High School Reunion:
Transgender Fantasy or Nightmare?
My high school days were not the best time of my life. I had a handful of good teachers and a basket full of monotonous teachers. There were some fun times, some devilish times, and a lot of boring times. I had a few good friends and did a lot of searching to be accepted. I was timid, a bit of a wallflower. So why do I keep going back to the reunions? Perhaps it is an unwillingness to let go of the past even if it wasn’t that great or maybe just a curiosity about what has happened to my classmates.
I wonder what they thought of me all those years ago? And what do they remember? I think I showed different faces to different people. Some classmates thought I was studious (ha ha). Some thought I was often in trouble. (I did skip more than my share of school days and was often caught.) One thing I know is that no one knew the transgender part of me. I kept that well hidden and, in doing so, hid much of my personality. I remember only snippets of high school and classmates; perhaps it's just been too long or perhaps there were just that few memorable moments. I was pretty insecure back then and felt I was on the outside looking in.
So, when the morning of my reunion finally arrived, I was eager, yet anxious, to get going. There was so much to do. (I think I now have some idea how a bride must feel on her wedding day. I hadn't been waiting all my life for this day--or had I?--but it had been several years since this somewhat offbeat idea first entered my mind.) There were so many items I had to pack into the car because I was getting ready at Options Salon. I was taking spares of everything just in case. I had a small lunch, kissed my wife goodbye and headed out.
I dressed casually; my first appointment was at 1:30, hours before the reunion started, and I didn't want to get anything on my evening dress. The first stop was USA Nails for a full set of acrylics. This was a first for me; I usually use press-on nails, but always have to fiddle with them all evening to keep them on. They were very nice at the salon, the price was reasonable, and they did a wonderful job. They even redid a nail that I messed up on the way out. I picked a nail polish that exactly matched the under lining on my dress--not that anyone would notice except me.
Options Salon was right next door, so I didn't have far to go for my next appointment. It was enjoyable letting someone else do my makeup, and Richard always does such a wonderful job.
After that, I met up with Lisa at the Dorsett Inn, just a few blocks from the banquet center. I'd built enough time into my schedule to relax and have a drink before heading to the reunion at 6:30.
When we walked in and picked up our name tags, we got some looks, but that's all. Nothing dramatic. No one stopped talking. No one stared. The ceiling didn't cave in. One of the organizers recognized me, and we talked briefly.
Lisa and I picked up a couple drinks, found an empty table, and in no time at all, others joined us. (Why is it, if we were sitting there in male mode, we would have been the last table to attract anybody??) After a while I wanted to socialize with some of the other attendees, so I meandered toward the other end of the banquet center, talking with several people along the way. I think over 150 turned out for the evening, well over half being former classmates. If there were any intolerant people there, they kept it to themselves, because everyone I spoke with was very friendly.
The one couple who had prior knowledge of "Sharon" arrived 45 minutes later. They reported back to me that, as they came in, they heard about my being there, so even though I wasn't aware of it at the time, the rumors were flying. Later, I received official recognition during the evening as The Most Changed.
It was a wonderful evening. I danced a lot, with several different people. Lisa also had a great time. There were so many people there whom I didn't reconize or remember from high school that it seemed as if I were meeting them for the first time. It made me realize how little contact I had with so many classmates back then, and how shy I was, but I guess this wallflower finally bloomed.
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