The unplanned school reunion
One of the things about coming back to the town in which I grew up is that I keep expecting to bump into people whom I know. I spend the whole time looking out of the car window, scanning the supermarket aisles or watching the pub doors, waiting to see my old classmates.
The only thing is, I keep looking at 20-year-olds.
I forget that my classmates, now, will be approaching 40 and, truth be told, probably won’t be that up on the old Rodial skincare and botox jabs. It’s just not that kind of a town. DH, from time to time, points out a grey-haired granny hobbling along with a hunchback and a shopping trolley and says sweetly,
“Was she in your class, darling?”
But I knew that about him before I married him.
So, last night, DH and I decided to go have dinner in a local bar. I thought it was perhaps a notch above the local pub in terms of classiness, and I think I was right: it was all very pleasant bar the semi-naked ASBOs in the corner.
DH and I were just finishing our food and enjoying a coupla drinks when I spotted a girl who used to be in my sixth form class.
A couple of swigs of Merlot later (Me: “A large glass of the Chilean Merlot, please.” Barman: “Come again, luv?” Me: “The Merlot. From Chile?” Barman: “That’s a wine, yeah, luv?” Me: “Um, yes.” Barman: “Is it red or white?”) and I decided to go chat to my old classmate on our way out.
I hadn’t spotted it but she was with ANOTHER classmate on a sort of Facebook Reunion – a girl who I’d liked a lot at school although we’d never become that close. She, it turns out, works for a government think-tank now, and we had a lovely conversation till DH, standing outside the pub in his raincoat, started dancing up down to indicate his lips were turning blue with cold and would I please hurry up.
I made my excuses and left, realising only as I did so that DH and I were the only people in the pub in sweaters, jeans, raincoats and boots. It was at least 17°. Everyone else was in summer frocks, strappy tops and hot pants.
But it didn’t perturb me. My friends probably didn’t notice a thing: I never blended in that well at school, either.