I came, I saw, I conquered. Or, you know, I pulled up in my Focus wagon, hauled out two cute little kids as distracting props, and held my head high despite distinct insecurities.
It was fine, you guys. The dreaded Boyfriend wasn't even there (though I found out later that he WAS in town, he just decided at the last minute not to come. I am sincerely, guiltily hoping it wasn't for fear of seeing me.) About three fourths of the class showed up, and quite a few have gotten married, considering how young we still are. There were lots of little kids running around, and lots of adults standing around lamely with sweating plastic cups in our hands, complaining about the humidity and telling our story ("so I ended up dropping out of college...")half a dozen times as we made the rounds.
It's funny how little changes. Astonishing, even. Sitting there eating, it felt like being in the lunchroom with these people again. Same seating partners, same loud, cackling girls at one end of the table, while the quiet girls and the smart girls and the shy girls roll their eyes at the other end.
Since there was no drinking, the party was slow to take off. A few people milled around reluctantly, but most stuck to the same people they already talk to once a week. But after a while the need to impress/avoid one another wore off, and that old high school vibe returned. UNFORTUNATELY. There was a mofo WATER BALLOON FIGHT, people, complete with drenched tee-shirts and maniacal giggling and breasts a-bouncing as their owners fled the onslaught of BOYS!!! chasing them. Guess which end of the table instigated that one.
Addy had a hysterical meltdown when the first balloon got smashed, and clung to me, sobbing real tears, for the duration. "No hit!" she managed to choke out occasionally, glaring accusingly at the screaming balloon wielders as though she were viewing Saving Private Ryan and not good old fashioned summer fun. So I ended up stuck in a corner for quite a while, calming her down, but I did have a genuine and pleasant conversation while there, so it ended well.
Mostly, I just left feeling SO HAPPY that I am where I am right now, with the family I have. I feel like I literally dodged a bullet.