Why would you go to a high school class reunion? Unless you were class president, homecoming queen or a cheerleader, high school was probably not your favorite time in your life. All that teen age angst, all that never quite belonging turns out to be a common thread in many lives. Some me people would rather eat ground glass than relive those days. Right?
Ah but when we are talking 30, 40 or 50 years ago it’s different. You have an opportunity to see in one room a bunch of people who are your age and who had the same cultural and historic experience you did. You see the different paths they have taken and maybe get an insight about the path you did not take.
Class reunions are a great time to take measure of your life. Didn’t turn out so bad after all. After this many years, the posturing is gone. We are who we are and isn’t it funny.
My class had 600 students. It has now been FIFTY-FIVE years. Most never left town. Most seem to be with the same spouse they married right out of high school. It seems like the majority but then aren’t these the folks more likely to come to the reunion? Where are the others? Did anyone hit the big time? No billionaires, movie stars? We seem to be pretty ordinary mid America.
So far I’ve only been to breakfast. Maybe 40- 50 people exactly the same age. No hiding here, everyone knows you are over 70. However, 70 doesn’t look the same on everyone. The faces are less familiar now. Partly because memory fades and partly because we do look different. Yet after engaging in conversation, the person comes through. The eyes, the expressions, the personality shows through. Suddenly everyone remembers their home room teacher or the algebra teacher. This morning was the initial dance. The opening act. Tonight will be the banquet. Nothing fancy, mind you. No formal attire.
As we keep saying, showing up is enough. We are still above ground and that seems to be all that counts.
Stay tuned for part Deux- The banquet.