I’ve heard from some baby boomers that high school reunions are nothing but a terrifying rite of passage, but for me, four decades after graduation, it was a blast.
It started with the preparation and anticipation of going back. I think I received the first announcement (at least 6 months before the event) from our uber organizer and former majorette, Lynn. Preparation for the Reunion would not be without challenges for me. After all, there was pressure in high school and it didn’t have to do with grades. Grades? That was the easy part. My anxiety came from the lack of dates and boyfriends. I scored a big zero in that department so why wouldn’t I feel a tiny bit of pressure? I’m not perfect, you know. Then, there was the issue of what to wear. I prayed I would find the most flattering outfit I could fit this 50 something body into short of liposuction in time for the Reunion. Thank you very much J. Jill.
So why would I go to my 40th reunion? Simple, I wanted to reconnect with people I shared my youth with – after all, I spent the most formidable years of my life with these 480 kids with raging hormones. You see, I grew up in Mayfield Hts., Ohio, attended Mayfield Rd. Elementary School, Mayfield Jr. High and Mayfield Senior High school as did my two sisters, my brother, and my five cousins. Oh yeah, I must also confess, I love stories and the Reunion was filled with them – stories of former cheerleaders, majorettes, football heroes, wrestling champions, thespians, and merit scholars. There were stories about divorce, ex-husbands and their girlfriends, children, step-kids, ageing parents, dead parents, and even dogs (yes, baby boomers love their dogs).
The first night we all met at a bar which I thought was a brilliant idea. It facilitated the initial shock of seeing each other grown up. Understand, I hadn’t seen or in most cases, thought about my classmates in 40 years. Well, that’s not exactly true because many of us have been reconnecting on facebook in anticipation of the Reunion. Another brilliant idea was posting our graduation picture on our nametags. Purposely, I kept reading glasses in my pocket so I wouldn’t have to squint all night to read the nametags and distinguish the photos.
The first night, all I could think of was who were all these people hugging, and saying hello with huge smiles across their faces, and why didn’t I recognize them right away? Too fat, too skinny, too gray, too many wrinkles? And of course, they were thinking the same things about me.
Saturday night was the banquet and so much dancing and gabbing and I must’ve been having a great time because I didn’t get home until 3:00 a.m. – just like old times. And memories, so many memories and laughs that made it all worth it My advice, if you get a chance to go to your Reunion – don’t miss it. Life is short.