Don't You Forget About Me

Graffiti on the bathroom stall of my high school. 
Don't worry, sweetie, come back in 25 years, and it'll all be good.
Karma's a bitch, too, so I hear.

Vacation, All I ever wanted,
Vacation, Had to get away.
“Yep, she's got strep throat,” declares Husband across a crackly connection, as I juggled my cell phone and Diet Coke while speeding north on I-45.  Crap.  “Well, you’ll be able to handle everything, right?” I implored.  “Oh, sure, it’ll be fine.  You have fun at your reunion.”  Thank you, Husband-of-the-Year. 

Forever young, I want to be forever young.
Do you really want to live forever?
She came bounding out of the house, her I’m-all-grown-up house, in a t-shirt and shorts, with legs that looked like they hadn’t seen a day past graduation.  Her smile was just as bright, hair equally bouncy.  And when we hugged, it felt like coming home.  We can’t look at each other without giggling.
 
All for freedom and for pleasure,
Nothing ever lasts forever.
Everybody wants to rule the world.
Immature quarrels, unexpected alliances, and lonely days spent playing the odd man out. Hurt feelings, dramatic declarations of we’re-not-friends-anymore.  The empty halls and lockers are echoing these things, but twenty-five years later, I’m not listening.  Friendship, forgiveness, understanding and love are singing louder.

Keep feeling fascination,
Looking, learning, moving on.
Here we all stand, smiling and sipping.  Eagerly hugging some and tentatively approaching others.  Everyone earnest and questioning and listening, no signs of past barriers.  Common ground serves as an open invitation to see each woman with fresh eyes.  Older and more weary eyes, but kinder.

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadow,
If I fail, if I succeed, at least I’ll live as I believe.
No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity.
I wish I could tell Mrs. Dorfmeister thank you.  One Spring day, the classroom of girls snickered at her request to close our eyes and put our heads down on our desks while the song poured from a giant silver boom box in the corner.  “Clear your mind and let the words soak in!” she chirped.  “What does this have to do with Theology?” I mentally complained.  But I did what she said because I always did what teachers said.  And I guess it sunk in. 

Walk forever by my side, never lose sight of the day,
When we will run through all our weakness,
On through the fields strewn with our broken dreams.
Divorces, failures and disappointments were freely swapped with joys, accomplishments and triumphs, with plenty of I’m-so-proud-of-yous and I-knew-you-could-do-its thrown in for good measure.  Strength in sisterhood.  So longs and farewell-until-next-times earnestly exchanged.

Freedom, freedom, freedom
You’ve got to give for what you take.
Two Diet Cokes and four hours behind the wheel with nothing but Sirius XM for company, and I finally crossed the county line.  I perked up at the sight of a palm tree and a church van full of eager kids waving at me, noses pressed to the glass window. 

This is the place that is home to me now. 

Everything counts in large amounts.

 

Comments

  1. I love how you use the music throughout this...it kind of sets a time-travelly, montage feeling to the whole reflection. This is so well written: the fragments of memory, the stringing together of lessons gleaned...I just love the whole thing. :)

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  2. Well done, Jen! I love the music and heartfelt words pouring from your laptop... so true, & I'm amazed how you so eloquently wrote what we were all feeling! You're a blogging treasure!
    XOXO,
    Toni

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    Replies
    1. Thanks very much for the kind words, and thanks to you, as our class agent, for keeping us all in touch :)

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  3. I love how you use the lyrics to pull together your memories. This is such a beautiful testament to loving life now, and looking back to "before," understanding now all the lessons learned.

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    1. Thank you...indeed many lessons learned.

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  4. Such a great way to write about your reunion. Loved it!

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  5. I'm often amazed at how music can trigger memories.

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    1. Music and smells trigger the strongest memories for me.

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  6. really enjoyed the lyrical memory trip

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    1. So glad you liked it. Thanks for reading.

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  7. LOVED this and I loved everyone of those songs! It was like a trip into your memories with a bit of memories of my own with each song you included.

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    1. Thanks! Definitely some great memories attached to these songs.

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  8. Its been said but how you organized this and highlighted the lyrics with your story or vice versa was great!

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  9. Holy cow. In a blink we are here and in a blink you brought me right back. Time and music are two powerful biotches.

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    1. So true, music always does it for me.

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  10. I am dying. DYING at this post. A perfect last line. and how goofy was Mrs. Dorfmeister? Good lord, what a sweet lady. This makes me think of UA and all the great music that provided the soundtrack to those years. Bravo!

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    1. Someone in my class said she still sees Mrs. D around every now and then. And do you remember Mrs. Pawlowicz?? She was at the reunion! Sweet lady. God bless her for trying to teach me Algebra II and Trig. Ugh.

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  11. I FREAKING LOVE this. The lyrics and memories and insights were spot on. Standing ovation for you lady!

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    1. Thanks, Robbie, glad you enjoyed it!

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  12. I love how you wove the lyrics in to the post. It was perfect. Isn't it crazy how the things that were so important in high school don't seem to matter anymore?

    I live in the same town I graduated high school in. I didn't go to any of my reunions, but a couple of years ago I got asked to lunch with a group of girls from high school. I wasn't close to any of them and old prejudices tried to keep me from going. I went anyway. Now this great group of girls are my closest friends and I couldn't imagine being without them.

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  13. How can I say anything unique after all of these great comments? Awesome job!

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  14. This is perfection! I loved every word, every lyric. You took my breath away!

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    1. That is quite a compliment! Thanks very much!

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  15. Awesome, awesome post. I loved it!

    Karen

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  16. I love how you say your teacher's words must've sunk in... we realize it so much later on, don't we? But every time I've had such a revelation, I've been so thankful. Sounds like you're thankful for that and a lot more.

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