Wednesday, November 29, 2000
from the past
I just got back from my high school reunion and boy are my arms tired.
That was not a tired stab at a tired punchline about flying, but rather a serious remark. One does a lot of hand shaking and hugging at high school reunions, with a lot of patting on the back and the occasional punch on the shoulder thrown in. I'm typing this column with one hand.
It was a successful event, though. Everybody was in good spirits and several people that did not graduate with the class, but did time in elementary school and middle school with a majority of us, showed up. It made the whole thing seem very special. It was good to see over 100 people from a class of 300 turn out so well.
As far as I could tell, there weren't any pizza delivery boys, though they might have had to work, and I didn't seek out anybody to make myself feel superior. In fact, I was very impressed with how many people turned out. There were software programmers and IT professionals, of course, teachers and EMTs, and speech therapists and hygeinists.
The most popular career for the people I graduated with seems to be some mixture of financial consulting investment planning - or something like that. So many people said they were in one of those fields that it all blended together by the end of the evening, which wasn't until the wee hours of the morning.
Though the reunion itself ended at midnight, the party continued at a friend's apartment for a long time afterward. I talked with people I was very close with, as well as people I almost never spoke to. I was surprised, and relieved, to see that the things that had separated us in high school had faded away. We have crossed the threshold of adulthood and the old cliques are just that, old. They don't make one group feel superior to another anymore.
In fact, there were many other things that brought us together now. I met up with several old teammates of mine from our championship soccer team. We were 11 years old when we dominated our league and now, 14 years later, we rarely touch a ball. The picture of us is sure to warm the heart of our old coach, who just happens to be my dad. I also talked with the person I tied in the second grade Read-A Thon with and the results were still being challenged.
Some people changed and some didn't.
It was great to see people who loosened up or treated people nicer now, as it was also refreshing to see that some people's spirit was as buoyant and alive as ever. However, it was sad to see the people that couldn't enjoy themselves because they felt they were out of their element now, just as it was sad to see people inebriated out of their gourds and know it was just another party on just another weekend for them.
I think the class is going to keep our reunion schedule weird from now on. This was our seven-year reunion and we want to get together for a 13-year reunion instead of a 10-year reunion. We are a class unto ourselves.
We are filled with so much potential and we are the ones most likely to capitalize on it.