Class reunion or a root canal? Your choice . . . numbing agents optional.

2 Comments

Found on the Web:

“I don’t entirely get the concept of high school reunions. I mean, in my mind, you keep in touch with the people you really want to keep in touch with, and who cares about the rest? Why torture yourself with coordinated events that you have to dress up and pay for, only to mingle briefly and wonder why you even bothered in the first place? Based on my observations from movies and television, the real reasons behind high school reunions are so a) the nerds can gloat about how totally hot and rich they are now, b) all the unpopular kids can gloat about how fat the popular kids are now, c) the people who have spouses/kids now can gloat about their spouses/kids with the other people who have spouses/kids and d) you can finally hook up with that guy/girl who was way out of your league your junior year and is now so crushed by life and/or drunk that they’re willing to let you touch them.”

The quote above is used without permission (sorry!) from the weblog: I’m just like you…but maybe more neurotic.

The author of that blog was reading my mind! Now see what I have to say on the subject:

OK, this is a rant. Two people have asked me to work on a class reunion, which by rights should have been held this past summer. Nobody put one together then, and now folks are saying we should do it. I say forget it. Here’s why:

Forty years ago I graduated from high school with about 106 other folks. Most of us never correspond. The few that do keep in touch with me are people I knew before, at our old school in Noel before we consolidated  two years before graduating, going to the much larger McDonald County High School. I have few fond memories of that place, sorry. It was large, cold and lonely. The teachers were mostly from Anderson, and the Anderson kids ruled. Even the Noel and Pineville teachers who moved over to the high school sucked up to the Anderson hierarchy. I was not an A student, and I wasn’t one of the cool ones. I was a nerdy musician, a bookworm, with a B minus average. I wasn’t part of a clique.  I didn’t date unless it was a special occasion, and those were few. After I left high school, I never looked back. The 10-year reunion was held without me, and that was OK. But by the 20th, I had mellowed out. I thought things might be different, and it was time to rekindle old friendships and try, really try, to fit into the groove.

I was contacted and asked to take part in the plans. A committee of about 15 of us met several times for months, created a questionnaire, compiled addresses, and mailed them out and put together a neat little booklet with information from classmates. We planned and carried out a reunion at the high school, complete with a program. The whole experience was exhausting, but we were proud of our accomplishment. However, during the luncheon, the committee spokesman got up and gave one classmate total credit for the work of the committee. And then that classmate, given the credit, thanked his family for all the hard work they did. Nobody thanked the committee. It was exactly like high school had been – people behind the scenes worked their butts off while a few figureheads took all the credit and got all the praise. And it isn’t that I wanted praise – I just felt that the group effort, which had been enormous, should have been applauded. And then, to top it all off, they gave the previous class president, a nice guy but someone who did nothing at all to plan the reunion, the job again in a mock election. It was ludicrous. 

I went home that afternoon with a splitting headache and a neck spasm. I decided right then and there that it would be a cold day in Hell before I went to another class reunion.  And what is it about people who are still live in the area, that we are supposed to be the ones putting a reunion together, anyway? Just because I still live in the area doesn’t mean that I have a better handle on it than anyone else. And I wouldn’t go if you planned it, guys. 

The fact is, the classmates I want to be in contact with, I am in contact with. The rest of them are people who move in different circles. Once in awhile I might run into them, but we have little in common and are very different people today from 40 years ago. I really don’t know these people. To be honest, being forced into planning a get-together for this bunch would be less enjoyable than a root canal – at least with the dental surgery, I get a little anesthetic.

2 thoughts on “Class reunion or a root canal? Your choice . . . numbing agents optional.

  1. Well, I guess can’t say that I blame how you feel Although I played a minor part in the committee at the last reunion, I still enjoyed it. It’s unfortunate that you (and I guess others) held/hold such bad memories about HS and the last reunion. I’m surprised that something that happened 40 years ago would still cause such an outpouring of vitriol. And despite what you and your quote say, my sole motive has always been to see old friends and catch up on what’s happened — none of the a thru d reasons cited. Obviously, if that’s why people go to them then, yes, they ought to stay home.
    P.S. — I only asked if you knew why we hadn’t had a 40 year reunion. It wasn’t my intent to put you on the hook for arranging one. Sorry to open old wounds.

    • Oh, Richard, my dear friend, you did not open any wounds. I really did consider getting ball rolling on a reunion last year, and there were several people who wanted me to; most recently, you mentioned it, and then Nancy also did, earlier in the fall. But the more I thought about it, I realized that things would not be different, and if I put a lot of myself into it, like I did last time, I would be setting myself up to be disappointed. As I said, I would love to see you. And several others, too! If somebody else were to do it, I really WOULD go. But I am really too busy; right now I need something to do, but in a week I’ll be so busy I won’t come up for air until June. Thanks for reading my blog!

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