Not quite Romy and Michelle. . .

 Expectations for my recent class reunion in Urbana, Ohio weren’t high, but driving through the cornfields on the way to my hometown, I was full of nervous excitement, wondering how my two selves might converge: Would people only remember the class partier/clown who was always scrounging rides? Or would they see me as I see myself now — a wife and mom and journalist; someone who has, finally, learned not to care so much about what other people think?

 Why do we still allow ourselves to care, anyway, about people we haven’t seen for 25-plus years? 

 Because they are the same people who believed us when we were four years old and told fantastic tales about our power to magically make the wind stop blowing from the back of our trike. 


 Because only they know that we climbed into Joy Ware’s car for the ride to high school every morning — sporting wet hair and a homemade bacon-cheese sandwich.

 Because we still remember the time Debbie Copeland dropped her majorette’s baton and it hit Mr. Martin, the band director, square on the head. “I don’t even have to look over to know that Copeland did it!” he barked.

 Because we know that Debbie and Anne, thick as thieves for lo these many years, still get together for drinks every month. Our version of Romy and Michelle, they weren’t even mortified when a classmate’s wife asked Debbie, 45, if she was pregnant. Together, they laughed it off. Debbie even posed for a snapshot, with Shaun Stewart’s hand on her faux-pregnant belly.

 Because when Amy Puglia says her sweet Republican dad, Dick, died of Alzheimer’s this spring, we remember his fine violin-playing like it was yesterday. . . and know that her mother, Rosemary, really meant well when she “helped” him cast his last presidential vote — for Obama.

 Because  it’s fittingly cute that Dave Curnutte, the class goof-turned-firefighter, married a nurse named Jackie — after meeting her on the job in the hospital emergency room.

 Because when Marcia Ware says she’s a professional backup singer, we know she’s not pulling a Romy and Michelle, claiming she invented the Post-It Note. And when she whips out her cellphone to show us PETER FRAMPTON’S NUMBER, we remember where we were the first time we heard “Frampton Comes Alive.” (In the dim apartment of one Nancy Dodson. . . who, in a fit of daring, pierced our preteen ears.) 

 Because Brian Johnson amazed himself when he delivered his second child — in the bathtub — and we know: If we couldn’t make it to the hospital in time, we’d want his steady hand playing catch for us, too.

 Because not only does Shaun remember the time we stole our brother’s car and drove through Dicky Pooh’s Drive-Thru — at 15 — to buy an eight-pack of Little Kings. She also remembers that we wore baseball caps as our disguise. 

 Because when the jocks gather in their usual circle 25 years after they won the state baseball championship, it doesn’t matter that half of them are sporting beer bellies now.

 What matters is that we are, all of us, together again.

 We know how far we’ve come and we remember, for better or worse, the people we once were.

                                                      * * * *

IMG_0404Debbie Copeland, not pregnant at all, but good-naturedly posing with Shaun Stewart, anyway. “I’m freakin’ 45!” she said. Note Amy Puglia’s gorgeous college-age daughter in the background and know that only Rosemary Puglia’s daughter could pull off being best friends with one of her own.

Leave a comment


  1. Sara

     /  September 4, 2009

    ok so my spelling sucks -but really I am just typing too fast!

  2. Sara

     /  September 4, 2009

    Joy? From North School in Urbana I remember her! Was it her or her mother was principle there or something?

    Great story! You’re right, why do i worry sooo much about all those little things.

    You must be sooo busy!

  3. bethmacy

     /  September 4, 2009

    Great to hear from you, Joy! I wish you would’ve gone too!
    (Rader wasn’t even there – dangit!)
    You take care. . . maybe next time we can meet up. Tell me how you are when you get a minute. Best, Beth

  4. Joy (Gearon) Rodenburgh

     /  September 4, 2009


    I stumbled onto your blog. I really enjoyed reading about the class reunion. I wish I would have gone.

  5. bethmacy

     /  August 3, 2009

    Thanks, Debbie! It was so great seeing you guys again. I’m still in awe of your positive outlook!
    xoxo keep in touch.

  6. Debbie Todd (Copeland)

     /  August 3, 2009

    Beth, you put it all down so eloquently! I wish more of us would have been there, but I had fun with who was present. I definitely identify with your comment about not caring so much about what people think anymore and just being myself and doing the best I can in life to be happy and raise happy kids. It’s ironic how my high school daughter’s experiences in high school are so similar to my own, yet so very different. I hope she looks back some day with the fondness that I do. 🙂

  7. Martin Clark

     /  July 16, 2009

    My first visit, enjoyed the stop.

  8. How lovely. As always, evocative and endearing. I grew wistful as I read. Old friends are good friends.

  9. Shaun Stewart

     /  July 8, 2009

    Only Beth Macy can so poetically describe a small, quaint get together of friends after 27 years. You are loved as always for who you were then, and who you are now. How lucky Tom and the boys are to have the light of your smile in their life!

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