2011.09.28 A trophy, makeup and a high school reunion

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

I came home from my 35th high school reunion with a trophy. A two and a half inch trophy, but a trophy nonetheless. 

I didn’t actually win it; when we checked in, I told Paula, the reunion organizer, that I ought to win an award for gaining one pound for every year since graduation. She laughed, thought about it for a second, reached down into a box on the floor and produced a little gold trophy. 

“I can go home now,” I said to my friend Sondra.

There weren’t really awards for anything at my reunion—at least I don’t think there was anything beyond little prizes for getting the right answer to trivia questions that my table couldn’t hear because of a sound system that didn’t work well until the music started. Woowee, then it was loud.

It was a wonderfully organized reunion with great food, nice location, big round tables, cool name tags, and free parking, (not to mention that cool two and a half inch trophy whipped out at the drop of a hat), but most of my friends concluded the same thing—let’s just all of us get together next time rather then attend the reunion where we can’t really hear each other talk and we aren’t really interested in mixing with people we didn’t mix with in high school and don’t now.

Sure, it was fun to watch Richie Pashayan work the crowd and discover what Jason Hecht looked like 35 years later without shoulder length hair, but it wasn’t worth paying $95 for the pleasure. 

My high school, you might remember from mentions in past columns, had an agriculture program that students from all over New York City applied to just like they did with the more famous School of Performing Arts and tons of other specialized high schools in the city.

Those of us in the program were referred to as Aggies and were considered somewhat of an oddity by most of the student population—and even some of the teachers. 

Mr. Weiss, my Debate and Discussion teacher, used to loudly greet us with a call of, “Sooooeeeeeeeey!” whenever several of us Aggies entered his classroom at the same time. We all liked Mr. Weiss (he was actually my most influential teacher in high school), but it wasn’t easy blending in with the other kids when he was so openly identifying us. 

And, I wouldn’t have felt the need to wear make-up if it were just a gathering of all of us Aggies—I hadn’t when we met for dinner the night before the reunion. However, I didn’t want to shock everyone else by sporting not only 35 extra pounds and a full head of gray hair, but baggy eyes, splotchy skin and lots of wrinkles.

But, woe was me, I forgot to pack my make-up purchased at Sephora three years ago when we had two weddings in two months—Rosie in July and Ben in August. Occasionally since then, I’ve worn make-up, but not often. Rosie and Maddie told me make-up doesn’t last that long and that I should throw it away and get new.

So, I figured this was an opportunity to replace it. I had no idea what I owned, so I called David to have him tell me the names of the things in my cosmetics bag. He was racing to get to Fayette for the festival while I was racing to get to the Sephora on 42nd St. at Madison Ave. 

He was very impatiently reading me helpful stuff like “SPF 25” and “023” from the foundation bottle—nothing I would be able to go on—when I realized I’d be better off starting all over. Instead of me botching the job, I could have a Sephora person make up my face and then I’d buy the new stuff and be ready for the reunion.

It was only supposed to take 45 minutes, but I think it took an hour and a half. She kept asking me these questions like “Where are you generally oily, in your T Zone or...?” T Zone? I had no idea; she might as well have been talking about the ozone. “What colors of eye shadow do you usually wear?” Colors? Plural? I have the one that I bought three years ago and that’s it.

When she started with the mascara, I just let her continue even though I have never worn mascara before, not even for the weddings. My eyes are really sensitive and tear very easily. Then it occurred to me that they make waterproof mascara.

“Is this mascara waterproof?” I asked. “Like if I cry, is it going to run down my face?”

“Oh, why would you cry?” she asked. “Reunions are happy times!”

I explained that, gathered with my friends the night before, I laughed so hard I cried. 

I laughed so hard I nearly fell off the couch. I laughed so hard I could hardly breathe. I laughed so hard my ribs hurt. 

Sooooeeeeeeeey! Those are the only people I want to reunite with.

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