Post 5.10 - Reunited and it feels so... meh

Publishing early this week -- Enjoy your Friday and the weekend!

High school reunions. These periodic events are a chance for people to reminisce, reconnect, and even renew. The majority of people I know do not attend their reunions, whether they be 10-year, 20-year, or more.

I didn't go to mine. I am not saying there is anything wrong if you are someone who does go and/or looks forward to these things. I am just not among this group. I am curious as to what people look like now, what they've done with their lives, and that sort of thing, but not enough to set aside time to go. My 20-year reunion conflicted with a professional event I was chairing, so I had a reasonable excuse -- but even without an excuse, I'd probably not have attended.

I've always said that if there was anyone from high school I wanted to stay in touch with, I would. And I have. It doesn't mean that I don't care about other friends I had or anything like that, but we're adults now living all over the place. It isn't as easy to be in touch with or be as close to this group of people. I do know a group of former classmates, all female, who get together somewhat regularly, but it always takes a certain level of advanced planning and isn't always as easy as meeting for drinks after work.

We also have Facebook now. One of the developments that has resulted from this site -- as well as more disturbing and difficult adjustments -- is the reappearance of so many people from the past. I am in contact via Facebook with 20-30 people from high school, both from my graduating class and others. Most of these renewed associations have been positive, and with a few of them, I feel like we are better friends now than when we knew each other in person. I think a key to this evolution is that we relate to each other as we are now, without constant reference to "remember the time when..." stories. They come up, and they are a basis for our knowing each other, but they are background, and we're able to interact as adults in our current lives. I've liked that.

The college reunion approach is different, primarily because my school was so small. The annual homecoming event serves as the reunion in most situations, but I've actually remained in contact with far more people. Facebook has played a role to expand this list, but many more of us have made the effort to keep up with each other and find ways to communicate more frequently.

I've been fortunate not to be "friended" or contacted by anyone I absolutely did not like, although I have had the occasional stalker. I also try to be open to people who choose to reach out to me, no matter what level of friendship we may have previously enjoyed. But all in all, it's largely been fun to learn about where people are now, and surprising to learn the things that people remember. My memories are mixed and fragmented for various reasons, so it's been a chance to fill in the blanks.

As I mentioned, I didn't attend my 20-year reunion, but I saw a lot of pictures thanks to Facebook contacts who did attend. And mercifully, one of my friends took the time to tag or caption every picture so I'd know who I was looking at -- because I wouldn't have recognized the majority of them. In some cases, the face would seem familiar, but I couldn't place the name at all. In other cases, people had work done, and I wouldn't recognize their new face anyway.

But the biggest surprise, perhaps, was who actually chose to attend. Some of them I would not have expected in a million years, new face or old. People who just did not seem to be very into the whole high school experience, let alone would one day have the interest in re-living it.

The plan now is to have a high school reunion every five years, and a friend of mine is planning the next one. I feel bad for his sake that I won't be going, but I am looking forward to the next round of pictures.

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