The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Somewhere Near the Punch Bowl at the 30-Year Class Reunion by Ann Marie Gamble

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If the football captain moves to the forest, will the cheerleader still gain weight? If you hate high school, is it easier to adjust to adult life? Do you give your kids advice or do you figure times have changed? How did I even live this long? My mother complained about being in her fifties, but she should have said something about the forties. The forties are something for you too, aren’t they?

Except you—you look exactly the same.

(Some time describing the—okay, let’s just say it: boy toy—who came on the tour of the new wing. Lisa wanted to know if that was the son, and then the PDA started.)

I learned more in college, or maybe it was the army. At any rate, geometry’s what you need, not algebra. Don’t tell that to my son. Don’t tell me about any math. And you know who I ran into? His kids are 4 and 2. I need a nap just hearing about it.

(Some sorting out of whose mother the baseball coach married and whether he’d done that more than once.)

I can’t remember the names of any of my teachers. I hardly remember anyone but I keep getting tagged on Facebook. Oh God, I was so glad when I could switch to computers. You used to have to program ’em before you could use ’em. Records! Remember records? CDs! And you couldn’t just go get another one.

(Go ’Cats.)

Remember when we used to pull all-nighters? Now I physically can’t even do it. I cannot make myself stay awake. And the noise! I know, right? Ugh, and progressives. Lasik doesn’t last, you know. You might as well get used to glasses.

(Some time calling roll: bifocals and progressives and trifocals.)

If the reunion committee doesn’t send any invites, do the alumni still come? Who was your best friend in high school? Who was your prom date? If you yank out your grey hair in the forest, would you remember algebra?


Ann Marie Gamble reads a lot of stuff and sometimes gets paid for it: editing is like a foodie getting a job as a restaurant reviewer. She’s usually holding the coats for the people on the field, which is a great position to find stories but not to write her own bio statement.


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