“Time is the great equalizer,” one of my former high school classmates stated, as we gazed around the crowded bar during our 30th high school reunion last weekend (really? can I be that old?)
“So true,”I replied, watching people mix freely. Some who barely knew each other talking like old friends, others sharing remembrances with their long-time pals.
I was hesitant to go to my reunion, but I knew a group of people I see regularly was going to be there. I figured I could just spend the evening with my current friends if the night was a bust….and I didn’t get to say more than “hi” to many of them. I was too busy spending time with people I went to elementary school with, and chatted with some high school acquaintances I haven’t seen since graduation day.
Frankly, many of the girls looked fantastic, with a few surgical “enhancements,” We had friends uncomfortable with coming who are currently unhappy with their appearance, but no one cared once they walked through the door. Your energy is so much more important than the package it comes in.
There were people I swear I never saw in high schools (class of 500+), people I had not spoken with since elementary school, a couple frankly creepy guys I still avoided last weekend. People flowed freely, all barriers and cliques fallen with time. I was thankful our name tages included our high school photos, since that truly help me recognize a couple faces.
I think of the daily stresses my kids face daily in their high school routines, the social, media, administrative pressures, the sometimes-rigid cliques. Though it is stressful for them, I wish they could see how those invisible and sometime self-imposed walls disappear over time. I learned surprisingly uplifting thoughts people and shared hilarious stories from both the elementary and high school days.
Donna, I could surround myself in your calm, embracing aura. Lori, your infectious spirit is inspiring, Maureen, a positive cancer survivor. Tim and Robert, you simply kept me laughing. and Mike and Nancy, how many stories from second through sixth grade could we share?
There were people who we missed at the event–Jim, Marla, Norman, Lisa, Dave to name a few. And a few close friends no longer alive, to remind us of our mortality–Tim, Bill, Matt, Bob.
It ended up a casual, fun evening that certainly exceeded my expectations. And I think made us all think a little differently about some of our former classmates, our former youthful selves. I am glad I attended, despite my reservations. C