The Surreal Reunion

In a word: weird.

I’ve been hearing that the 10 year reunion is always the strangest – people desperate to prove that they haven’t physically changed, they are financially successful, and are eager to flash around whatever status symbols they may have acquired over the past decade to prove their worth.

All of the above was true at my reunion, at least on Friday night.

To get an idea of how I have personally changed, here’s my senior picture from ten years ago:

Senior picture

And here’s what I looked like on Friday:

Ten years later

I’d like to think that I’ve matured gracefully. You be the judge.

Anyway, the Webmaster and I arrived at the reunion party late (traffic was hideous), but that really didn’t matter except that the food was out and waiting for us when we arrived. I immediately ran into a few people I knew, but as I scanned the list of people who had registered to be there, I counted up about half of that list that I actually could remember from high school – about 40 – and only about half of those that I would actually want to talk to. Fortunately, I met up with those people quickly, and they seemed geniunely pleased to see me, as I was to see them. (One guy point-blank asked me, “So, do you still read at 80 miles an hour like you did in high school?”) I had pictures of the kids with me, and they were suitably impressed with their cuteness. The Webmaster worked his charm – he could talk the legs off a table if he wanted to – and had a decent time of his own. At the end of the evening, though, it was easy to say “good-bye, see you in another ten years” to some people. Mostly because they had been my friends of circumstance – same classes, same lunch period, same school activities – but we had grown apart enough that while we can be friendly and cordial, there is nothing to bind us together now other than this reunion and fond memories. And while that’s not a bad thing, it also means that it didn’t hurt to say good-bye.

Mr. Comedy – the one semi-famous classmate of mine – tried to do his stand-up routine. He was funnier when he wasn’t doing his routine, and was just making off-the-cuff remarks about school, former classmates, and asking, “Why are they carding us at the bar? Don’t they know we’re here for a TEN YEAR REUNION?? We’re all legal now!!” A little too much profanity for my taste, but it was better than I had expected it to be.

Another classmate of mine had bought the outrageously priced class directory ($10 for a stapled booklet), and graciously let me look through it. I copied down a few email addresses of people that I’d lost contact with and really wanted to talk to again, got both email and street addresses of people who were there, and we went home when it “officially” broke up. I was tired, my ears were ringing (it was LOUD in the bar), and I was wondering who would actually show up to the reunion picnic the next day.

About 20 people (not including spouses and children) came the next afternoon. The park where the picnic was being held is less than 2 miles from our house. It was kind of a joke when people were asking me where I lived now. “Um, only a couple of miles from here!”

At Friday night’s bash, all the “popular” people quickly found each other and began shooting the breeze and having drinks. All of us not-so-popular people and former brainiacs tended to meet and greet each other, and then gradually drifted out to the edges of the room. Saturday, both the popular people and the not-so-popular people brought their kids to the picnic, and the kids didn’t care who was popular in high school. They simply sized up the other kids, found them to be the right size and age to play with, and started playing together, thus making their parents talk to each other.

I spent some time talking with some spouses who hadn’t come the night before, and had a lot of fun chatting with other moms and dads about the kids – most of whom were under the age of five, so we were all going through much of the same things right now, like potty training and beginning preschool and keeping the kids from eating more than one sugar cookie with thick orange frosting at the picnic. The Munchkin was overjoyed at the prospect of so many kids her size at the park, and she played her little heart out. Tad climbed to his heart’s content and forgot that gravity existed, making me run to catch him when he decided to swing off of a 4-foot-tall platform on the play equipment by himself. I got some more addresses, and had a fun thrill when a guy who I wasn’t sure would remember me introduced me by name to his wife, who was really nice – we had a lot in common. Their oldest son and the Munchkin were digging a dirt pit together.

And then a good friend of mine showed up – she hadn’t come the night before, and she brought her husband of a few months with her. It was great to see her again, and we spent a little time catching up. Mr. Comedy showed up again – wearing the same clothes he had worn the night before, which he made no apologies for – but he just wanted to see who had come and catch up with people, not be the entertainer. The picnic was miles away better than the party the night before, and it came to an end far too soon. Many of these classmates live out-of-state, so I probably won’t be seeing them again for a while. Some live closer by, so I might get to see them sooner. And some – well, I’ll be emailing my newly-married friend so we can go out for coffee sometime soon.

So that was the reunion. All in all, it was a positive experience. I think I may even go to my 20th, and I hope that some of these classmates and friends that I connected with again will go as well.

Other things of note today:

Happy 26th Birthday to the Captain!! He got all of his birthday packages already, and probably already ate all the cookies we sent him. This is the second birthday that he’s spent in Iraq, but I think we’ve all tried to make it as happy as possible.

Little Mo is back in the hospital. Though the doctors are hopeful that she is in early remission (!!!), her white blood cell count is low again. Her mom has a bad case of the flu and Little Mo’s system may be trying to keep it away. Despite this, her prognosis is good. Her bone marrow test revealed less than 1% cancer cells present, which is a very good sign. She will still have 2 and a half years of chemotherapy to go through in order to try and eradicate any cancer cells that may linger on. Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

And the Munchkin was given a play table and chairs by her Great-Grandma and Great-Grandpa, which has become the focal point of her playtime. She immediately set up her plastic tea set on it, and had a tea party with Great-Grandma when she brought it over. A couple of days ago, I caught the Munchkin dragging Tad down the hallway toward her “tea party,” saying, “Come on, Tad, it’s time for tea party!”

“Um, Munchkin?” I said tentatively. “Maybe Tad doesn’t want to play tea party right now.”

She looked me dead in the eye. “Oh, no, Mommy. He wants to.”

2 Responses to “The Surreal Reunion”

  1. Little Cousin's Mommy
    October 30th, 2006 07:58

    Yes, because every 14-month-old boy wants to play tea party, Mommy.

    Well, I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing that you and I sent Captain the very same birthday gift and card. I think he found it amusing. So we either talk to each other too much, or not enough (to compare gifts).

    I can wait to see your clan! Little Cousin will be so happy to play with other kids again (our church nursery is slim pickin’s).

  2. Dozeymagz
    November 3rd, 2006 05:54

    Glad the reunion went well. I went to a similar thing a few years back and the same sort of thing happened. The ‘Popular’ people did their usual thing, although this time I was really glad I was a ‘reject!’ My fellow ‘rejects’ all ended up at the same table together being completely ignored by the others – PHEW! I didn’t miss their company any more than I did all those years ago!
    Belated Happy Birthday to the Captain!