as she starts over and learns a bunch of life's lessons--some the hard way.
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5 Responses to Diversity…or the lack thereof…or therein….or something….

  1. birdman says:

    I really like this high school picture of you as a D’ette…hard to believe the dancing daughter will be graduating this year as a D’ette as well.
    Now, aren’t you glad you caved in and went????

    Like

  2. Kim says:

    A couple of thoughts from me, your personal peanut gallery:

    A prayer is always welcome in my world be it Mormon, Catholic, Jewish, Pagan, etc. Asking a higher power to be with us is a good thing.

    I think pre and post parties and day before golf tourneys and whatever else that happens during a reunion serve to enrich the entire reunion. I know that if I had only participated in the actual reunion I wouldn’t have had as good of time as I did. I shall do my best to come up with a few ideas for different types of gatherings for the next one.

    And, finally, I think that people can socialize without a drink at hand. And if you can’t, you need some help. I can hang out at a bar and in the cultural hall and be OK in both settings. Drinking is fun, but if it becomes necessary, it has become a problem. That said, I will volunteer to say a prayer over the cash bar at the next reunion!

    Like

    • JulieAnn says:

      Kim,

      I think Natalie and most everyone who drinks CAN socialize without a drink in hand. That misses the point entirely. We are not children. We ought to have the option, whether we use it or not. THAT is the point. To insinuate that we want alcohol there because we simply HAVE to imbibe is, frankly, offensive. I think we’re all familiar with the DSM IV’s criteria for a substance abuse and dependence issue.

      I’m glad that prayer is accepted and welcomed in your world, but it isn’t “your” world. It’s everyone’s world and therefore, a prayer was inappropriate for the venue. I attend family parties several times a year and I don’t begrudge my Mormon family their prayer before the meals. I even bow my head and say ‘amen’. I do this because THAT is an appropriate venue. But a secular activity like a reunion? No.

      I don’t think asking “higher power” to be “with us” is any better than holding hands and hoping Santa shows up with presents. What “asking” in that sort of setting does, as a matter of fact, is presume that we all believe as YOU and others who believe in a “higher power” believe. That is arrogant and offensive to those of us who hold no such beliefs. The absence of a prayer doesn’t shove my atheism down your throat. Let’s not shove your “HP” or god down mine, hmm?

      That said, how about we have a separation of church and State in this State FOR ONCE, and let the religious folk meet in a church cultural hall for cookies and fizzy green/ice cream-sherbet drinks (I love those, so save me one) before the reunion. They can pray before and after, have scripture chases and judge everyone else beforehand. Then we have the reunion somewhere where the grown adults we have become have the freedom to drink or not, swear or not, privately believe in god or not, and have the option of drinking un-blessed, un-sanctified dirty martini’s or wine like a civilized society unfettered by the back-water blindness of religious superiority.

      Deal?

      Like

  3. As always Natalie… TFF… I thoroughly enjoyed reading this… I have more to say but I would most certainly offend someone on here… so I shall leave it at BRAVO!!!

    Like

  4. JulieAnn says:

    “11. I reconnected with a friend who defriended me on Facebook, because I am an outspoken former Mormon. She was as nice as she has always been. And the defriending was apparently some sort techno-phobe error. She holds her beliefs dear, but she also holds me dear. That was nice to learn.”

    I’m glad to learn that as well. Now I know her snubbing of K and me was just personal. πŸ™‚ I’m glad she didn’t approach me. I would have had egg all over my face as I reamed her verbally for the FB de-friending of you.

    I think K and I have had our fill of small-town reunions, politics and mentalities. But it was, indeed a trip. (And a trip I took because of you–and I am super-duper glad you were there and we were able to laugh and have fun πŸ™‚

    xo

    Like

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