Friday, May 16, 2014
Class reunion? No, thank you, not for me, I wouldn't go. But that's just me and there are a lot of reasons I could give about what led me to such a decision.
Many people get excited by the thought to meet former classmates, especially after a long time has elapsed of zero contact, of not seeing each other and not hearing from each other. The years pass and people have lost sight of each other often completely, each one trotting an individual path through life. A class reunion can bring back old memories and nostalgic feelings.
My husband has a high school class reunion coming up next month - after more than forty years. Two dear souls decided it was time and started the planning and organizing. First of all of course there was to hunt for the addresses and phone numbers, trying to find everyone, a difficult task. Then the communication and excitement started, phone conversations were held and questions asked, e-mails arrived. The emotions started to kick in, and already stories and information went around. "Did you hear?" The sad stuff first - deaths and tragedies. Then divorces, new marriages, and ongoings of life. Carriers, kids, travel, commitment - and "oh, I will tell you more when we meet" comments. The big question is: Who was I and who am I today? How did the others see me? How did they go on in life? What happened to him? And her?
The curiosity can be felt. Class reunions are about sharing. About seeking affirmation, about a search for self-certainty, about reports of definitions and evaluation standards. It is about remembering and recognizing. About discovering similarities, and different life models as well. It is about reflecting on roots. Conflicts from schooldays can be discussed and maybe resolved. Old loves may be remembered. What a great opportunity to meet the past! To immerse in the world that once was home. Who recalls the girl from back then or that boy with the green eyes? Only the really old friends, the classmates. The reunion is like a fountain of youth. The shared intimacy goes up in value, a new sense of community could be formed. So much to tell. The pranks, the jokes, the laughter. The teachers remembered, good and bad.
After forty five years there will surely be talk about health issues, about aging and how to cope with it. What are the different strategies to deal with the changes? Advice and recommendation will be welcomed and appreciated.
I do not know any of my husbands former high school class mates personally, but I heard many stories from him and recognize quite a few by name. I listened to him telling me about broken friendships, about studying together, about a small group skipping school for a day once, and taking a bus to Jerusalem to frolic in the snow that had fallen the night before. About all kind of teachers and the nicknames they gave them. Many funny and fancy tales he has about this time in his life. This is a part of his youth that belongs to himself only, I was not there. So I am wishing him and everyone else participating in that meeting next month a reunion in good mood, sense and atmosphere, toasting to the occasion, discovering what has become of the old friends, of the former students of his class, about their personal and professional progress, and refreshing contacts with each other and sharing cherished memories and former moments. I will wait patiently for him at home, meeting him upon his return with the only proper question to be asked: "Nu, how was it?"