Class Reunions

My best friend going back to college and I had a great telephone call today ranging from how not to incur debt getting buried, to health, and the ongoing saga of my vocal recovery. 

She asked me for ideas for an introductory speech for her high school class reunion since she has been invited to speak.  Never short of ideas, I rattled off several, and she asked that I write them down for her.  Since I am rather lazy, I thought it might be fodder for a blog entry, so here goes.

I would never attend a high school class reunion because my memories of high school are those of having to survive terrible bullying by a handful of classmates.  Since I was relegated to the high IQ classes I had to put up with these fools every year and they made my life hell, so for me high school is something not to remember let alone commemorate.  I had one very dear friend who got me through one really rough time in high school.  Her name was Carol, and at the 25th reunion when asked if I would attend, I replied, “Hell no, why bother.”  She huffed off and it was 5 years before she and I ever talked again. 

Ideally high school should be a time of expansion and planning for what your future world is going to be like. If you are surrounded by nurturing teachers and friends and not ostracized as I was, the future looks rosy and filled with promise and all things yet to be discovered.

So 50 years later looking back if there are classmates left to see at a reunion, I would hope that on meeting former classmates that we would be not particularly interested in how well we are doing compared to them, how much wealth we have accumulated, and possibly secretly gloating at the hard times of someone who was perhaps wretched to us when we were in school.

Ultimately, at that class reunion, we are who we have grown to be, we are who we have chosen or settled to be, or less fortunately we are perhaps neurotically wondering why our life did not pan out the way we wanted.  However, we are still on that journey that we started at the age of 18, just a little further along.  We have been enriched and enlightened by our lives by the friends and acquaintances we have chosen to have in our lives, and I would hope there would be a level of fulfilled satisfaction at having survived for so long and so well.

If this is where we are at in our 70’s, we are blessed because life is always peppered with stuff that makes us who we become and who we choose to be.  So when returning 50 years later, if your high school years were good, I would guess that the attendees at a reunion would embrace the community of our former classmates with good will and gladsom voice in greeting, since each person there would be the sum total of the 50 years they have lived, and the conversational exchange among peers would be enlightening and enriching like an expensive vintage wine in a bottle waiting to be uncorked.

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