A few days ago, I went to my 20 year high school reunion. I try to say that number under my breath so people won't really hear it. How did I become this old? The weekend started with a tour of the old stomping ground, the high school itself. I took the kids and husband with me. The best word I can choose to describe the experience was WEIRD. The last time I was in there, I had angst about my life, college, boys and my hair. To be fair, I still have angst about my hair, and strangely have a recurring nightmare about college exams, but that's neither here nor there. It would have never occurred to me that I would ever step foot in those hallowed halls again with my family. And see my friends with their families. And that my children would play with their children. I felt my mind blowing.
Here are some of the things I learned from the reunion:
1) The girls (at least from my school) REALLY know how to age. How is it possible that they are just as pretty, if not prettier, now than they were then? It was a subtle reminder to never forget to use my night cream. Most of the boys fared well, too, but the girls were off the charts.
2) The conversations have changed quite a bit. Sure, there were plenty "remember when" moments, but there were also conversations about divorces (too many), lost parents (WAY too many), kids (including some who are older than when I met these people), medical issues (one guy who had just had abdominal surgery, visible bandage and painkillers included), and accidents. We were all the same, just with more of the history which comes from aging.
3) There are always surprises. Unexpected couples, people who've lost weight or gained weight, the success stories where you didn't see them coming. Or, my personal favorite...the fact that I always thought that I had earned the superlative of "Most Spirited" (have told my husband this all along), only to discover that, in fact, a cheerleader (naturally) received that credential. Did I just make it up in my head? Did I really want to be remembered as most spirited? My husband said it's over. He's been operating in this marriage under false pretenses. He only wanted a Most Spirited wife. Personally, I think I need an MRI to check my head. I will ask some of my classmates who've had MRI's to make recommendations.
4) The 20 year mark is the best. At ten years, we were still self conscious and trying to prove something. Now I feel like we are all more comfortable in our skins. We are all better at networking and socializing. It seemed that rather than only chatting with specific groups, everyone was talking to everybody. It was awesome.
5) Despite age or life circumstances, it's still fun, even for one or two nights, to feel like a kid again with people who will always know a LOT about you, even if you haven't seen them in years.