I had my 40th high school reunion two weeks ago and in a way, I am still trying to recover from it. I’m a social person, but big formal events where there are a ton of people who you don’t really know and have to make chit-chat with fills me with a certain amount of dread. I’m always fine once I get there and can get on with it, but anticipation is the worst part for me. I didn’t feel as though I could say no, because several good friends were on the reunion committee.
There were 501 people in my graduating class of 1973 and almost a third of them showed up for the reunion, which was rather impressive. The place was PACKED with 58-year-olds. There is no denying your age when it comes to high school reunions. We all knew how old we were. Everyone did looked pretty fabulous, but what struck me the most was that people were just very friendly, funny, and genuine. Lots of laughter and big happy smiles. There were no attempts to impress anyone that I could see. Not like the last reunion I went to -the 10 year reunion in 1983 – where classmates, in their 28-year-old glory, were boasting about their marriages, jobs, kids, and houses. It was such a horrendous night that I skipped my 20 and 30 year reunions because I didn’t want to repeat that process again.
I ended up having a pretty darn good time despite my initial reservation. Granted, there were a few shuddering moments where I felt like I was back in high school being around so many former classmates, but they were fleeting. 40 years out of high school, no one seemed to care about anyone’s marriage(s), divorce(s) jobs, kids, grandkids, or houses. We just enjoyed each others company and had a convivial evening full of good conversation. Although I’m still trying to figure out who the handsome blue-eyed guy I passed on the way to dessert table was. Our eyes met and we smiled at each other, but I was dead-set on getting that last piece of dark chocolate cake (old habits die hard). I didn’t see him the rest of the evening, and I neglected to read his name tag. ♪♫ Strangers in the night, exchanging glances…♫♪ It would have been pretty hard to miss me – the tall redhead in a giraffe print linen tunic lunging for her dessert – so maybe there is hope.