In 1958, I could not imagine attending my 50th reunion. That seemed a lifetime away...and now it is upon us. I had a phone call today from an old schoolmate; he is the twin brother of our senior class president and he lives nearby. They are planning our fiftieth class reunion for next August, and in an attempt to get as many of the original class members to attend as possible, some of us are being asked to give a phone call to a few people. They hope that the personal touch will be just the prodding that some need to make plans to attend.
What has always puzzled me is the number of people who still live within 40-50 miles of our hometown who have never attended a reunion. I suppose they have good reasons, or think they do. The first time I attended was the 20th reunion. Young children, a husband who travelled extensively for business and some reticence on my part all contrived to keep me at home during the first 3 reunions. All I could think was...."What if they don't want to see me? What if they don't remember me? What if it is all a big mistake? What if all the other girls look great, and I don't? Once I made the decision to go, I was excited and looking forward to seeing old friends and maybe some rivals. Part of me still had a little trepidation at the prospect.
Once I got there, I was so very glad I had made the effort. Old friends met me at the door in welcome; people I thought would not remember me, did as well. Of course, there were some I didn't remember - which was embarrassing. One thing I didn't have to worry about was meeting any old boyfriends, since one had died and the others didn't go to my school. That takes a lot of pressure off!
I have read a few other blog posts from people saying they would never attend a class reunion, either because of the way they had been treated in school, or at a previous reunion. But doesn't everyone have at least a few bad or embarrassing memories from school? I surely did. But I am so glad that I didn't let those bad memories keep me from going, because the experience was so gratifying, once I got there, that I couldn't imagine never attending again. I was able to renew friendships, some from as far back as elementary school and tap dance classes. There is something so satisfying about being in contact with people whom you have known since you were children together. It speaks to the continuity of life and wonderful childhood memories. You can let your hair down, so to speak, and no one cares.
Of the seven people I have been asked to call, I know five. I plan to get out my senior annual before I make the calls, just to make sure I am remembering correctly. I am hoping that I can be persuasive enough to make all of them want to attend the 50th reunion. After all, shouldn't we be glad we are alive and healthy enough to go?!
Note: the drawing of the school was done by one of my classmates.