Monday, August 1, 2011

Good times. Good memories. Good grief, we’re old.

Webster defines a reunion as “A social gathering attended by members of a certain group of people who have not seen each other for some time.”

Okay, it’s not as if I really thought you didn’t know what “reunion” meant, but I looked it up just to see what ol’ Webster had to say. (It’s good to ask Webster a thing or two. After all, he’s just sitting out there waiting for some attention.)

But let’s break this apart.

A social gathering
In light of my recent class reunion, that’s putting it mildly. Social – uh, yeah.

We are talkers.

What we are NOT is: dancers or loud music-listeners. The days of heavy metal pounding through the speakers or tearing apart a dance floor are over for us. No, we wanted the music turned down so we could carry on a conversation without screaming.

All that hollering just gives us a headache and sore throat. We don’t need that.

We’ve got kids to go home to and may have to report to work in the morning. Plus we’re genuinely interested in what the other person is saying so it would be helpful if we could hear it. Frankly, having to yell, “What’s that?” four or five times just makes us feel even older.

Especially when it’s shouted during a Van Halen song.

Members of a certain group of people
Oh, yes. Definitely a “certain” group of people. We’re the Class of 1991. A group of about 55 men and women wondering where in the world the time went. Honestly. 20 years? How did that happen so fast?

Nonetheless, there we stood.

Hoping we didn’t look too fat, too gray or too sleepy (no one likes to admit that they can’t recall the last time they were up past 11pm if it was due to anything other than heartburn).

And guess what? As one reunion-goer put it, “I think we all look (slight, thoughtful pause) pretty good.”

Not completely convincing, but we’ll take it.

Reunions are funny that way. First and foremost, let’s face it. We’re checking appearances.

Mainly for easing our own curiosity about whether we’re the only one who put on a few pounds or added some laugh lines.

Then we’re hopeful everyone is living happy, healthy lives. We hold out hope that our classmate who marginally escaped death in the past year looks well. He does, and we’re relieved because it’s not just external. Latest medical report says he really is doing well. Whew!

Who have not seen each other for some time
I love that. For “some time.” Like it could be a week or 100 years. In many cases it’s literally been 20 years since I’ve seen these people.

While 20 years seems to have flown by, a lot happens in two decades. Weddings, births, graduations, deaths, job changes, surgeries, moves, divorces, remarriages, and plenty of other significant life events along the way.

And yet, for a few hours this weekend, time stood still.

We were carried back to a time when a well-timed Bryan Adams or Bon Jovi song could soothe our sorrow. Life seemed simpler back then. Of course we believed once we threw that grad cap in the air, we would take flight ourselves…into a future of possibilities and exciting unknowns.

Now that ‘future of possibility’ is full of potty-training, enduring adolescence, and fretting the first day of college all over again – seeing it all from a whole new set of eyes.

Or maybe it’s job success or failure. Family dysfunction. Saying goodbye to those we love.

Sure, there’s likely plenty of regrets. But with nearly 40 years of life behind us, we’re smart enough to not dwell on them. Instead, we’re grateful for the little things, because we know the big things are out of our control.

I certainly enjoyed my class reunion. Spending time with these men and women void of the teenage awkwardness, cliques and desperate need to impress was refreshingly fun. We could reminisce about days gone by, but also congratulate each other on how far we’ve come.

While rarely do we take the time to walk through our past, when we do, it illuminates some pretty sweet memories.

Who would have thought that cheesy class motto would actually hold true? “The moment is only temporary, but the memory is forever.”

Now let's not wait 20 years before we dust off the cobwebs again, okay?

Hey classmates - in case you're looking for more tidbits from the reunion, check out our Class of 1991 page on Facebook for my "The Best of the Class" note.

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