Sunday, March 21, 2010

Another High School Reunion?

Class reunion photo at Max's Grill

A friend once told me there was a correlation between the year of a high school reunion and its function. The tenth was about strutting our accomplishments and seeing who'd gone farther and faster. Lots of testosterone, in other words. By the twentieth, we were supposed to have grown up enough to begin enjoying one another at last. She couldn't speak about the thirtieth and beyond because she hadn't been down that road yet -- "I'll send you an email about it when I get there," she said.

Well, I missed my tenth, but she was right about the twentieth. It was fun seeing people I'd known, loved, and hadn't heard from in what suddenly seemed like a long time. I was surprised by some of the changes. One "girl" I hadn't recalled for her athletic interests, was running marathons. I'd expected a classmate who was a gifted musician to have gone to Julliard and now he was a corporate officer. There were some I could scarcely recognize and then there was one of my closest friends present with her husband and daughters; I'd have known her anywhere.

So, there were things that hadn't changed. Someone who used to tell me how she wanted to sit down and talk but never did, approached me and said, with a knowing look, "I want to talk with you later on." She slipped away to the dance floor and that was the last I saw of her. We'd known each other since grade school and I couldn't help but smile, wondering what she wouldn't allow herself to tell me. I still wonder, sometimes.

And then there was the friend I realized I'd been an idiot to have failed to ask on a date. She'd grown into a sensitive, thoughtful, and lovely woman, soon to marry some guy who went hiking rather than attend the reunion with her. I remember her standing in the sunshine, light brown hair turned to gold. The one who got away.

I found an email in my box the other day and it's time for another reunion. This one should be interesting. For one thing, my good friend's daughters are old enough to be my classmates. How's that for a turn of events? Their parents are likely contemplating retirement and I'm embarking on the career of a lifetime. I'm curious if I'm the only one or are there others who've had to go backwards in time to find themselves. If there are, that's where my party will be.

Early August is the date set by our committee. I suspect I'll gain not only something worth writing about but also some perspective. It will be like looking through the window in my study and instead of a hayfield, seeing the person I used to be, before beginning clinical rotations as the one I am now. The band will cover the music of The Rolling Stones and Creedence Clearwater Revival and my car stereo will continue to blast out a mix of Rap, Rock, and whoever is newest and grooviest. Wait a second, did I say groovy? Sorry, a little mental lapse. I meant, coolest. Yeah, that's it.


(Creative Commons image of a class reunion unknown to the author by davef3138 via Flickr)
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