Sunday, October 04, 2009

reunion

Last night I went to my high school 30 year reunion. The members of Burnaby North Class of '79 are 47 and 48 years old for the most part. We have celebrated 10 and 20 years before this. This was the smallest, most casual and friendliest of the gatherings.

I knew that my good friends Kathy and Michele would be there. We have known each other since Grade 4, and are still very much in each others' lives. Our friend Betty surprised and delighted up by attending at the last minute. I met Betty in Grade 7, when I switched elementary schools. At high school, there were friends from both my grade 4-6 and my grade 7 school, so Betty is a friend to Michele and Kathy also. We missed our other good friends, Vic, Jeannie and Denise, who did not attend.

Thirty years later we are all almost 3 times as old as we were when we graduated. There were lots of people who I remembered a little bit, and a few who I remembered very well. Our graduation class was big, so there were people who I didn't know, even when I was at school.
At the reunion, I just walked around introducing myself to people and saying, "Who are you? I am Sue." It was okay when I connected with someone I didn't know or remember, because they also didn't know me, which was kind of funny in an awkward way, but awkward was pretty much the theme of the evening, in a friendly and funny way. I was glad to meet up with some old friends, and to trade stories about high school. I met my old grad partner (we were matched with prom dates by a random draw) and the guy who pulled my hair in English class then pretended it was someone else. None of the hotshot chemistry and math students with whom I competed for top marks and egghead bragging rights were there. Too bad, I would like to know they are living fabulous lives now. I did see some of the fun and funny girls who shared the "not popular but okay with it because popular is stupid," category with me. I talked with the class valedictorian (who beat me and one other girl to be elected for the role because he was both smart and popular - I was just smart, the other girl was popular). We talked about intersecting social sets and the benefits of being at the intersection. I met with athletes who are still athletes and whose kids are athletes, and quiet, shy people who are now at ease in their own skin, chatting casually with people they haven't seen in years. I saw beautiful boys and girls who are still beautiful, and plain Janes and Joes who have blossomed. In general, the women seem to have aged more gracefully than the men, but we all looked pretty good for almost 50 years old. Six classmates have died, which is a shock to know. Forty-eight is far too young to not be alive any more. A few people went outside to smoke pot. A few people got drunk. Mostly we just chatted and laughed and realised that the people who showed up to the reunion were pretty much alike, encountering the middle of life with a few regrets, but also lots of energy and optimism and good things going on. There were no discernible cliques and no apparent drama. Everyone must have been somewhat nervous about attending, but once we got there, it was pretty mellow, and it looked like everyone stayed and mixed. I guess about 120 people were there, and I managed ot talk to maybe half of them. There wasn't anyone who I wanted to get back in touch with who I'm not in touch with already. It was satisfying to find know that the same people I knew then are around now, living interesting lives and interested to know how the others' lives are going.

We joked about being all botox and artificial hips at the next reunion if there is one. I'm guessing we'll still just be us - maybe fewer by the time we're almost 60, all just living ordinary lives and happy to know that others are too.

Michele and I left at about 11:30. I had a good time. I'll go to the 40th if there is one.

question: have you been to a reunion of any kind?

mompoet - wondering at what we have in common with those who shared our paths in the past

1 comment:

Lynn Valley Girl said...

I'm glad you went. I couldn't decide whether or not to go to my 30th and I decided against it with mild regrets. I looked at the pictures and many people went to the 30th reunion that didn't go to the 10th or the 20th. Many are divorced and with our class as well, a few have passed away.