Ladies of our class, I have a terrible confession to make. A recent exchange of e-mail on a gloomy, drizzly day with Marilyn Fox Smith cerning the loss of her husband reminded me of my own mortality and the need to unburden while I still can.
I, along with my guy friends (I was not alone in this) thought we were cursed with the least attractive girls in the entire school. Almost any girl in the class of 1955 was much more attractive than any of you, and the girls in the class of 1956 were really hot. (The older girls in the class of 1953 may have been attractive in their time, but we saw them as already matronly.) Why was fate so cruel to us? Why were we being punished?
I actually thought about this over the years because, looking through our yearbook, you were all very attractive. Many of you were drop-dead, movie-star gorgeous. What was I thinking? Why wasn’t I trying to date all of you? Why only now do I appreciate you?
I finally understand. You were too close. You were there every day, all day long in our classes. We knew you saw us at our worst, fumbling over Latin verbs, unable to remember the quadratic equation, unprepared with a reading assignment that made us look foolish. We knew you knew our faults, as girls in lower grades did not. To them we could still be the all-knowing, all-powerful.
You became sisters to us, rivals, not confidants. The old taboo against mating with tribal members had kicked in. Girls in other tribes should look better—it’s evolution’s gentle push in the right direction.
As our reunion approached, I was surprised we had three classmate-classmate marriages— Nancy Leith and Jim Musser, Beth Mellott and Barry Wells, and Sally Nupp and Clyde Hess. Even more surprising, all three girls had lived within a block of me.
Congratulations to Jim, Barry, and Clyde for being big enough to appreciate your qualities. Or, maybe, they just liked incest? (Only kidding, only kidding!)