|(I’m in this mob somewhere. I think. It’s hard to tell from here, and I was the smallest person in the class.)|
Aside from the classmate who was my first husband and my son’s father, there are very few people in the St. Petersburg (Florida) Catholic High School Class of 1982 that I’ve kept in touch with on any regular basis since we graduated. But I’ve learned plans are in the works for our 30th class reunion(!!) on the weekend of June 29th, and if Facebook activity is an indicator, it looks like people are starting to reconnect in anticipation of that.
Please accept my regrets; I won’t be making it to the 30th reunion. Then again, I didn’t get to the 10th, 15th, 20th, or 25th either, so I doubt anyone expected anything different this year. I haven’t lived in St. Pete for almost 25 years (and haven’t been back there at all since my mother died in October 1999); I’ve lost my acclimation to the subtropical heat, and in all honesty, it’s highly unlikely that anything would lure me back there in the summertime of any year.
Since we won’t be seeing each other in person, I’m sending my crash-course catch-up on the last 30 years.
I didn’t become a lawyer or an artist (although I did, eventually, marry an artist). I never got any taller, although I definitely grew rounder. I became an accountant (like my father) and, eventually, a writer (like my sister); and for almost 28 of the 30 years since we left SPCHS, I’ve been a mother. And through it all, I have never stopped being a reader.
And now, the highlight reel:
- 1984: Got married (to the aforementioned classmate), and changed my name
- 1984: Gave birth to my only child, a son
- 1987: Graduated from university (USF St. Petersburg, College of Business)
- 1987: Moved to Ithaca, New York (for husband’s graduate studies and my first job in nonprofit accounting)
- 1991: Moved to Memphis, Tennessee (for husband’s post-grad career and my next job in nonprofit accounting)
- 1997: Got a dog and bought a house (in that order)
- 1998–2002: Worked in a zoo (literally), doing nonprofit accounting
- 2002: Got divorced (from the aforementioned classmate) after 18 years and sold the house, but kept the last name (and one of the two dogs)
- 2002: Son graduated from high school and went off to university; I moved to Los Angeles, California–my sister and father were already here–and got another job in nonprofit accounting
- 2005: Tried online dating, and met my match
- 2006: Married my match, and got his two children as part of the deal; added their last name to the one I already had (you can now find me on Facebook as Florinda Lantos Pendley Vasquez)
- 2007–present: Became a blogger, online writer, and social-media presence, known to hundreds (?) as Florinda3Rs…while still working in nonprofit accounting
As you might notice, there have been some Major Life Events that roughly coincided with prior class reunions, which is one reason I haven’t been to any of them. Geography is another, especially now that I’m a cross-country plane flight away. And frankly, after all this time, it’s become a habit not to go.
In any case, I’m sure the reunion will be a lovely time, but I suck at party talk and communicate more comfortably in writing, as I’ve done here, so maybe it’s for the best if I don’t change that habit. And maybe we can have our own reunion online instead. See you on Facebook?
I digress: Every now and then, I get a Facebook friend request from a high-school classmate. They don’t come very often–I moved away from the city where I attended high school almost 25 years ago, and out of sight’s been out of mind, mostly, on both sides–but I usually accept them when they do. I wonder if our approaching class reunion will bring more of us out of the social-media woodwork to make “friends” with each other–regardless of whether we were friends back then.
When I checked out the timeline of a classmate I recently friended, I saw a lot of names in her friend list that rang bells–dull, distant bells, perhaps, but I still heard them. And in all honesty, the bells rung by a few names on that list didn’t make a very pretty sound. I might still be holding a few grudges…there are some classmates I’ve “lost touch” with by deliberate choice. (And some probably feel the same way about me.)
Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be! (The real fun would be making up what you can’t remember.)
No…I don’t think I was enough of a “who” even to be nominated for anything.
My dad’s station wagon – but not unless he was in the car too, since I only had a restricted license. I didn’t get a full license till the summer after graduation.
Not at all. I didn’t even find out about most parties. My sister and I gave the only parties that were actually known for the food. She had ambitions for a catering career at the time – and her parties are still known for the food, even though these days she mostly gives them for her kids’ birthdays. On a side note, my parents owned a package store (Connecticut term for a liquor store) for several years while I was in grade school; had that been while I was in high school instead, I might have been much more popular…
Not as far as I know – more of a smartass, really. Still am.
Without a doubt. I just didn’t know then how to take the pride in it that I have now.
I don’t think I even got detention.
“We are the Barons, mighty and proud,
Onward toward our victory we’re bound,
Standing strong in unity
Our spirit will always be (hey hey hey!)”
St. Petersburg Catholic High School. It had been formed about ten years earlier from the merger of Bishop Barry (boys’) and Notre Dame (girls’) high schools in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Some sort of knight on a horse – the Baron, I guess.
I’m reliving it through my kids. That’s quite close enough, thank you.
Other than my ex-husband, not really. Oh, and my sister, but that’s different. There’s always Facebook, though…