PRATIE PLACE

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Should you go to your fortieth high school reunion?

Yes, time flies, this year is the fortieth anniversary of the Horace Greeley Class of 1971 graduation. Though I haven't been in touch with more than three of "us" in those decades, somehow an enterprising classmate pieced together a facebook group and has been pulling us in. I recognize (some of) the names but can't put them to the teenagers they once were. I was in a fog through most of high school - all the questions I never asked anybody, questions I never asked myself! Was my group of "friends" as random as it now seems?

Why was I afraid of so many of my classmates? Some I remember only as tough girls who sat on the sinks and stalls in the bathroom smoking - seemingly all day - so that I tried to avoid going there EVER. Others seemed so cold or superior, I knew I wasn't good enough for them, so I never tried talking to them. Maybe I was completely wrong about them! So many I passed in the hallways hundreds of times but never looked in the eye...

I think I want to go precisely because of that long-ago fog. I want to look at these people with my adult eyes and see whether I can connect them to any foggy memories. And I wonder if it will be as enchanting experience as my college reunions have been. Will it feel like Brigadoon? (With the Holiday Inn setting, it's unlikely.)

Perhaps we're old enough not to go on crash diets to convince each other we will be eternally young... perhaps we're old enough not to try and impress each other with our accomplishments because, looking at the growing list of classmates who have died already, just being above ground is a pretty good thing all on its own.

I am already shy and scared and getting ready to skulk in the corner. But I'm not too shy to go. Chappaqua, ahoy! July 10...

6 Comments:

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Cap'n Sylvia Sharkbait said...

You are brave! Kudos to you for deciding to go. I'm interested to hear how it turns out for you.

I have recently been found by an old classmate who is also energetically trying to gather people up for our 40th in a couple of years. Just thinking about going gives me a stomach ache.

 
At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to my 40th a few years back, the first class reunion I had attended. Felt a little apprehensive, but took my fat self there and had a great time. Just remember all your accomplishments, including CarayCaray.
La Paloma

 
At 6:01 AM, Anonymous susanlynn said...

Go !!!! I've gone to all my high school reunions and have planned most of them since I was class VP and the president [my prom date] has had no interest . [He finally attended our last reunion....still blonde, preppylooking, and handsome.] As the years pass, certain hardy souls seem to show up every five years. Even during my worst times of my life ..after my newborn son died , after my dad died, after my mother died.. I've gone. It was always strangely comforting to be surrouned by people I had grown up with...people who knew me when my page was blank and I was eager to make my dreams come true. Oddly, the biggest surprise has been that my very first beau always introduces me to his wife as his ''very first girlfriend.'' At a reunion two years ago, he walked up to me and said, ''I was hoping you'd be here...I just had quadruple bypass surgery.'' Then, he smiled that same smile I remember on his twelve-year-old face. He wore a crewcut back then, but now he sports a long ponytail and beard. His dad was our music teacher, and he died at 56, so Dave told me that every year after 56 is a gift for him. You just never know who has held you in his/her memory as the years have sped by. Then, there are ''the girls'' who stole beaus from me. ...the teen seductresses who still make me feel inadequate !!!They come, too!!! Go !!!

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger Cap'n Sylvia Sharkbait said...

Susanlynn, what a nice story. I'll bet if you were my class VP I'd have gone to all my reunions too.

 
At 3:47 PM, OpenID farfalle1 said...

You are bold! I went to my 25th and discovered I knew only 2 people, probably because I shared your high school fog. It was a very strange event. This year is 45th, but I don't know if there is one. I hope you really enjoy your reunion and find some lovely people you missed the first time around.

 
At 1:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Especially if you have not been to the previous, go.
If you have been to a few, the fortieth is a good one to skip: you've already faced whatever you dread already, and results are becoming predictable, even! (The Titanic is sinking, and it will go down.)
But great surprises and revelations await at the first.

 

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