Well the reunion was a lot of fun. Sometimes it took a minute to recognize people, but once we all figured out who was who we all enjoyed catching up, reminiscing, and speculating about the long lost classmates that did not show up. A couple of teachers were there. I noticed that the brown-noser types talked to them the most. Generally, everyone looked great. A lot of the guys looked noticeably balder and heavier, but the women all looked amazing. I suspect that they have more options for improving their appearance. (Body wraps?) Everyone said that I look exactly the same. I accepted that as a compliment but noted to myself that I have gotten the braces off my teeth and these highlights in my hair, so that's not exactly true.
I was glad to find that there was very little of the "so what have you done with your life?" conversation, we really have gotten past all of that. I did go up to the senior class president and mention that I knew of all her impressive accomplishments. She was humble about it and politely inquired about my career and family, and that was nice.
So there we all were set up for an enjoyable time and then the DJ "Solid Gold Sound" set up and started playing obnoxious music at full volume, all but inhibiting normal conversation. This bothered me a lot and I felt like a crabby old lady when I kept going up to the DJ and asking them to lower the volume, which they would do for just a moment and then crank it back up again for the next song. Also it was dark in there. Some people had brought along old snapshots that I really wanted to look at, but with the dim lights, grainy old Instamatic photo technology and aging 43 year old eyes, I could barely see the images. So the venue was counterproductive to what I wanted to be doing, which was frustrating. A much quieter and illuminated room would have been better. Such as the rec room in a nursing home! Har, har.
The one most interesting conversation I had was with my old friend Paul. He doesn't have kids of his own but is a high school biology teacher now. He told us that he was telling the kids in his class about his reunion, and trying to explain to them about how all of the rivalries and cliques that are so all-consuming in High School really don't matter once you're grown up, and that maybe they shouldn't stress about it so much. With all my parental wisdom I told him:
"Yes but you know they won't believe that until they have grown up themselves."
Paul shrugged and said "I know, but these are my kids! I so want to spare them all it if can, even a little!"
I'm doubtful that his statements will have any effect on those kids right now, but I do believe that someday they could be standing at their 25 year reunion remembering that really great teacher they had, and finally realizing that he was right after all.