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.
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.