Reunion Time

Ann's HS Grad Pic 2Most of the time, I’m able to forget just exactly how old I am.  I’ve mastered the art of not looking at my entire face in my make-up mirror, and simply focusing on whatever part of my face I’m actually putting the make up on.  I keep my car radio tuned to an “oldies” station so I can keep right on listening to the music of my youth,  and I choose clothes that are loose-fitting enough to cover all the unsightly bulges and “soft spots” I’ve acquired in recent years.  One way or another, I’ve been able to maintain the self delusion that I’m not really that old, just somewhere in my mid life years and still a comfortable distance from senior citizen.  And then along comes the invitation to my 40th (seriously, 40th?) high school reunion, and just like that, all my illusions about my age are cruelly shattered.

My first instinct was to simply ignore it. I know that technically, ignoring something doesn’t make it go away, but it does keep me from having to face it. (I used to fret endlessly about the spider veins on my legs until the day I decided to simply pretend they weren’t there.  Although with my luck, they’ll probably decide to grow into varicose veins just to get my attention.)  I also realized that if I skipped this one, my next reunion will probably be my fiftieth high school reunion, and that will be beyond scary.

And honestly, I really would like the chance to see some of my old classmates again, and to visit the small town in Kansas where I lived when I was a teenager.  I feel a strong emotional connection to that town and the people I knew then, even though I only spent a small portion of my life there and wasn’t particularly good at the whole high school thing. I was a bit shy and awkward in those days, dated very little, struggled in my math classes and as for athletics, all I can say is:  I tried.  My main memory of participating in any kind of sport was constantly praying to God that I didn’t screw up too badly.  I may not have been a particularly talented athlete, but I sure was a religious one.

I suppose the connection is simply that my classmates were people who knew me during the years when I was changing from a child to an adult, struggling to figure out who I was and what my place would be in the world, just like everyone else in my class.  I think that despite all the pretensions and rigid social codes of high school, there is also something very real about the relationships we formed during what was, whether we knew it or not, a fast-changing and rather difficult time in our lives.  We saw each other at our best, and also at our worst, and that’s the kind of thing which tends to form enduring bonds.

So, in a few days I’ll be heading off to my class reunion, and I’m not going to dwell too much on exactly which class reunion it is.  I won’t bother to dress up or hit a medical spa for a quick Botox treatment, because  what’s the point of trying to impress people who knew me when I was an awkward teenager?  (Also, I hate shots.)  I’m guessing that we will just talk and laugh, and have fun “remembering when.”  And count ourselves lucky that we are still here, so many years after high school graduation, able and willing to gather as the Class of ’76 one more time.

36 thoughts on “Reunion Time

  1. Oh, Ann, I love this post! I so appreciate your authentic responses to life events. If the photo and your blog is any indication, you were a lovely young woman who has grown into an amazing middle aged woman. Go have fun at your reunion, confident that you are an amazing person! I don’t know you personally, but I am so grateful for you in my life! Keep sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Kim! I am so grateful for you as well! I think that’s the nice thing about blogging. Even though we haven’t met in person, we do know what each of us thinks about things, and about some of our life’s experiences. And that is such a blessing! Have a great 4th of July!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Let’s try to cherish the moments and enjoy all the ones we are given! We had time to be young…. now let’s enjoy this stage of the “game!” 🙂 and heck – you will all be in the same boat at that reunion. Have FUNNNN! Be wonderful YOU Ann!

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  3. I went to one myself a number of years ago, thinking it would be quite appalling. It was actually quite interesting seeing what my classmates had made of their lives. The disparities were enormous, as were the differences in our apparent emotional development, as far as I could tell. One or two seemed to be stuck in the personalities they possessed as teenagers; yet most – hopefully, myself included – had become quite different people. Give it a whirl, I’d say!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I went to my 20th and 30th reunions, and my experience was exactly like you described! Most of us had aged and had interesting stories to tell about our lives, and it was quite fun to get reacquainted with each other. A few seemed stuck in high school, but I thought, “Hey, whatever makes you happy!” I think it will be fun and interesting. Thanks, Harold!

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  4. I still have one friend from school days and we went to a reunion together a few years ago. It was great! I found out how people were doing whom I had known well at the time but lost touch with, and probably spoke to some others more than I had spoken to them in the entire 5 years I was at the school. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it and, if you don’t, it’s only one evening out of the rest of your life!

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    • That’s the way I look at it, too! Certainly worth going and if for some reason, it’s not fun, it was just one night. But I think it will be fun. It’s so nice to see how people have grown and matured, and to realize how much we really do have in common. Plus, it’s fun to talk to people who know exactly what you mean when you say, “remember when?”

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  5. First of all, I love the honesty of this post, actually of all your writings but this one in particular struck a cord with me. No pretense, just you. Very cool..:)
    Secondly, it’s a great photo of you and I agree with Kim’s comments about it. I love eyes because they tell me so much about a person and you have kind eyes…:)
    Finally, I’m with you on childhood friendships. There’s nothing quite like them. I can not see someone for twenty years and if I run into them we pick up and talk like time never moved. They knew you when life was simpler and all you had or needed was all you had it needed.
    Have a great time. Glad you didn’t opt for the Botox shots..)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I don’t know if you’ve been to any previous reunions, but I found them to be better than I expected. Old Man Time has a way of leveling the playing field and old rules no longer apply. We (the class of ’79) have had great fun at our reunions and I hope you do as well!! Enjoy!

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  7. Thanks, George, for your kind words! You know, I’ve never done pretense very well (although I admit, I tried), so I just decided a long time ago to opt for honesty. It may not impress people, but it is far easier, and I find that the friendships I gain along the way are with truly worthwhile people.
    And yes, childhood friendships are so wonderful. We know each other so well. I’m still in very close touch with a couple of good friends from high school, and also with two friends I met when our parents plunked us down in the same playpen when we were just babies. And I really treasure that!
    Glad I didn’t go for the Botox shots, either! I’d look better, but it’s not worth having someone stick a needle in my face and inject in a foreign substance. I honestly don’t know how people get up the nerve to do that!!

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  8. Can’t say I particularly like reunions either but as you said it yourself Ann, we should “count ourselves lucky that we are still here”. My best friend died when we were both 19 and there are still days when I think about her and the happy childhood days we spent growing up together and I consider myself blessed, thinking that I’ve had a whole lifetime that she missed out on. I hope you enjoy your reunion Ann, embrace yourself for the woman you are and the beautiful grateful life you’ve created. xo

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  9. You mentioned in a comment that you also went to the twentieth and the thirtieth reunions. It must be interesting to see the same people at ten year intervals. I’ve never been to a school reunion, but I guess I can experience something of the effect by putting my passport photographs in a row. Anyway, I hope you have a great time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that might work, except I’d have to assume that your passport photos are much better than mine. If I used mine, I would rethink that botox decision. And shop around for a good price on facelifts, wigs, and….well, maybe just a bag over my head would do!
      Seriously, what is odd is that some people look exactly the same as they did in high school, only older. I would recognize them if I passed them in the street, even if I hadn’t seen them since 1976. Others look completely different, and it’s sort of embarrassing to have to wait until someone says their name, so I don’t have to admit I don’t recognize them. I’ll let you know how it goes this year!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, everyone is in the same boat as you – all have got older, all have the same worries and anxieties – even if they don’t or won’t own up to them at the time – and that’s the basis of sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! And I think that is what makes reunions fun. We have all reached the age where it is far easier to see what we have in common than what separates us. Thanks for the comment!


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