As most of you know, I can be a snob, a cynic and kind of a misanthrope–in other words, not really the reunion type. I skipped most of my high school or college reunions. If I wanted to catch up with people, I figured I’d do it with my small circle of friends, and not be bothered by the crush of other people I didn’t much need to see. But my high school friends swore to me they had a great time at the 15th, and my college friends did the same about their 10th, so I decided to attend the next round. And boy, was I glad I did.
I had a blast at my 20th high school reunion and my 15th college reunion. It was a chance for friends to converge in a single space and time, which is harder as time goes on with jobs and kids and everything else. And it wasn’t true that I didn’t want to see all those other people, because often, I had a great time talking to them, laughing about old times and engaging in conversations about new ones. What I noticed especially at my 20th HS reunion was the social walls had dropped. We’d become one small group of 100+ people who’d all had a shared experience in school together, and been through good and bad times after. No one much cared anymore who had been a brain, a beauty, a jock, a rebel, or a recluse.
So this past weekend I flew out to DC for my 20th college reunion. I was part of a group of 10 women, four of whom were my roommates in college. We talked about our present lives, and things like work, kids, moving, cancer, husbands, autism, babies, and more. We laughed about old times, and cringed at old photos of us with big hair and baggy sweaters. We got dressed up and went out in the city to parties, saw other friends and caught up on the lives of others. I learned I’d had a pivotal role in getting one couple together in college! We ate good food, shared clothes, shoes, perfume and makeup. We laughed. There were no husbands or kids (who probably would have been bored anyway at all the “remember whens”) to look after or worry about. Then we laughed some more. One morning, I even slept till almost 10 a.m. I can’t remember the last time that happened. Eight years ago, maybe?
I had a great time away with my friends, and then was glad to be home. I gave my husband and boys huge hugs. I had a good time without them, but I’d missed them, too. Being at reunions chips away at my snobbery, my cynicism, my misanthropy, and any bad feelings about my life. _That’s_ why I go to reunions.