Tomorrow night is the 30-Year Class Reunion of the Windham High School Class of 1976 of which I was a member but which I am not attending. When I first received notifiation of this grand event this past summer I gave some thought to going and then put the questionnaire down on the kitchen counter with all of the other collective mail that is there and promptly forgot about it. When the actual invitation arrived in September I again looked at it, gave some thought to attending, and put it, too, down on the counter with all of the other collective mail that is there.
It wasn't until October that I again gave some thought to the reunion and, thinking that it was going to be held in late November, I dug through the collective mail that had piled even higher on the kitchen counter and finally found the invitation. That was on the 17th of October and the RSVP had to be back by the 10th of October. Oops! I suppose it would have been possible to contact someone on the reunion committee and explain the faux pas to them but then I decided that I didn't really want to spend $60 as well as take an unpaid night off of work, provided I could even get someone to cover for me on a Saturday night. Somehow it just didn't seem worth it to go see a bunch of people that I never even really talked to during high school - never mind since then.
My graduating class was somewhere around 350 people which was a large number back then though pretty standard for most high schools these days. I lived in Canterbury but was bussed to Willimantic every day as that was where the town had decided to send those of us who didn't want to attend either a tech school or vo-ag school. I had entered Windham in my Junior year as my first two years of high school were very happily spent at Portsmouth Senior High School in Portsmouth, New Hampshire as that was where my Dad was stationed at the time.
Let me just say that changing high schools in mid-stream absolutely, positively sucked! I had a lot of friends in Portsmouth, was on the school newspaper, and I was quite happy there. When I began the remainder of my high school career at Windham I had to try to form new friendships or rekindle the ones I had with the people I had graduated 8th-grade with. Fortunately for me my cousin Diana was in the same class as I and she was kind enough to introduce me to those friends she had made at Windham. My Junior year was tricky but Senior year wasn't bad as by that time I had forged some really good friendships and even got elected Class Secretary (which is really easy to do when you run unopposed!).
Still, there are probably only a dozen or so people that I would want to see at my Class Reunion and chances are real good that very few of those people are going to be in attendance. I recently had an email on my MySpace account from a former class member who knew nothing at all about the reunion and was bummed that she was going to miss it as she now lives in Florida and will be in Connecticut at the wrong time. Had she known ahead of time, she would have rearranged her schedule. But - that's one of the tough things about high school reunions that get to be 25, 30, 40 years out - people are scattered all over the place and are hard to track down.
I worked on the Reunion Committee for my 20th Class Reunion and though it was fun, it was a lot of work. Truth be told, I don't remember too much about the reunion itself and it didn't provide me with the opportunity to reconnect with any of my old high school buddies either. My best high school buddy Carol lives just a couple of towns over and I never seem to have the opportunity to hook up with her due to her schedule and mine and even though I know she's attending the reunion, it seems pretty pathetic to think that's the best we could do to get together. We should be able to find some time some where in our lives to catch up over a cup of coffee or something rather than have to attend a once-every-decade event - we can't possibly be that busy can we??
Maybe high school reunions are a good source of reflection but I don't really need to spend $60 to go to dinner at the Mystic Hilton with people I barely remember to reflect on my life since high school. Has it gone the way I thought it would? No. Have I done the things I thought I would? No. There is no way that I could have ever predicted that I would be twice divorced with three children and a grandchild 30 years ago and if I could have I guess I would have been better off making my living as a psychic rather than an ambulance dispatcher!
I'm sure everyone who attends will have a wonderful time and this actually provides me with a really good reason to get together with Carol so she can tell me all about it - provided we can coordinate our schedules long enough to do that!
Author's Note: Truth be told, I used to run through the halls of my high school when I was on the track team as we used to use the second floor of the school as an indoor track of sorts when it was too cold or rainy to go outside!