Saturday, November 29, 2008

Coach

Vanessa, my sister Bonnie, me and Christel


A few months ago, I joined a "social networking site" set up for all alumni from my high school. My siblings and I attended Thomas Jefferson in Port Arthur from the fall of 1970 when I entered as a freshman until the spring of 1980 when my youngest sister graduated.

Having spent our whole lives in Port Arthur and, in fact, in the same neighborhood and in the same house, the number of great friends as well as casual acquaintances my siblings and I know from high school is huge. (Each of our graduating classes had several hundred people in them.)

Last night, as a result of the website and the hard work of some of our classmates, we had a "gathering" of several hundred people at a local club. Seeing people I hadn't seen in over 30 years who I used to see every day of my life was mind boggling. Add a few beers and the overall affect was surreal.

Early in the evening, a guy who used to be a coach when we were in high school came over to our table. My sister Terry told him who we were and that he had coached our brother. He said he remembered Stuart and said hello to everybody at the table. I wasn't really paying attention because I was talking to somebody else when he walked to my side of the table, looked at me and said, "I remember you."

Being the least athletic of my siblings and the keeper of the lowest profile of the family, I was stunned. My mind began to spin wondering what I had done in high school that would cause a coach to remember me. In the split second between his remark and my response, I tried to pull memories from the deep dark recesses of the 1974 portion of my brain storage unit and came up with zilch.

Had I unknowingly walked out of the restroom sometime in 1973 with my mini-skirt tucked in my pantyhose? Had I tripped down the stairs in my platform shoes one sunny afternoon in 1974 and landed at his feet and blocked it from my memory? Did I run over his foot in driver's ed the summer of 1972 and bury it in my subconscious?

I looked up at him with saucer eyes, fearing his answer, and helplessly asked, "What? No, way. Why? Wait. What? You do?"

He sheepishly said, "No. I just didn't know what else to say."

Attending a reunion advice:
"I remember you" isn't a good opening line unless you have something to follow it up with.

5 comments:

ms. e said...

Maybe he didn't mean to say it out loud. Maybe he recalled some embarrassing incident from gym class and decided it wasn't appropriate "Hey-how've-you-been?" conversation.

Or maybe he's just an older dude who had too many beers before hand.

I have a habit of putting my foot in my mouth, but I usually just go ahead and say what I'm thinking. It's quite entertaining. :)

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

That is TOO funny.

So how many people did y'all manage to round up?

Laurie said...

Ms. E - I think he just didn't want me to feel bad because he didn't recognize me. It was really funnier than I could write it. Even at our age, "Coach" is an icon.

Just - We had several hundred!!! It was truly amazing. I'm still hearing about people who were there that I didn't get to talk to.

Sharon said...

I have been trying to sign up for the alumni website and it keeps telling me I am "pending". Why can't I get in?

Laurie said...

Sharon - It seems like Terra only adds people about once a week. If it's been longer than that, I'd try signing on again. Strange.