@postaday 178; #postaday2011.
Now that we are home, I can safely say that I feel exactly as I said I would two weeks ago: So glad we did it, so glad it’s over.
I used to love to travel. When John and I had no children, we’d go all over the place and often grabbed at the United Airlines carrots of free upgrades every chance we could. So, yes, we had a taste of the good life on the other side of the curtain. Fortunately, when you’re sunk to the rows of high 20s through the 30s, you cannot hear the clink of champagne flutes or the genteel poke of silver on fine china. Nope. The cacophony is more like harried-weakly-smiling-uniformed-wait-help-pushing-food-cart tends to cattle car of cranky customers and babies of all ages, shapes and sizes on a long and slogging ride at 35,000 feet. It sucks to be them, it sucks to be us.
So if I could fly in a bigger seat with more leg room and without any pain, I’m there! John puts the girls in the two seats in front of us and tells them they cannot recline. Tall man is happy, and that’s all that matters. Yesterday we brought hoagies from Wawa on board. They should have been eaten on the second flight instead of the third. But now that United sells food, we figured buying the hoagies saved us half what we would have paid for the in-flight offerings. Most of these are packages of cheese products, crackers, pepperoni, olives, little candies, cookies. Think miniaturized gourmet Xmas food basket from Harry & David and you get the idea.
After they were through with their hoagies, I passed up the Tastykake lemon pie and cream-filled chocolate cupcakes to the girls. Happy Birthday to Charlotte. If I could, I would have packed a suitcase full of TastyKakes and Entemann’s baked goods to bring home. I did manage to bring home some genuine Philly soft pretzels. Most are in the freezer. I’ll warm them in the oven till they are soft and chewy again, and we’ll top them with the brown and seedy mustard they threw in for my massive order of 25 for $12.
Why has it taken us five years to go back and visit the East Coast? It’s just the way life works out. I’ve finally gotten some stability in my career, and John moved from the closed Honolulu Advertiser to the newspaper hybrid, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser a year ago. We time it mostly for my high school reunions, which are every five years. My friendships have grown deeper over the years with these people, so I really do love seeing them. Now that we have Facebook, the relationships are stronger, and we’re more current with what life is tossing in everyone’s direction, good and bad. InRealLife encounters, even if it’s a quick conversation about what someone is doing or how they got to where they are, are fleeting.
That’s how I’d describe this last reunion of Holy Cross High School ’76: Fleeting. Four hours on a Saturday night in June 2011 wasn’t enough time to get to talk to everyone a little bit, or a few people a little bit more. What I love most is how comfortable everyone is in their own skin. Why can’t we live life in reverse? Why can’t we be born smart, confident, comfortable, and secure and die helpless and weak? WAIT. We do die that way. But why does it take so many trips around the sun to shine ourselves? Pass the doobie. I’ll ask my maker that question someday.
Talk is now about having a reunion weekend at Long Beach Island next time. I’m there! But so will my 50-something-year-old body! Gosh. Tankini to the rescue. We should have thought of that about 15 years ago! I will actually submit, though, that my class is still full of beautiful women who rock in the swimsuit department 365/24/7. About that 24-Hour Fitness Hawaii Kai membership and my Oahu Swim Club masters commitment? About those grueling (FUN) bicycle rides? Yeah. I’m so there, too.
Added benefit? Staying healthy. Live strong and flourish. Until we meet again.