Over two consecutive weekends I attended my wife’s 30 year high school reunion and my 25 year college reunion. These are interesting events. First, there is little worse than being the spouse at a 30 year reunion. I was lucky enough to know about a dozen of my wife’s classmates or spouses (the ones she stayed in touch with over the years). For the most part, I watched people with whom I had little in common try to pretend as if they really missed these people that they hardly knew when they walked the same hallways together 30 years ago. After a while, people drop the pretense and start to collect into the same cliques that existed when they were in high school. They even gossip about the people in the other cliques. Apparently the purpose of the earlier attempts to reconnect was to gather intelligence for the gossip mill that is the bulk of the event.
My high school class hasn’t had a reunion since its tenth, nor has my college class. I noticed that while the cliques and gossip still remain, at 25 years, much of the pettiness is gone. People can no longer pretend they aren’t middle aged. They have become more content with their lot in life. I liked that so much better than the one-upmanship that continued to permeate those earlier reunions.
I told my classmates at our tenth reunion that if they waited for me to plan another one, our tenth would also be our last. As my 30th high school anniversary approaches next year, I’m beginning to soften on that stance. I think I’d be willing to try again somewhere around our 50th. I figure by then those of us who have survived will be completely at ease with who we are and who the people around us seem to be. We’ll really be able to have a good time then.