It's hard to believe that 25 years have passed since my high school graduation. I have attended most of our reunions and I must say, this milestone reunion was the best ever. I can only speak for myself but I have a feeling that my classmates share the same sentiments. This one was extra special!
We're all getting older; that is a no brainer. But I think as you hit your 40s, the reality of mortality and time slipping through your fingers really starts to hit you. Many of us have lost parents, have dealt with tragedies, personal or family illness, daily stress and struggles, loneliness, or hardship. On the flip side, many have gotten married (twice!), had kids, enjoyed thriving careers, or traveled the world. We've all been down many roads with paths leading us on unexpected turns and twists. However, the one thing we all have in common is our time together in school.
There's something about this shared experience that makes you all warm and fuzzy inside. Even if you weren't the most popular, the smartest, or good looking (in whose eyes?) kid in school, we all had our fun. If you were a self-proclaimed Motorhead, Preppy, Dexter, Nerd, Beauty Queen, Jock, or Plain Jane, I know you had at least one friend to share your miserable experience with! I am so thankful to have had one of those friends who "got" me right away and made my 3 years the best ever. I still cherish that girl to pieces and I am so thankful she was brave enough to organize our 25th reunion!
Heading to a reunion after so many years can be scary. Let's face it, things are not exactly where they used to be. On our "Pre-Reunion" Facebook group, the boys were strategizing bald spot and pot belly coverage while the girls worried about love handles, saggy boobs, and laugh lines. Our conversation thread cried out with desperation to Sally Hanson, Spanx, and Manx (my own homage to men's Spanx), even minutes before the reunion began. The hysteria we all felt was contagious and made going to the reunion that much more fun.
And it turned out that we all look pretty damn good! Yes, we are aging but we are doing it together so we're all on the same playing field. There's really no point in trying to look like something you aren't. (Botox and toupees went undetected by this writer.)
What really mattered that night was that we had a rare opportunity to get reacquainted and stroll down memory lane. The night was filled with "our" music, laughter, hugging, crying, more hugging,some odd dance moves, more than a few, "Oh, I remember you!" (even when we didn't with the help of name tags, but that's ok), and wanting this night to last just a little longer.
Life is short and time flies. Both total cliches, and completely true. If you have a chance to go to a class reunion, just go. Don't think about it.
No matter what your experience was in High School, a night with your old classmates will leave you re-energized, giddy, wistful, overwhelmed, grateful, and just plain happy.
And leave the Spanx behind. Dancing to Michael Jackson's P.Y.T while feeling like a sausage stuffed in its casing does not a Pretty Young Thing make.