It was our first high school class reunion. Five years had passed since graduation and my husband, Gord, and I were incredibly excited. Like us, many had married high school sweethearts, but most classmates were bringing spouses we had not yet met. Attending a private boarding school created life-long relationships and we had missed our friends.
The years had passed quickly, yet it felt like yesterday when we had either been the performing athletes, or those cheering them on to victory. This reunion would be well attended and we could hardly wait. Finding the home of the classmate hosting the event, went without incident.
After the first 30 minutes of hugs, kisses, cheers and backslapping, we continued to maneuver our way into the living room, set up with chairs. They were positioned in the shape of a U. Gord and I chose two seats at the bottom of the U shape, allowing a great view of the entire crowd and placing us in the middle of conversations.
Polite chatter pervaded the room, when someone decided to open a window – not just a crack, but thrown wide. The frosty evening air swirled viciously around the room and appeared to end up specifically under my chair. No one else seemed to notice, but having taken my shoes off at the entrance, I did! The frigid temperature was causing my feet to cramp and I automatically slid them underneath Gord’s chair, in search of warmth.
He was always hot and I was always cold. Winter evenings regularly found me snuggled close to him, attempting to borrow enough body heat to stop my shivering.
His legs were right where I thought they would be, and I gently rubbed my foot on his. It worked like a charm, as always. The warmth from his body, seeped into mine, alleviating most of the cramping. Still, cold air continued to taunt with crispy fingers and I was soon forced to search for more warmth. It took creative twisting but I finally managed both feet under his chair, draining substantial heat from his long legs. He didn’t seem to mind at all. What a lifesaver! My feet were relaxing so I traveled a little further up his limbs. The warmth was intoxicating and a lopsided grin replaced my chattering teeth. With one last stretch I managed to tuck a foot behind his knee and gently rubbed to convey my thankfulness for his compliance. Thawing now, I was able to share in the hilarity of the evening and enjoy the conversations, still tucked discretely up his pant leg.
It was like a medicine, being together again. We laughed and relived stories and events that either thrilled or traumatized us during high school years. Although great fun for the old friends, the new comers still seemed painfully quiet.
A classmate, sitting across the room, called Gord to come see a photo she was holding. He got up and walked over to her. With trepidation he bent down to view the cause of her amusement.
Casually watching him, I suddenly blanched. A terrible, dreadful thought pin-balled through my brain. He was over there…and I was still rubbing behind his knee!
Slowly, as in a dream, my head swiveled to the place where Gord had been sitting. His seat was indeed empty, but a classmate’s husband, Jim, whom I had just met, was sitting in a chair that faced Gord’s. He sat with his arms crossed and his feet stretched under my husband’s chair. He was looking straight at me…and smiling! My foot was well up his pant leg.
Horrified, I froze. Lord have mercy!
Raucous laughter broke out around the room and it appeared to be directed at our corner. Gord turned to see what was causing the hilarity and focused with confusion on my stricken face. It was clear that my foot warming antics had been spotted around the room. Conniving classmates had contrived a covert operation to reveal all, by getting Gord to leave his place. My embarrassment knew no bounds.
As the entertainment we had provided lightened the atmosphere, I managed a half-hearted chuckle. Embarrassment slowly faded. Another story had just been added to the repertoire and that awkward situation proved to be a great icebreaker for the still shy newcomers. The rest of the evening was wonderful for everyone.
Fortunately, Jim didn’t mind a bit. But the best part was, the window was closed and my feet could comfortably stay where they belonged.