Friday was the 30 year reunion get-together from my school. I had been a bit unsure about attending; I don’t really see anyone on a regular basis, my life has taken me out of that social circle (it’s one of those incestuous, lifestyle choice, generation after generation type of establishment) and I’m just getting more fond of solitude in my old age!
So I had lurked on the Facebook group a bit then, as the deadline approached, I signed up. I figured it was only one night… And if I really didn’t want to go on the night, it was no loss. Well, it would have been £35 loss but that might be worth it.
Actually, it was a blast. I learnt quite a few things.
- The girls are easier to recognise on first look. Mainly because they are all (except me) dyeing their hair to an approximation of what it was 30 years ago.
- Beards or baldness make the guys harder to pick out at first. Greying beards and baldness make some almost unrecognisable!
- When you focus on the eyes, you recognise each other instantly and the years melt away.
- That shared experience turns out to be really formative. Although we all remember different things and with different emphasis.
- The range of life experiences is vast. Some with kids just starting school; others with grandchildren.
- The sporty guys, on the whole, still look like they keep themselves in shape. The skinniest of the girls look more like they don’t eat.
- Although you haven’t thought about the school hymn since you left, one verse shows you still know all the (Latin) words and will be humming it all weekend.
- The people who used to be self obsessed, are still self obsessed. It’s amazing that you can ask one person (who you were close to and with family connections) all about their life and extended family yet they ask you precisely nothing.
- I’m actually surprised, but nobody spent the night boasting about how successful or rich they were, either personally or professionally. Almost everyone seemed interested in finding out about the other people.
- You can recognise someone by their mannerisms after 30 years.
- I’m glad I went.
- I’m glad I went home after midnight and didn’t follow them to the club where everyone seems to have discovered they can’t handle their drink anymore!
- I’m hoping all the talk of a follow up in a year or two comes to pass.
- I’m hoping some of the others who didn’t make it will come next time.
- There are some of these people I would like to see again.