A chosen few…

The big one is coming.

Nope, not a birthday, I stopped counting those when I hit, ahhh, well, a few years ago.

Not an anniversary either and I’m not talking Armageddon or anything political which, at this point in time,  is a hot topic.

It’s one of those, often anticipated, much dreaded, high school reunions.  My 50th, in fact.

 

The New Rochelle High School Class of 1964 held it’s twenty-fifth celebration back in 1989 and I attended, gingerly clutching my yearbook in an attempt to match faces from years before.  The women looked great (a lot of cosmetic enhancements) and the men…a long story.  A sobering part of the gathering was a memory board with photos of those who had passed, some while serving our country in Vietnam, others from illnesses or different circumstances.  There were lots of hugs along with blank stares as classmates struggled to remember faces they had only passed in the hall way back when.  The preppies, tech students, sorority sisters and brothers and those of us who merely stood on the outside…looking in at those chosen few.  Now I think how fitting the song  “At Seventeen” would have been when I was in high school; Janis Ian’s timeless words still speak volumes for the pain of those who never really find their niche, even feel that they belong, during the formative years of education.

Thanks to social media, reunion groups flourish and, of course, I’m a part of one, sitting more as an observer than a real part of my graduating class.  Just the other day, someone who had been a friend from high school posted about making up name tags for the gathering next year.   I replied that it was a fabulous idea with no response other than this woman telling someone else that she sent them a friend request, never acknowledging my supportive comment. 

Really.

Chalk it up to the advancing years of my former classmates, possibly a little memory loss setting-in,  but it made me stop dead in my have to go to this reunion tracks.  What would be the point?  I can see it now.  People grabbing their eyeglasses,  (in some cases, magnifying glasses) to read name tags and share an obligatory smile,  moving on to someone more familiar, more comfortable.  Then there are those who will profess their need-to-know just everything about your life (while telling about theirs) and then…move on to someone…yup…more familiar and much more successful.

It is what it is.  This isn’t a case of sour grapes for I’m fairly grounded with who I am and where my life has taken me so far.   Certainly, I could attend, going on and on to anyone giving me five minutes of their time about my writing and still un-published book.  Of course, I would sing endless praises about my children and incredible grandchildren.  I’d toss-out my dedication involved with the rights of children and animals along with my desire to get all the trashy housewives of anywhere shows off television.  Sure, I would impress anyone leaning over to read my name tag.

 

Mostly, I will remain on page 105 of some worn and yellowing yearbook with long-ago friends and parting wishes.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Lynne Hauptner says:

    Dear Patty, I am sorry I did not respond to your comment and support but it was appreciated. No excuses. I didn’t know about the 25th reunion and haven’t been back to NY in many years. Hope to see you at the 50th. Take care.

    • Patty says:

      Oh Lynne, my apologies if I insulted you. I guess we always assume that we will be remembered, forgetting how far each of our lives have gone since we were all in high school. You and I spent time together, I was at your home, we spoke on the phone and I so admired your talent as an artist. In fact, I remember you telling me that when you posed for the Senior Celebrity photo with Paul Kane, he was teasing you to lift your skirt a little higher!

      So many of our classmates have moved away and New York has become a distant memory. I’ve travelled a great deal and have found other places where I’d rather live but it’s impossible to get my hubby to leave the Empire State. I remember looking for you at our 25th and as I scurried around, asking a few people, I received a wonderful, crushing hug from Carole Smith followed by a kiss on my shoulder from Steve Altman. I don’t think many of us even ate that night, it was such a hustle & bustle of activity. And tears.

      Thanks, Lynne. See you next year!

  2. Yvonne says:

    Interesting that I would read this tonight. Earlier a childhood friend and I were talking about our upcoming 30th high school reunion next year. I went to a Catholic girls school. It was very small and everyone knew everyone. Of course there were the labels: Rich girls, bad girls, good girls, the jocks, the cheerleaders, the rebels, the mean girls. -You get my gist. I’m looking forward to it though. I think you should reconsider and go to your reunion. You never know, you might just have a blast. :)

    • Patty says:

      Thanks, Yvonne.

      I also went to parochial school, had enough by 9th grade and begged my parents to take me out. Oddly enough, in all these years, there has never been one reunion from either of my two Catholic schools and, since I flew that Catholic coop in 9th grade, I’m guessing that if there was a gathering, I wasn’t included.

      Went to my 25th and will definitely hit the 50th. A chance to say “hello” again before most of us say our last good-byes.

  3. Jeffrey Wynn says:

    Your thoughts pretty much reflect my own, but I have always been curious and never been afraid to take a chance. We have grandchildren in New Jersey so we make the trip in our RV and give it shot .So my curiosity is answered

  4. Jeffrey Wynn says:

    Your thoughts reflex a lot of my own feelings. I remember you. We have grandchildren in New Jersey, so mid August we pack up the RV and head east and see what happens

  5. May says:

    I have such mixed emotions about these reunions. Have been when I had a tremendous blast; have been when I swore I would never return. OK, actually that was the last one I went to…and so far it has remained THE LAST!
    It all depends on the mix of the people who come, and you can’t really predict how the night will go until you are in the midst of it. If I do return and the night begins to take an odd or ugly turn, I will be set to ditch at the first opportunity!

    • Patty says:

      Strange thing is how many people you connect with in the years after school, May. I recall, at my 25th reunion, someone asking me why we had never become friends in high school. Difficult to answer on some levels, easy on others. I see that with my Granddaughter now as she’s in her first year of high school. Kids leave middle school being top bananas and then start at the bottom in high school, a difficult transition. Everyone is fighting to be recognized, to form packs even; the peer pressure is so much more intense for children today than it was years ago it seems.

      And, I agree with you. It’s easy enough to make a graceful exit should things, well, become uncomfortable.

      I have time; it’s a year away.

      At least I hope I have time….;)

  6. Hello Patty …

    I, too, feel very much the same way you do. Having moved away in 1968 from New Rochelle, I lost touch with some of my friends from high school. It has been so nice to reconnect with some of the folks on Facebook but I know I won’t know anyone at the reunion. Don’t know if I’ll attend … you’ve given me some room for thought on the subject. So very glad you posted your comments.
    On the request for nametags, I would be happy to lend my professional services as a professional Calligrapher free of charge. I’ve had 40 years of experience so preparing nametags would be very easy for me. Don’t know who to contact regarding this … perhaps you could refer me. Take care …

    • Patty says:

      Hi Sherry!

      Given the years that have passed, I think people will be glad to connect with those they never acknowledged as well as re-connect with familiar faces. I agree, it’s a lot to think about. I know you and you me…it’s a great start! Think about it as I am.

      As far as the nametags, I’d suggest contacting Helen Joseph Newman since she has really taken the point on this gathering. I think Helen would love your ideas, talent and support.

      Check your FB for a private message that I’m sending you!

  7. kgwaite says:

    I went to one high school reunion and vowed never go to back. But your comment, one last chance to say hello…struck a chord.
    Thanks for posting.

  8. I just went to my 46th, an odd year I know, but we shared it with the class right behind us. It was fun running into people who remembered me and things about me that I didn’t even remember, and seeing people I hadn’t thought of in years. Everyone was lovely. I’m so glad I went.

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