I was just thinking again about my high school reunion. (My 30th was last month. See: Can It Have Been 30 Years?)
There were, I’m guessing, 200 people there, which is not too bad from a graduating class of, I believe, 827 people. Now, some of them were “merely spouses”—then again, some of them were both spouse and alumnus: they married another from the class. But there were many who showed up without spouses or significant others. So that means there were 200 people in attendance who didn’t mind seeing people they really only knew 30 years ago, if at all. It was a kick.
The longest married couple of us all, Mike and Maria, were not there. They got married right out of high school. I mean, within two weeks! And amazingly: they were a scandal at the time. He was a 25 year old Health teacher and she a 17 or 18 year old student. But they proved us all wrong. They are still happily married 30 years later. And truly a sweet couple. (She’s now 48 and he’s 55, and I don’t know anyone who thinks that’s out of whack—it’s very in whack, if you ask me).
One of the things I was thinking about was how this reunion was different from the thers, and it did in one respect: you come up to greet someone, and if they don’t recognize your face, they look at your nametag—only they squint, wrinkle their nose, and back up another foot, or they reach into their pocket or purse and grab those bifocals.
One friend, Chris, wrote to me afterward telling me what a great time he had and how funny it was to him that “all the girls I went to high school with now all look like, well… middle-aged women.”
Note to Chris: we’re all past middle age, unless somehow we make it to 98. You, too, dude.