Class reunions put many people in a quandary. Do you want to go? Who do you want to see? My answers were “yes” and “everybody.” Fifty years is a long time. At 18 we were young and carefree and full of enthusiasm. We wondered where we would be in fifty years, knowing we were ready to set the world on fire. Awaiting us were college, marriage, families, careers–real life. That independence we had so longed for was ours. No more basketball games, no marching band, no forensics meets, no class plays or proms. Gone was Dad’s car, and gas, Mom’s meals, fresh laundry, and a warm bed. For a few years we could live off the family while attending college, but our fate was now up to us.
Turns out, we didn’t do so bad. We turned out to be successful teachers, nurses, business people, business owners, mothers, fathers, husbands, and wives. Add to that, grandparents and retirees, mostly. Adding fifty years to friendships formed while we are young changes very little. Sure, the pettiness is gone, but all those experiences we shared over twelve years held us together as we reminisced over food and drink.
My kids chose not to attend their thirty year class reunions; they see the friends they want to see. We live in their home town. Not me. I don’t get to see my high school friends often. I moved away and only get to see them every five years for a few hours. But it is so worth the time. We’ve changed, but when we get together it’s like graduation was just last week.