I recently attended my… uh hum… 40th class reunion. I had a great time. I hadn’t seen most of the people for… uh hum …40 years. My class had 442 graduate so it was impossible to have known all of them. Even so, those whom I only had a vague notion of when I was in high school were fun to re-meet and chat with to find out where they were and what family they had.
Considering how terrifying going to a reunion can be I thought about it before hand and came up with several ideas before I went on how to have fun. Others in the list came to mind as I was there. So here goes:
1. Don’t worry how you look. There will be some who look better than you and others who look worse, so don’t sweat it. Dress for comfort with low heals since you will most likely be standing for several hours. Wear what you feel good in. If you feel like you look good you will. Remember, less is more.
2. Ask others about themselves and their lives first. Everyone loves to talk about themselves. Listen carefully, especially if they have had or are having a challenge in their life. Not only will you be thought of in a positive way, but you may be helping someone cope with difficulties they are facing. Remember, it’s not all about you.
3. Don’t try to impress. No matter where you are in the timeline, 10, 20, 30… uh hum… 40 years out of high school, a reunion is not a place for social climbing. No place is really, but it will really stick out if you are trying to show off your job, status, wealth, etc. A reunion is about a time when we were all young and dumb teenagers. These people all know what you were like then. Where you are or want to be isn’t what they care about. You’ll be scattered again in a day or so and again be a memory. Remember, you won’t see most of these people for at least five years. They can’t or won’t help you with your career or social status. Remember it's about the memories.
4. Laugh about the fact that you need bifocals and can’t hear over the noise. Everyone in the room is the same age as you. They all have similar physical deterioration going on in their bodies. It’s a common subject you can use to break the ice. The skinny track star may now have a belly, the guy with the long full hair may now be bald. The girl who was always chubby may now be paper thin. None of that really matters. If appearance is all you thing about then you haven’t grown into a mature adult. Remember, you are all the same age and it’s not about appearance anyway.
5. Be generous. If there is an opportunity to donate to a scholarship fund do so. It doesn’t need to be much. Remember, it is better to give than to receive.
6. Don’t stay in your cliques, chat with everyone. The cliques were just that; were. Your life has moved past high school. Be interested in the kid you ignored. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were probably the ones no one thought much about because they were nerds. You may find the jock or cheerleader you hung around with is not nearly as interesting as the kid with glasses who always knew the answer. Remember, you aren’t in high school anymore.
photo by BeverlyLR
7. Be willing to laugh at yourself. We all did stupid stuff in high school. This is a time to remember the stupid kids we were and laugh at our gaffs, mistakes, etc. Have fun. Remember, don’t take yourself too seriously.
8. Tell everyone they look just like they did years ago. In a way they do. They may have wrinkles, short hair instead of long or no hair, but their eyes are the same, their smile, those things that makes them who they are. Everyone likes to be recognized. Many will remember a face even if they can't recall the name. Remember, you look similar too.
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Sophie Dawson is my pen name. The real me is the wife of a farmer in western Illinois.
I have two grown sons, one of which is married to a wonderful young woman. They gave us the most wonderful granddaughter ever in November of 2010. I'm not the least bit prejudice. :)