I’ve been to three reunions altogether. Each time I was left with a different feeling, although two of the reunions were mostly with the same people.
The first one was with people from my secondary school. (That’s high school in the US. Maybe even in Britain now – I don’t know.) I spent seven years at that all-girls’ school – from age 11 to age 17 – and when I left I didn’t want any connection with any of those girls. It was that bad. And so it would have remained if it weren’t for the Internet and getting in touch with four lovely women who happened to be former colleagues. These women, via numerous emails, helped me to come to terms with the events of the long-distant past. It wasn’t that I blamed them or any of the girls at school; just that I wanted to block it all out. But, as I’ve said before, I think that was a mistake.
Anyway, the four all invited me to stay in their homes before the reunion, and by the day of the reunion, I wasn’t feeling too nervous about it. The event turned out to be very enjoyable and the best part of it, for me, was that everyone there treated me as a normal person – as opposed to our school years when they didn’t, as I remember. Actually, the hardest part was the conversation between those four and me after the reunion, which foreshadowed the subsequent reunion, but I ignored that and revelled in my feelings about the main event.
My next reunion was at my college of London University. It brought back memories of living in the impressive Victorian building, but not many memories of the students. In fact, in contrast to the people I went to school with, hardly any of the former students were familiar to me – apart from the few I’d kept in contact with. So the reunion was enjoyable but disappointing. I decided to give the next reunion, to be held this month, a miss.
The third reunion, again of my school, left me feeling very different from the way I felt after the first one, despite the fact that most of the participants had been at the first one, and they were all just as pleasant. We sat around a table and remembered our shared past, as one does at reunions. And I realised that we didn’t really share a past. That I didn’t remember the things they remembered, and they didn’t remember the things I remembered. And also, that the things I remembered were things they probably didn’t want to hear. They wanted to talk about the fun times and I didn’t remember any, because I wasn’t part of them.
So, it seems I’ve had my fill of reunions. How about you? From the comments to my previous post, I see I’m not alone.