The hugs were the best

Can I just say wow? It was a supreme beach day today and I had to draaaag myself off the moominbeach this afternoon. Do I really have to go to the high school reunion dinner tonight? I had a really good time on the boat tour but my inner resources for social interaction are soooo limited. How will I navigate tonight?

If anything, it was easier! Who knew? I started running into people out in the parking lot and rolled through several relatively in-depth conversations out by the bar, then settled into a seat at a table with a few people I really *wanted* to connect with and didn’t have to struggle to make conversation with. And The Beautiful Mimi dredged this photoooo up from somewhere. I bought that “crop-top” at Woolworth’s. I think I was maybe 12 or 13? There aren’t too many photooos of me at that age.

The tone of a 40th reunion is so different than that of a 20th. Back then I felt intimidated by all of the wonderful things people were doing. Me? I had a husband, kids, a house, and a good job that I liked but I wasn’t making a whole ton of money and I didn’t really feel like I was living up to my potential. Did other people feel like that too? I don’t know. At the time, I felt as though there was a wee bit of oneupsmanship going on. Looking back on that, I don’t think we were really trying to outdo each other. It was more like we were desperately wanting to feel successful ourselves and who best to compare ourselves with than our high school classmates.

It was all so much more casual this time around. Yeah, we talked about our jobs (or the ones we’ve retired from) and our kids and grandkids (those who have them) and our parents’ deaths or whatever struggles they are having. This time, I didn’t even think about measuring myself against others. In a way that’s odd because for the first time in my life, I actually have a job that I like *and* pays pretty darn well. But who cares? Have I lived up to the potential of my intelligence and education? Maybe not exactly. But I have “made it” somehow. I am not a world-class flute player or the CEO of some big company or whatever but I have a good job and enough money to live on and a fantastic family and some good friends and I just don’t care about much of anything else any more. I got the sense that I was not the only Soo High 1972 grad who felt that way.

Somebody on the boat tour last night expressed the opinion that our class, from a high school in what some folks describe as an isolated, rugged outpost, sent a lot of folks out into the world who have done very well and made the world a better place. We have, although I don’t think we have any household names among us. I am not one of those but I do not think I have made things worse either.

Cheers to the Soo High Class of 1972. Seeya in five years. Or for our 60th birthdays. Or in Lansing.

3 Responses to “The hugs were the best”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Sounds like a great time. I remember when I first started getting together with a high school group, I felt intimidated. But then I realized that we were all dealing with some kinds of issues, as well as successes. Honesty and openness really helped our group bond, although we weren’t all friends in high school and came from all different backgrounds.

  2. Paulette Says:

    Crop tops? Weren’t those rather scandalous at the time? Love the photo!

  3. Pam J. Says:

    Ha! “…my inner resources for social interaction are soooo limited.”
    I have LIRSI too! (LIRSI = Limited Inner Resources for Social Interaction.) My husband makes me go to our high school reunions. I grumble, but I go. I do not, however, find them pleasurable. It’s not like I don’t have good friends from those days, or like I hated my high school years. But the struggle to remember people is too taxing. And it’s always so embarrassing when someone remembers me but I don’t remember them.

    My huge graduating class of 750 kids — from an extremely middle-class neighborhood just outside Washington, DC — had a few infamous (as opposed to famous) graduates who are fun to talk about. Examples: one of the top 5 crooks in the Enron scandal (Lou Pai) was in my class. Several classmates went to prison for major white collar crimes, including one of the worst US Post Office scandals ever, and another went to prison after being head of the Dept of Housing for the State of Maryland. My husband and I like to say that we had criminals in our class but they were smart (up to a point) criminals.