Sunday, October 5, 2008

How To Cook For Old Friends

30th class reunion. Go (can I lose 30 lbs. in 2 months?) - Don't Go - Go (whatever to wear?) - Don't Go - GO! I skipped the diet, booked my flight, packed my little black dress and walked into a room full of people who have been strangers for the last several decades.

You could say that the Trojan Class of '78 was "well aged", a term indicating an improvement of flavor and texture over time. Some had worked hard, to unbelievable levels of success, but there were no pretentions of grandeur - too many of us had humiliating stories that could snap a person back to earth. But the evening wasn't about those tales, it was a reconnection to an earlier time, sad and painful events remained in our blurred histories. Memories of childhood friends, teenage friends and old beaus gave the evening an unanticipated bittersweet flavor, but the main ingredients of laughter and sharing provided a rich nostalgic mix.

Some in attendance had not crossed my mind over the past years, but face-to-face, stories of times we'd shared suddenly re-appeared. We all looked the same and different simultaneously, tho' a few looked like they'd graduated yesterday. I must have changed a great deal, only one of the (few) boys I'd kissed recognized me - guess my lips just aren't what they used to be.

Many friends were missing, a few had passed away and about half of the class was not able to attend. A shout out to those who weren't there (Eileen, Craig, Kim, Wendy, Krista, Chrissy, MaryAnn), please, please come to the next one, this dish is all about pleasure.

The evening ended earlier than I had anticipated, my heart was full, it was time to push away from the table before emotions took over the good-byes. But the meal is still with me, in my mind I'm re-tasting every bite. I'll be back for more in a few years, and while the recipe will be different, it will still be delicious.