Sunday, March 27, 2011

Reunion of Roadrunners

 I used to wear plaid. 

Everyday. To school. 

For 8 years. 


I loved my years at Holy Family School. I'm not sure if it's just me or the fact that I'm overly sentimental...emphasis on the "mental", but I have a special place in my heart for the years I spent there and the people who I spent them with. We hit puberty together..shared our first communion, learned sex-ed, experienced our first loves and crushes and had our occasional rivalries and I think we acquired some academia during that time. Although, all I can remember is singing "Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie" in Mrs Sullivan's 6th grade class. We were trying to figure out who we were and really, we grew up together. 

I remember that our school wouldn't allow dances and by the time we were in the 7th grade we were looking for reasons to mingle more, dance, laugh, flirt and act like the teens that we were becoming. We were a Footloose, John Hughes and "totally tubular" (in our own minds of course) generation. I'm not sure if you were aware of this but it was mandatory in the 80's to feather your hair and wear something ridiculous and use the word "RAD". You could perform the moves to "Thriller", you knew Madonna before the cones and it was common to wear neon, dove shorts, leg warmers and friendship bracelets. Not necessarily all at the same time...

 I don't recall the first one, but I do remember our dances were a throw back to the 50's in that we had them in our homes. We would all meet up for some occasion,...... actually ANY occasion we could. It started out with birthday parties, then holidays and then we'd be like, "hey it's Saturday".
And then someone would be like.."totally".
Then we'd be all.."cool, who's house?"
and so on...

... We would all bring our record albums and the host/hostess would provide the record player and the food. In the beginning, it was all very awkward as many of us (speaking for myself) had NO CLUE what we were doing. I didn't know how to dance or dress...(years of catholic school does that to you a bit). But, the best was that we all kind of figured it out together. We listened to a lot of Prince, Madonna, Wham and Michael Jackson (when he was still normal, far less eccentric and just awesome) playing in the background while we "slow danced" what I can only describe as an almost zombie-like-straight-armed side step. There wasn't any bumping, grinding or making out.

**Remember we were 11-14 although these days you see kids getting pregnant in this age bracket!! aaaah!!!..which is why my children won't date til they are 20 or 24 or til I die..I'm still thinking about it.

It was always supervised.

It was innocent and fun and wonderful. 

We wore our coolest clothes (which for me is not saying a lot although I scrutinized over each outfit and often begged my mom to take me out and buy something cool) and could often be found dancing in a big circle and watching the better dancers show their moves while the rest of us just tried to not look like fools. 

We eventually moved on to high school, then college and gained more maturity and experience.

It's been almost 25 years since we graduated from Holy Family and some of us have kept up, but through the "social network" of Facebook..most of us have found each other. It feels timely because many of us now have children who are the same age we were when we attended there. There have already been marriages and divorces. There has been some amazing success in business and some failures. There has been the births/blessings of children and the grief/devastation over the loss of parents.  And even now we see our finite humanity demonstrated in the illnesses or deteriorating health of some of our dear friends. In connecting with and regathering together with these old friends it's made me thankful for our time spent in our childhood and a little sad that we had not kept up more. It's life...all of it: the blessings and the trials and often the growing out of touch with people who shared a huge part of your life. The memories and relationships we develop over our lifetimes leave little fingerprints on our molded clay and even when those relationships go away we can be sure that the fingerprint remains and we are who we are today because of how we were influenced, loved and supported even then. I am thankful for those years and that we held on to our innocence as long as possible. 

 To my Roadrunner friends..I throw out a "couple skate" request..singing with pubescent voices to the tune of  "Crazy for you" and I will always remember us as feathered, neon and forever young. To the Holy Family Class of 1986- Thank you for such amazing..
I mean, RAD memories. 

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