We were the class with the most awesome alumni babes. I swear, it is as if the women of our class were fine wines, improving with age. Or pickles, soaking in chili-infused brine, and only getting hotter with time.
This paean appeared on the Yale Class of 1988’s private Facebook page, which popped up in waves of enthusiasm and nostalgia that followed our 25th reunion. I found the note buried in a comment string of a post I made regarding the Class of ’88’s record-breaking attendance.
What could I do? Leave the gallant poster—let’s call him George—stranded in a Facebook cul de sac?
No, I reposted the comment in the main newsfeed with the question:
How many likes can we get for George?
The answer to date: 23 Likes and 44 comments.
Which, for the record in this record-breaking class, qualifies my post as the record breaker of the Yale 88 Facebook page.
Comments began appreciative from the women…
George, you definitely deserve an award for that comment!
I have never been compared to a pickle before. Certainly not in a good way. I like it.
…and got competitive from at least one man. Let’s call him Robert. He tried to one-up George recounting the comments at his all-male reunion table. Which (evidently) were…
Holy shit…the women all got MUCH hotter.
Can you BELIEVE how hot our classmates are???
Were all of these gorgeous women in New Haven with us?
There are literally HUNDREDS of beautiful women.
Robert went on to eclipse poor George with the following: “It was non-stop. Every guy noticed. Not stealing thunder from George, but we all noticed. Every one of us.”
Now, we’re talking about Yale here, and the year 1988. When we matriculated, 1984, women had only been attending for 15 years. If you think that’s a long time, I ask you to remember that 15 years ago from right now was 1998. It still took a fair amount of courage for a young girl to tackle the patriarchal institution. Consequently, the class of ‘88 has many women attuned to issues of gender and female empowerment. I would like to consider myself one of them.
One of these intrepid classmates (God bless her) weighed in with the (perhaps inevitable) finger wagging on the female-objectification thread. A man (God bless him) suggested that Yale 88 men appreciated Yale 88 women’s intellectual as well as physical attractiveness.
Naturally, both were pounced on with gusto. I’ll sum it up here:
Several 46-year-old women chimed in with, “Go ahead! Objectify me! Please!”
Several men said, “And, by the way, nice try, but we pretty much meant physically attractive. We weren’t thinking about their brains at all.”
The thread then petered out on the pickle metaphor, with the guys coopting it for their own purposes, riffing on whose pickle is bigger.
I suppose we’re left to conclude that while the women may be just as pretty as they were years ago, the men are just as mature. We’ve sure come a long way, baby.
25th reunions produce lots of philosophizing. This active thread left me thinking about the two big things everyone worries about when they attend a reunion: How do I look? And, What have I accomplished?
How do I look?
We all cling to physical beauty, probably because we’re afraid of death. But that’s assuming we’re pretty to begin with. God help anyone in this society (especially a woman) who is a dog.
I have a friend whose daughter is what you might call the opposite of a traditional teen beauty. Too big. Too acned. Too frizzy-haired. Guess what this girl did? She entered her high school beauty pageant, endured the mocking of all the “mean girls,” and walked down the runway, plus sized dress and all. She said it was to challenge norms of beauty.
Now that’s courage.
Our Yale ’88 class has no shortage of stars in its firmament. Head writer for the Daily Show, actors from Pulp Fiction and West Wing, members of this presidential administration and that presidential administration, CIA muckity-mucks, senior scientist for NASA. You want to feel insecure about what you’ve accomplished? Attend a Yale reunion.
It’s easy to be bewitched by the marquis twinkle of these titles, and puts us in danger of forgetting the important work being done by the advocate in the state department of human rights, the teacher, the organic farmer, the struggling not-yet-famous writers, the wonderful husbands, wives, fathers and moms. All of whom are also members of the record-breaking Yale 88 class.
So, go ahead, boys. Carry on about your pickles. It’s all in good fun. I, for one, was charmed by dear George’s appreciation. (You too, Robert.) And I would like to extend that glow to all my fellow and sister classmates. You all rock for all kinds of reasons. Thanks for a great reunion!
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