Friday, January 25, 2008

10-year reunions are funny!

Yesterday I got an invitation to my 10-year high school reunion, and with it a refreshing degree of flexibility:

SAVE THE DATE

Friday the 3rd - Football game
Saturday the 4th - appetizers, drinks, DJ
Sunday the 5th - dessert and drinks (koolaid that is, this is a time to bring the kids) at Girard Park (bring your own bag lunch)

Mark your calendars for October 3-5, 2008 for the LHS 10 yr h.s. reunion!
(formal invitation to follow)
The cost is $35 for singles and $65 for couples.

Please let us know ASAP if you plan on attending so that the details can be finalized.

ONE MORE THING - ALL OF THIS IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

Well, OK then... I hope they don't get tired and decide to do it the next weekend, like one of my Lafayette friends did with his party last summer when I came down. Oops!

All noncommittal date-saving aside, the very prospect of a 10-year reunion is amusing to me. I've always seen it as one of those things that happens to other people, like bills and belly fat. Well, just bills. Ha ha!

Let's just say that I probably didn't mature as much as my classmates. I haven't married, I don't have kids and I live alone in an apartment along a dead-end street. Which, on paper, sounds like I should be legally barred from the park outing with the kids. On the other hand, the reunion's nine months from now, so I still have time if I want to jump on the baby bandwagon...

Naah. I'm just hiding the fact that I'm as likely to play with the kids as I am with the adults. Because I've always had a soft spot for running around outside. In the few times I've seen my classmates in recent years, the conversation has inevitably steered toward how OLD we are. But I don't feel old, in the sense of "Let me settle down and connect the dots for the rest of my life while my pants get progressively bigger." I'm more like a sports car with way too much mileage and baggage in the trunk (so to speak). And like with most trips, once you've arrived, you can't always recall details of the drive.

Shortly before graduation, our school's newspaper asked seniors where they thought they'd find themselves in 10 years. Even in high school, I hated this question. It fails for two reasons:

1) You don't know what you want at 18. Most people don't know well past that age. You have no idea what tastes, influences, inclinations and circumstances are going to change in that time frame. Being single-minded on that front is more likely to disappoint you than not. Which sounds real authoritative coming from someone who currently makes a living doing the same duties he did for his high school paper, huh? Then again, I did want to be in the Olympics. So there! I'm a failure. You can now soak up my wisdom.

2) Even if you know what you want, isn't connecting the dots boring? Even in middle school, people would be really specific about this: "I am going to marry John Boudreaux and we are going to have three kids, two boys and a girl. I will work as a psychologist in a corner office on Kaliste Saloom, near that farmer's market on South Beadle. We'll live in a split-level on Richland Drive and I'll drive a 6-series BMW with the optional trim-leather package and vanity plates that say, 'HAPP-E'." Sweet Jesus, that's a commitment! I don't know what I'm having for lunch.

To me, 10 years seemed like an unfathomable amount of time. I'm certainly not heading into 2018 with any feasible game plan. And I can't recall what I wrote on the high school questionnaire (though I did save most of them for some reason). But that's just fine with me, because it was definitely wrong on some level. No matter how far along you get in life, you should never live with a sense of complacency. Happiness is good, but so is a sense of adventure. And that's something you should never lose, regardless of how many decades you're removed from high school.

6 comments:

Leigh C. said...

I was right where you are at my ten-year high school reunion. The problem there was that my parents received the info about it and didn't forward it to me until well after the fact. Since one of my best friends from high school keeps up with me, though, there was still loads of info about me in the alumni blurbs thanks to her.

A year or two later, I was an old married broad expecting a kid. Who knew?

musing85 said...

Don't sell yourself short, Ian. No matter what the advertisers would like to make us believe, there's no connection between maturity, marriage, or parenthood. Believe me, if there were, we'd know it. (We'd see a lot fewer people getting married on a whim in Vegas, or having kids they're neither ready for nor interested in raising.)

Me, I've skipped every single class reunion my high school graduating class has ever had. Nine-tenths of my classmates made it quite clear they wanted little if anything to do with me when we were in school (and the feeling was mutual), so I feel little interest and less obligation actually to spend money to spend time with people I'd have gone out of my way to avoid when we were in school together.

Anonymous said...

Wait until you attend reunions just to see which of you is still living.

gg said...

Nice of them to make solid plans for the out-of-towners.

Ian McGibboney said...

I don't want to give the impression that I seriously consider myself a failure. In fact, I am happy to be where I am in life right now. I say a lot of these things facetiously because I embrace the fact that I am dissimilar to most people my age. I would frankly rather be myself and an outcast than conform to something I don't care to be a part of at the moment.

As for the reunion, I'm still on the fence about it. Much of my class was a large clique that I had nothing to do with; but at least a few of the ones I really liked may be there, and that would be good.

pudding-monkey said...

I would go to my high school reunion because I moved to another province and haven't seen anyone in years. Had I not switched schools after junior high, though, you wouldn't be able to pay me enough to occupy the same space as my former "classmates."

This is Magical Shrimp, BTW.