The High School Reunion Update: 300 Words or Less

July 6, 2011

I recently was asked to contribute a brief bio for my upcoming high school reunion, and while I have been working on a memoir for more years than I care to admit, may I say that I look forward to writing things like this about as much as I’d look forward to writing a yearly Christmas letter, where every statement seems to require an exclamation point and all news is good news.

I revel in good news—don’t get me wrong—I love the joy of graduations and state championships and blue ribboned art projects, I love new jobs and new babies and new driver’s licenses and straight A report cards. But I also love the truth of life—bad backs and fender benders and midlife crises, the smaller triumphs of finding a great pair of jeans at the thrift store or picking five bucks off of the sidewalk.

And most of all I love revelations, like figuring out that croissant is the French word for crescent because the pastry is shaped like the new moon, or determining that four-year-olds can still be amazed by the fact that red paint and blue paint make purple, or finally decoding that The Clash aren’t singing “stand by me” in their song, but instead “you didn’t stand by me,” a discovery that just makes you want to lie down on the floor and cry because true disappointment really does hit you lightning-quick that way.



So while I was unable to bring myself to write a proper bio, I was able to submit this small paragraph for my Gilford High School Reunion Booklet. There are no exclamation points or pieces of actual news, but everything below is completely true:

Katie Flaherty–Gilford Middle High School–What Has She Been Up To?

Over the years I’ve stuck my nose where it didn’t belong, acquired sunburns and poison ivy in uncomfortable places, walked my dog, wondered how the heck I got here, complained about my co-workers, yelled at my kids, ate squid tacos and tongue tacos and tacos al carbon and more Grape Nut ice cream than I could ever measure, drank too much coffee and wine and Diet Coke, ignored surgeon general’s warnings, finished all my vegetables, believed God was my DJ, camped on the beach, fell asleep on the couch, watched bad TV, danced the Polka, put pennies on railroad tracks, read cheesy books and great books and annoying books and far too many books I wish I’d written myself, been shocked and jealous and panicked and pathetic and proud and devastated and deliriously happy, been a sucker for the corporate ploy, plucked my furniture from the city dump, saw great bands and crappy bands and bands that were somehow both at once, went to the opera and wondered what the heck the hype was all about, been underpaid and overworked, demanded my money back, had my heart ground to dust on the sidewalk and then swept up and put back together, had poppy seeds and parsley and popcorn stuck in my teeth, drooled on my pillow, cried at the movies, got blisters from new shoes, and hugged my kids, grateful still to be here in this world.


2 Responses to “The High School Reunion Update: 300 Words or Less”

  1. I love this, Kate. I will not use an exclamation point because that would belittle the amount of love I actually have for you and your writing. As a person who has spent the last year immersed in thinking about my college reunion, I can assure you that your reflection is far more revelatory than most Why would I expect anything less coming from you? I’m grateful that you are still here in this world and that I know you.

    • Exclamation points are always allowed from you Sandy. Especially when exclaiming over Snoopy finds or dishware. Thanks! We’ll have to swap reunion stories. . .

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