I paused in the parking lot. "Just one second," I said. "I need to adjust my nylons." In the split second before I pulled my skirt up, I vaguely remember thinking, the building must be behind us, on the other side of that hedge, because the building right in front of us is all dark. The parkinglot seemed like a private enough spot to hike my dress up to my hips and smooth everything out underneath.
Only those darkened windows were our party venue. And on the other side of those darkened windows stood all of Karen's friends and family, anxiously awaiting our arrival.
Let me just say that there is nothing like pulling your dress up in public and showing your "knickers" to a room full of surprised guests to get a party going. The ultimate ice breaker! At least that's what I told myself. About half the guests at Karen's party were faces and friends from my past, most of whom I hadn't seen in more than ten years. I asked some of them point blank, "So, did you happen to see me pull my dress up in the parkinglot just as we were coming in?" Excepting Karen's husband John, who was laughing his head off at me from the moment I stepped through the doorway, everyone else assured me they had not. But one friend said with a reassuring pat, "It's been a long time Lauren, but it's good to know you are exactly the same as you were at seventeen."
In spite of the parking lot fiasco, I'm going to assume that's a good thing. That even as we get older we remain innocently, ridiculously, and embarrassingly the same.