My name is Carol and I attended my high school reunion.
I wrote about having mixed feelings about attending my reunion. (Three Scary Words) My feet turned colder and colder as the date approached. I was convinced that I had been possessed and that was the explanation for my signing up to attend. I was really trying to figure out how I was going to get out of going.
On the Thursday before the reunion, I came to a realization. Are you wondering what could have transformed my attitude? I thought about how I have a great life. I have family and friends who love me. They will be there whether or not I go to the reunion. They could really care less about the reunion except that they want me to be happy. So, if you have that, what could happen at the reunion that could make a difference in your life? Nothing.
So I decided that I could go and have fun. If it wasn’t fun well, I tried. No harm, no foul.
So, on Friday afternoon, I set off to pick up my best friend from high school. We had not seen each other in 28 years. That is a long time. As I was driving to meet her, I wondered how it was going to go. The minute I saw her, I knew it would be fine. It seems trite to say, but the years floated away. While I could not have told you this before, we must have been friends because we could appreciate each other’s sense of humor. The only surprise at first is that she stinks as a navigator. It didn’t really matter too much, we figured it out. We spent part of Friday afternoon going around our old hometown and looking at all the changes. And laughing.
I think when you go back to your hometown, you expect to see people you knew. We tried but we did not see anyone we knew. It didn’t stop us from looking at people and wondering if we knew them.
The first event of the weekend was a casual get together at a local bar.(I swear there weren’t bars in town when we were living there…) There were several people we knew outside the bar so the reunion started right there on the street. And it went well.
Because I am good at making mistakes with people, I did make a mistake that night. I had invited a friend that I have not seen in a long time and who did not graduate with us (he was a year younger) to come so we could see each other. So, I was watching the door. A guy walked into the party and I had an inner debate about whether it was my old friend. First of all, before you judge this, I had not seen him in years – like more years than I would like to admit to – and people change. Anyway, the guy gave me a big smile so I went up to him. A huge hug came next. Then he opened his mouth and I knew it was the wrong guy. Okay, so what do I do next? I don’t know who this mad hugger guy is and I am standing there. Almost with my mouth open but not quite. Luckily, someone else did know who he was and was thrilled to see him. I stepped away gracefully to allow them to greet each other. (If you know me at all, that is a lie. I got out of there as fast as possible and went far away.)
I did find something out about myself at the reunion. I am not a good mingler. I more or less stayed in one spot and let the crowd move past me. Unfortunately, that doesn’t really work. I didn’t do it on purpose. It wasn’t until I didn’t get to talk to several people because they were on the other side of the room that I noticed my shortcoming. Not in time to fix it but I figured out that it was a skill missing from my life.
On day two of reunion weekend, we started off going to the parade. My hometown has parades. I don’t know if they still have as many as they used to but there is a homecoming parade. My friend and I sat on a ledge and watched and clapped. My reunion class had a float. Most of our classmates were on the float. We cheered them on.
We then met two women for lunch that we had gone to grade school and high school with that were not attending the reunion. (Chickens!) We had a long laugh filled lunch. Then off to the big event -the reunion dinner.
The evening was a lot of fun. Once again my lack of mingling skills was a hindrance in seeing everyone but I did have some great conversations and laughs. There were some people that I really wanted to say hello to but never got to them. I feel bad about that.
My general impressions of the evening? It was fun. As apparent as it might be to everyone, it was the people that I had gone to grade school (Catholic school grades 1-8) and high school with that were really special. Not to diminish the others that I was happy to see and talk to but those long time classmates were a special treat. Were there some people that I thought were snotty? Yes. Do I care? No. The people that I saw and talked to were so good, so much fun, that it didn’t matter about the others.
Would I go again? Yes, without a doubt. It was fun. It was great to see how people were doing and how their lives have worked out. Are you debating about going to your reunion? I would suggest that you can do it and have fun. You may find that your classmates are more interesting than they were when they were young. After all, you are!
Thanks for reading!