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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Memory (07/10/08)

TITLE: Boys are Different from Girls
By Sheri Gordon


June, 1979—

I stood trembling in the kitchen; white cap and gown, and gold honors rope, draped over my arm.

“I don’t want to graduate, Dad. I’m going to miss everybody—our class is so close.” (Really now, how close could we have been, with over 500 students in our graduating class?)

“This won’t be the last night you see everybody, and you’re only moving 20 minutes away to college. Besides, you won’t even remember most of their names in ten years.” My Dad—so compassionate.

“Don’t say that. Of course I’ll remember their names. You just don’t understand. Boys are different from girls.”

June, 1984—

My five-year high school reunion. That’s right, our class was so close we couldn’t wait for the traditional ten-year reunion.

I walked into the Vet hall, proudly displaying my new husband on my arm.

“There’s Patricia. I told you about her. And look, she’s here with her girlfriend. Good thing we didn’t know about that in high school—I changed in the same locker room with her.”

“That bubbly blonde by the beverage table is Samantha; she was one of my really close friends back then. She married Terry, the valedictorian, but he supposedly beat her. Wonder if he’ll show up.”

“Here comes Norman—he had a crush on me since sixth grade. Get that dorky smile off your face and try to be nice.”

We walked through the blue and white streamers, with me introducing my husband to everyone. (Well, almost everyone—I left out the druggies and hicks.)

See Dad, you were wrong. I remembered all of my classmate’s names. (Okay, it’d only been five years, not ten like Dad predicted. But still—I remembered.)

June 1989—

My ten-year high school reunion. This event was a little classier than the decorated Vet hall; this was held in the Holiday Inn banquet room. I scanned the mingling crowd of familiar faces, and knew it was time to go to work—time to prove Dad wrong. I vowed to remember everyone’s names, and report my success back to Dad.

“See that really tall guy? That’s Phil—our drum major. I’ve known him since third grade.” We headed toward the hors d’oeuvre table to say hi to Phil. As I initiated the introductions, my husband rapidly began shaking his head slightly, and pointing to his collar. I finally discerned that he wanted me to look at Phil’s collar—or rather, nametag. But it didn’t say “Phil,” it clearly read “Paul.” Oops. Hey, that could happen to anyone—it’s just two letters different.

After filling our plates with holey cheese and little wieners, we located our table. As I withdrew a bright pink toothpick from my mouth, I was met with the cockeyed smile of my senior prom date. Standing next to him was a voluptuous redhead—falling out of her two-sizes-too-small sequenced dress.

“Hey, Ivan. It’s so good to see you. I’d like you to meet my husband.” My husband stood to shake hands with my prom date.

“Nice to meet you, Ivan.”

“It’s Evan.”

Oops again. But anyone could make that mistake, couldn’t they? Maybe Ivan/Evan would just assume I was drunk—except the Diet Coke in my hand might blow that cover.

“Nice to see you again…Evan.” He didn’t bother introducing us to his date.

So maybe Dad was right. Ten years, college, marriage, a kid…remembering names from high school was a bit of a challenge.

June 2004—

“Hey honey, you got an invitation to your 25th high school reunion—with a personal note from Wanda.”

My husband walked into the bedroom where I was attempting, unsuccessfully, to iron a blue graduation gown.

“Who’s Wanda?” I asked while spritzing more water on the stubborn wrinkles.

“How would I know? But this note makes it sound like you were good friends.”

“Mmm. Don’t remember her. Guess I could look her up in the yearbook, except I have no idea where those are anymore.”

“Mom, I need my gown.” Our high school graduate was standing at the bottom of the stairs, cap and gold honors rope in hand, eager to get to the graduation ceremony.

I raced down the stairs, trailing the still-wrinkled gown behind me.

“Now remember, honey, you might be a little sad today, but in ten years you won’t even remember most of your classmate’s names.”

“Thanks Mom, gotta go. And I really don’t care if I remember most of their names tomorrow.”

Boys really are different from girls.

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This article has been read 809 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 07/17/08
Well done. Love the progressive failure of memory—how true it is!
Leigh MacKelvey07/17/08
I really enjoyed this! I liked all the details like removing a pink toothpick and the holey cheese. You have a great dry wit and it comes through in very well written stories!
Venice Kichura07/18/08
Very creative!
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/19/08
I enjoyed the way you presented the succession of years with the memory changing. To use the quote about the difference between boys and girls' feelings about graduation tied your thoughts together just right.
Jason Swiney07/19/08
Very enjoyable. I like how it came full circle for the MC at the end.
Joanne Sher 07/19/08
cute and clever! I like how it came full circle, and your use of the "boys different than girls" quote to tie it all together. Enjoyed this!
Glynis Becker07/20/08
Extremely enjoyable entry. It made me smile!
Jan Ackerson 07/21/08
This is adorable! Lots of fun details, a great voice, a wry sense of humor. All the things that have always distinguished your writing!
Loren T. Lowery07/22/08
: ) : ) Indeed they are. This was so fun to read. Great job!
Mariane Holbrook 07/23/08
This is soooooo good! Heads will roll if you don't place high with this one! LOL