Welcome to our eight-and-three-fourths-year Class of ‘99 reunion! I guess many of you didn’t expect to be back together so soon after our fifth. I’m sorry that due to the short notice we weren’t able to have the reunion on campus, but I hope my spacious patio will suffice. It’s wonderful to be a homeowner!

So, let’s get right down to things. Last time we saw each other I wasn’t at my best. I had just gone through a bad breakup, and while I was taking advantage of the complimentary happy hour, I told a few of you that I was so broke I had to pretend to be a senior citizen to get the discount for Charlie’s Angels 2. I think it was Lucy who called me “a cat lady waiting to happen.” I’m actually more of a hamster/gerbil person, but point well taken, Lucy.

Anyway, back at the fifth, I’d been unemployed for, give or take, pretty much since we graduated. It took a few years, a temporary move-in with my parents, and one amazing episode of Oprah, but I have a great job now. And I recently got a raise. I’m sure you all want to know how much I’m paid, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to share the exact amount. Though I believe my last two paychecks are floating around here somewhere—to the left of that Byzantine ice sculpture.

Let’s see … what else? I have a fiancé now. He’s right over there. Yes, he does look like a mature Zac Efron. Oh, you said, “Are there any mushroom quiches?” Sorry. I must have misheard you. But, yes, he is wealthy and not at all “showy” about it. Oh. My mistake again. The fondue is over there.

Good eye, Meg! Yes, I am wearing a personal letter from Al Gore congratulating me on doing my part to stop global warming. Oh and, George, do you remember how, at the fifth, you said five years was a long time to still be working on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina? Well, you misunderstood me. I finished Anna Karenina in five days. Since then, I’ve read all of Dostoyevsky’s work. Would you like to discuss the light-and-dark motif in The Idiot?

Now I know many of you think we could have just waited until our 10-year reunion, but who knows what could happen between now and then? There could be a natural disaster! Or there could be a natural disaster and, as a result, someone’s fiancé could die before all her former classmates got a chance to see how cute she and he looked together.

You know, sometimes everything just clicks for you all at once—work, relationship, brand-new Audi. I’m sorry—what did you say? Oh. Where are Billy, Sheryl, and all the other high-earning alumni? That’s strange. I thought for sure I had someone from my team of assistants send them Evites. Oh well. Looks like that makes me the most successful person here!

Yes, I will get down from this chair now. Just as soon as—yep, there it is. Thanks for noticing, Barbara—I did finally find a haircut that flatters my jawline.