HELLO Your Name Is

Having a Senior Class Moment

 My project for this weekend is nametags (please don't critique that statement grammatically) for our upcoming 40th high school reunion. My husband and I didn't actually attend the same high school, but in the interest of simplicity and expedience, our cross-town rival classes have opted for a combined reunion, to be held in just a few weeks. Unfortunately Marc and I live too far away to be involved in logistical planning, so we volunteered to provide nametags for the attendees.

My use of the word "we” implies that the task is being shared, which in this case happens to be true. Marc did all the volunteering, and I'm doing all the work.

I realize, of course, that there are a lot of people who would simply go out and buy an economy sized of box of blank "Hello, My Name Is” nametags, toss them on the registration table along with a couple of felt-tip pens and call it a day. I am not one of them.

The minute I received the assignment, my decidedly lopsided right brain kicked in and I began to entertain visions of grandeur that included, but were not limited to: logos of our team mascots in appropriate school colors down in the far right corner; a scanned image of the wearer's senior portrait in the left hand corner; and his or her name across the top.

Let's take a look at each component one at a time, starting with the logos. As I mentioned, there will be two different high schools attending this reunion, each one with a graduating class of more than 800 students. What could be worse than scrambling to identify classmates after forty years? Using up needless brain power trying to remember someone that it turns out you never even went to school with in the first place! At least this way when I approach a fellow who has a purple bulldog on his nametag, right off the bat I can save myself the trouble of pretending to know who he is.

Next are the senior photos, which I painstakingly scanned from our high school yearbooks. My reasons for including them are twofold. First, the pictures are designed to provide me with a means of connecting the paunchy, balding, bifocal-wearing person standing in front of me with the lovely, slender, blonde-haired beauty she was back when we served on Student Council together. I only hope I'll be able to conceal the shock and awe on my face when it finally dawns on me who I'm talking to, and can manage not to blurt out "Oh my gosh! YOU'RE Samantha? I wouldn't have recognized you in a hundred years, which by the way, is how old you look!” The second reason I put those photos on the nametags was because deep down inside I'm a bit of a stinker and couldn't resist a shot at so many "Before and After” comparisons.

Oh, before going on I need to inject something here, because I'm feeling kind of guilty about it. Remember when I told you I was the one doing all the work? Well, that's not entirely true. It was Marc who went out and bought the actual nametag badges – which is great except for the fact that he picked some really weird ones with precut sizing that causes them to jam up in my printer, and I'm having a bear of a time fitting my elaborate designs within their impossibly-configured margins. But other than that, they're fine.

Lastly we come to the names on the nametags themselves, and this is where I fully expect my classmates to rise up and call me blessed. Why? Because I used a font of such size and scope as to be clearly legible from the Google Earth satellite, should it happen pass overhead on the night of our reunion. This is important. Remember, we're going to be walking up to someone we haven't seen in four decades. We may or may not have known them all that well to start with and they've changed completely, but we don't want to let on that we haven't a clue who they are. There's no time to pause for a moment to study their left breast (especially the ladies) in search of a name printed in miniscule type. At this age, not only is our memory starting to go, our eyesight is the pits too. What's needed here is a first name that can be read from across the room so that we can eliminate awkward encounters and hopefully even forestall getting sucked into a conversation with the obnoxious class blowface altogether. My 68-point Arial Bold font should fill the bill nicely.

So there you have it, senior class of 1972 – the perfect nametag. Wear it with pride. And please hang onto it until the next reunion because "we” are not volunteering to do this again.

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