Summer and fall is high school reunion time. Some reunions have already passed by, but some are on the schedule this month.
Fred and I just returned from my high school reunion. Fred’s is in a few weeks.
In the event you have a reunion scheduled soon, I am going to offer some hints how to proceed at such an event, especially if your reunion happens to be the 35th or longer.
Naturally, there are obvious nuggets of advice on the internet, but my tips are MY survival codes of conduct to guide you through the process.
I hope these hints help you to have a wonderful time as a result!
• The first and most important hint is this: Dig out your high school annual yearbook and review the names. Forget the faces WITH the names. The faces have morphed into a different shape and hardly resemble the visages of their 18-year-old images.
• Once there, don’t hesitate to look at their name tag. When you realize to whom you are speaking (and they do the same with you), say, “Oh Gladys, you haven’t changed a bit! I would know your voice? Eyes? Nose? Anywhere! This is not a fabrication. It’s exactly the truth and precisely how you will recognize each of them.
Or, IF I am totally blank, and the situation is already a lost cause, I laugh and say, “Oh Joan Feeberbester! Of course! Are you in there, Joan?” She usually laughs too and it’s then that I recall the voice or the eyes or something. She then can say the same about ME!
• Dress up. Make an effort to look your very best. This is IT. This is why you have dress up clothes in your closet. The reason for looking good is now! It’s now or never. It is not the time to sluff off. It’s NOW that you want to make THE effort.
Have I made my point? Fred says, “One can still look good at our age, but it takes more work to get there!”
Women, remember to stand up straight, pull in your stomach, and hold your head high so no one can see your double chin. Men, you already are just fine, and seldom are assessed the same way. You can walk in any old way you wish. Just remember to dress up.
And please, leave your ball caps in the car!
• Smile. Don’t look desperate and ready to bolt. To smile is an important clue here, friends. Practice this often unused muscular contortion before the reunion.. A smile puts others at ease.
It doesn’t matter if you are at ease or not!
• Forget how relationships USED to be. Forgive old offenses. Forget how others USED to act. Remember how immature we all were, and offer the same slack to others as you hope they will give to you.
• Don’t drink too much if it’s available. “Oh sure, fill ‘er up! Yup! I can say what I durn well think now! BIG MISTAKE.
• Don’t talk with your mouth full. If you are eating snacks, it’s probable that a leaf in the spinach dip may get wedged between your front teeth. The smile will be corrupted. Maybe it’s better to not eat while visiting then!
• Don’t interrupt. Listen. Respond. Speak gently, and take your turn. Do NOT launch into a long, detailed story about you or your grandchildren. No one cares.
• Forget about YOU. You have already prepared. You are smiling and you are all “gussied” up. The important, numero uno person is the one to whom you are talking. Not you!
• Cherish this moment and keep in mind that this may be the last time you see some of those classmates.
If you consider and practice these ten points, you will have a wonderful time. You will leave with warm feelings and will have no after thoughts of “what did I say? Why did I say that? “
It’s important to return to one’s roots now and then, People change. Attitudes change. But memories remain the same. Everyone there has a part of the whole picture, and every contribution refreshes and enhances some wonderful memories for us all.
Attend the reunion. You are an important memory to those who are attending. Take advantage of this opportunity to see old friends and acquaintances.
You might be just what they need. You might be THE ONE who some classmate is looking forward to seeing.
And have fun!
“A Woman’s View” is Judi Tabler’s reflection of her experiences and events. She is a wife, mother, writer, teacher, grandmother, and even a great grandmother.