My 50th high school class reunion is scheduled later this summer. I can’t decide if I am eager to attend this 2-night event or not.
I grew up in a southern Minnesota town of about – at that time – 30,000 people. The public high school there drew all the kids who lived in town plus the surrounding rural areas. My class was made up of about 550 kids.
Though just a very average student, and one who really only took classes because they were required – with the exception of my senior English class which I enjoyed because I got to write and really delve into grammar, sentence structure, etc. – I didn’t enjoy the academic part of high school all that much.
But, I did love the social aspects of those three years. I had a steady boyfriend for a good portion of that time. One who had a job and therefore money, and access to a car so we usually could go to movies, out for a burger or somesuch activity on our dates. (Actually, we spent a lot of time at the local A&W rootbeer stand drinking mugs of root beer and eating popcorn; and, by the way, this dude is now my husband of nearly 48 years!) I had close friends and enjoyed getting together with them for dancing at a local hangout. I was a cheerleader for the boys’ football and basketball teams, and looked forward to games on Friday evenings. Cheerleading practice after school 2 or 3 afternoons a week provided a fun extra-curricular activity for me. I enjoyed my cheerleading squad – we had great times together.
So, with all that positive experience back-story, why am I not more excited about attending this upcoming reunion and seeing old friends? It’s not like I need to be embarrassed to talk about my life since high school. It’s been a good and respectable (mostly) life. I have attended most of the previous reunions which have been scheduled every 10 years since graduation, and found most of them to be somewhat fun and entertaining.
I don’t do well in rooms full of relative strangers – as most of my former classmates would be to me now. I have never mastered the art of small talk/chit-chat nor been comfortable striking up conversations with others in these types of settings. I just become very anxious. If someone speaks to me first, I can do just fine; but, I am not good at initiating the interaction.
On the other hand, I would hate to miss a good time and perhaps seeing some of the friends I had way back then but with whom I have lost contact.
As I sit writing this, I’m coming to the conclusion I should just bite the bullet and attend both nights of the reunion. (First night is just classmates, second night can include spouses and significant others.) Attending the functions will challenge me to loosen up and enjoy the conversations I may experience. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised; and, really, if I end up feeling like a geek because I can’t find anyone to converse with, I never have to see most of these folks again anyway so my embarrassment will be fleeting. And, in reality, perhaps others will be just as uncomfortable as me and will welcome my attention, if I make the first move at connecting.
I can always strike up a conversation by saying…”remember when”… The whole reunion could be just about reminiscing. (Duh, maybe that’s what they’re all about!) Certainly, I can remember lots of high school happenings to discuss; and, as I said before, I have fond memories of that time so could bring up some fun recollections.
Yes, I feel much better about this whole conundrum of whether to attend this affair or not after writing my thoughts here. (So, thanks for listening – if you’re still with me!)
Have you attended a major reunion lately? Would love to hear of your experience.
And, any of you classmates of mine that may be reading this – let me know if you’re planning on attending the reunion. (Now you know how anxious I am about the event!)