Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A decade here, a decade there....

It dawned on me that next year marks my 40th high school reunion. Not that I've heard anything about a reunion. I blew off the 30th, but they did have a website (now defunct) where I looked at the photos of people I didn't know in high school and definitely don't know now.

Note to self (and anyone reading this post): Why go to a high school reunion to catch up with people you didn't care enough to stay in touch with anyway after high school?

A forty year reunion sounds pretty painful anyway. Most of the people I went to high school with are likely grand parents. Some are probably even great grand parents. And I would have to explain why I have two kids in grade school.

Not that I would have to explain. I'm willing to bet no one would know who I was even after I gave them my name. No body looks like they did in high school.

Oh we did at the 10th reunion. I made the mistake of going to that one. Some people had graduated to adulthood and had families, but most still had one foot in their high school persona's. I went to the 20th reunion as well. Everyone was pretty much old, fat and bald by then.  From what I saw of the 30th reunion through photos, the ravages of time continued unabated. God only knows what people look like now.

And why is it we measure and market significant points in time (such as graduating from high school) in decades? And why in this day and age when graduating from high school should only be a brief stop on the road to college and grad school do we commemorate it at all? I suppose it meant something in my parents time. My mother was the first person in her family to actually graduate from high school. College was something only rich people went on to. Now it is something everyone can aspire to (as long as they are comfortable with deep, long-term debt).

I was the second person in my immediate family to graduate from college. It took me five or six changes of major and six years to do it. So you think I'd be more into a college reunion than a high school reunion. But the nature and size of college graduating classes are such that the odds of me even remembering (not to mention recognizing) someone I went to college with are pretty minuscule. Even if I narrowed it down to a reunion of people majoring in Journalism, I'd be hard pressed to remember anyone.

I suppose high school is more memorable to most people because it is a time of your life when you are going through so many changes. High school becomes more of  a microcosm of society and your place in it than a place to learn anything. In high school I was the drum major and a member of the student government. I dabbled in wrestling, tennis, basketball and chess. In college the only thing I did was work part time and write on the school newspaper.

I'm sure it is different for everyone. If you were in an Ivy League school and member of a fraternity, you might have more of a social network you want to stay in touch with. I graduated from college and immediately felt the panic to find gainful employment and begin paying off my student loans. There wasn't much to feel nostalgic about.

My but I have really digressed this time. I don't even know if anyone will plan a 40th reunion for my class. If they do, I'll likely blow it off like the last one. Then I'll have a decade to stew about the next one.

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