I went back to my 10-year reunion. I actually had quite a good time. I don't see many of my high school friends very often because quite a few of them still live in Alaska and I don't. I actually enjoyed getting caught up with some of the people I hadn't thought about in years. It was gratifying, too, that most of us were able to interact outside the frame of our high school existence. We had a small class of about 85 students, and I'd say only about half made it to the reunion. But of those who came, most were genuinely interested in finding out what everyone was up to. I talked to a guy I really didn't interact with much in high school, and his story was really interesting. Now, granted, I'm a people person, and I love to hear other people's stories, but I think anyone would have had a good time just catching up with old friends and acquaintances.
Couple of funny anecdotes from the evening:
- One guy tapped me on the shoulder and then stood back with his hands on his hips, nodding and grinning at me. Clearly, he expected me to say, "Stephen?!?" and pull him in for a back-thumping hug. But damned if I didn't have ANY idea who he actually was. He looked very familiar, and I knew I was disappointing him, but I ultimately had to ask his name. When he told me, I realized I'd spent quite a bit of time with him my sophomore year, but we had drifted apart down the stretch.
- One clown wore his high school letter jacket, got completely tanked, and was hollering the same sort of stuff he'd have roared about back in '88. I think his expectation was that our reunion would be a time machine to transport him back to his glory days.
- One woman who used to be a cheerleader blurted to me, "Wow, you sure turned out great!" She was really nice, and we shared stories about our children. She didn't ignore me in high school, but we weren't boon companions, either. It was nice to hear a great compliment like that.
The next year, we attended my wife's 10-year high school reunion. She was 6 or 7 months pregnant at the time, and she looked terrific. I had a good time meeting some of her high school friends I'd heard about but had never seen. And there were a few of her buddies that I knew well that I chatted with while we were there, too. It was great fun, and I got to meet some new people, which I always enjoy.
So, you know, I'd say go without expectations and just have a good time learning about the new people you'll meet. Even those folks that you knew are going to be very different from who you knew back then.