Jewish World Review August 8, 2002 / 30 Menachem-Av, 5762

Lori Borgman

Lori Borgman
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Consumer Reports

We look like this . . . no, Kidman! | The pressure is on. I have before me a lengthy questionnaire from the committee planning my high school reunion. This could be worse than coming up with those wild bits of fiction we put in our Christmas newsletter.

Priding myself on individuality, I head directly to the Web site to see how everyone else is answering the questions.

Forget the questions; the photo section of the Web site is shocking. Former jocks and athletes appear aged, rounded and bald. The men don't look so hot either.

I submit a post asking if this is really the class I graduated with. I am inundated with responses not only assuring me that this is the class I graduated with, but assuring me that I will fit right in.

To make matters worse, the committee invites me to submit a picture of myself and my husband. I consider looking up a Glamour Shots in the Yellow Pages, but instead come to my senses. I spend two days flipping through photo albums and finally decide to send in a picture from an old People magazine of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.Yes, I know we don't look a lot like them. OK, we don't look ANYTHING like them. But our Friday pre-reunion reunion is at a pub, which means I should be able to pull the picture thing off without a hitch.

The second challenge of the reunion is defining appropriate attire for Saturday evening - dressy casual. We all graduated high school and many of us went to college. There are lawyers and doctors and engineers, yet no one knows the definition of dressy casual.

A former classmate turned investment advisor asks if it might mean blue jeans with a tiara? Sequined gown with flip flops? I tell her that dressy casual means white pants and gold shoes with the little faux jewels stuck on them. We both agree to come in business wear or our bathrobes.

I am still lurking at the Web site, contemplating downloading the screen saver with our school mascot on it, when my husband says, "What's with the little blue and yellow bug?"

"That's our mascot, the fighting Yellow Jacket," I say, beaming.

Husband laughs.

"And what was your mascot?" I ask.

"Rams. Massive animals with four legs and horns, not some bug in a T-shirt."

I pass on the screen saver and begin wading through questions. Finally, one I can answer. Truthfully, even. Do you have a high school memory?

It is summer school and I am in driver's ed. I am behind the wheel, about to cross a very narrow two-lane bridge by Dairy Queen. A classmate named Robert is in the seat behind me. He is kind of cute, but gets in trouble a lot. Robert has been kicking me under the seat since we left the high school parking lot. The driver's ed teacher just thinks I'm jumpy. I'll say. He would be, too.

I'm halfway across the narrow bridge, with a steady flow of oncoming traffic, when I see a dead cat in my lane. Thump. Thump. I feel sick. Not just because of the thump, thump but because Robert, in addition to still kicking me under the seat, is now snickering and by the time we get back to school the story will be that Lori ran over a cat in driver's ed.

If Robert shares the same high school memory, I'm sure he feels very badly about it now. Especially when he realizes he was kicking Nicole Kidman.

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JWR contributor Lori Borgman is the author of I Was a Better Mother Before I Had Kids. To comment, please click here.

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© 2001, Lori Borgman