Saturday, July 18, 2009

High School Reunions

My mother used to say that high school reunions weren't worth attending until the 20 year reunion. "By then," she said, "all we could do was sit around and laugh at ourselves."

So, I just attended part of my 20 year reunion, and, as usual, Mom was right. It's not that the pretense has altogether vanished 20 years out, and everyone (myself included) seemed anxious to prove that we'd become something, but my classmates and I, as Mom predicted, had all reached the point where we couldn't hide 20 years of wear and tear.

We age slowly, day by day, and that change is almost imperceptible. At the reunion, however, it was like one snapshot (the way I remembered these folks from their yearbook photos) and then a second snapshot taken 20 years later (the way they look now). That change is dramatic and surprising--there's nothing subtle or gradual about it--and that leaves little room for pretense or smug satisfaction. (Okay, so I did take some smug satisfaction in a popular kid or two who hadn't aged particularly well ... )

Even so, it was mostly fun, because we're all aging and experiencing life at roughly the same rate, and I really enjoyed catching up with a lot of old friends and remembering time spent together when we were footloose and fancy free.

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