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Thursday, 13 February 2014

50th High School Reunion

By Mia McCabe

I was not popular in high school. At my Catholic girls’ high school, the two sure paths to popularity were being on basketball team or planning to be a nun. Neither of which held any interest for me.

There also were the student council and orchestra groups. I was the oldest of six kids and was needed at home, no after school activities for me. My mantra during those years was, “Please let there be a bigger world out there for me.”

Many years later, I found myself working with a former classmate (student council and orchestra member). She was arranging the reunion and kept asking me to attend.

I had no interest but I tried to be polite since she was working so hard on this event. As the reunion grew closer, I wondered why was I so reluctant to go.

Vanity played a part in my deliberations; how would I compare in a room full of women my age and from a similar background. I decided to attend, thinking at least they would be impressed by what a good sport I was for attending. They weren't.

The student council people sat with the student council people, orchestra people with orchestra people and the nuns - wannabe, current and former - all sat together. I sat with a group of women whose names were vaguely familiar to me.

As for vanity, there were some women who looked fabulous, thanks to great genetics, good fortune or stylists. A few less lucky souls looked like train wrecks. The rest of us looked like pleasant, middle class older women.

That was fine with me, especially when I saw the poster board with pictures of classmates who had died.

I stayed through lunch but left before the Twist contest.

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Thank you....I've always avoided going to mine.

Nice story. I think it's more curiosity rather than comradery that attracts people to reunions. I have a non-traditional view of education, so I never bother with that stuff.

When I attended high school, (I transferred in at sophomore level)the class I joined was small, about 53 students. We were both 'town' kids and 'country' kids. There could have been rivalry but wasn't because our teachers and principal saw to it that there wasn't. I still remember each of my classmates with fondness and keep in touch with a couple of them, even though I moved to a different coast many years ago. I went to our 50th, but sadly we didn't have a 60th.

I went to my 65th but only because 2 in my crowd were also going and then we sat, per usual at a table with all former groupies. but I was lucky, for a woman I knew, but not included in our close clan, came and talked to me. We had a wonderful chat and found now at our late age we had lots in common, so I have again found another friend even at this late age. So better go and see if you can't do the same.

My family's reunion has always happened the same weekend as our reunions, so I have yet to attend one. When my father passes, I probably will be free then to go. But I truthfully have not jumped on the wagon to go because I always felt that I would keep in touch with the people I really wanted to keep in touch with anyway. Still, I keep running into former classmates and we always seem to have something to chat about, so maybe it won't be so bad. Thanks for giving me something to think about today.

I went to a large high school in Seattle but after college, I spent decades on the east coast. When I came back to Seattle and got a notice about the 50th reunion, I decided to go.

I didn't expect to recognize anyone after all that time, and I didn't. With one exception. In high school, we had a great basketball team which won the state tournament two years in a row. Which is unheard of.

The team captain was taller than anyone in our high school, and he still was.

I went to my 45th reunion, the only reunion I attended. I went with an high school, college chum, and my newish husband and was surprised to see several people I did know there. The couldn't have been more than sixty people there out of a graduating class of nearly 900. We had a good time.

All of my high school reunions were great! In fact, my husband - who went to another HS - attends my reunions. As the years pass, classmates who may not have socialized in HS tend to have more in common. We also have an occasional mini-reunion at a hometown diner for 20-30 people out of maybe 200 grads. Some are just general gatherings, but one honored a classmate who was up for a Grammy. The most recent one, last year, was held at the request of a classmate who had cancer and knew that she would not make it to any further reunions...she died 4 months later. We enjoyed a chance to share our childhoods and school memories, and say goodbye, something not many of us get. The photographs we took are cherished. BTW, I was a band geek in HS, but we don't seem to have developed a closed group.

My 55th reunion was a disappointment. There were seven of us with only a couple that I recognized. The others seemed to know me but I couldn't remember our connections that many years ago. What was most disappointing was the fact that those who still lived in the area failed to come. They saw each other in the daily lives and didn't feel the need, I guess. Needless to say I haven't returned; they meet every year at a park along with all the graduates from the 50's.

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