Thursday, June 26, 2008

High School Reunion Number 25

Tomorrow I will head up to my ancestral homeland in South Jersey for a weekend's worth of 25th Reunion events. I was class president, so I have a big part in the planning and execution of these events. I used to bring a pretty powerful Navy-trained type A personality to the job, but for this reunion, I kicked back and sort of let the process work itself out.

I come from a class of over 400 graduates, and I think we'll be fortunate to have fifty show up (plus spouses/sig others). This is a little disappointing, but it isn't for lack of trying. We really worked the database and did quite a bit of pushing. Bottom line is, it seems like a good many more people seem to want to forget about high school than want to remember it. No, that's probably too harsh. Most don't seem to place any importance on it. I suppose that's a pretty healthy attitude, given the conflicting attitudes that folks have about those four years of their lives.

My brother was also his class president....but not only feels no obligation to participate in his class reunion planning, he doesn't even attend. I had a conversation with him about it, but I simply couldn't get my arms around his reasons for not wanting to go. He says he sees the people from high school that he wants to see. He says he has no desire to spend an evening with folks he doesn't socialize with. Truly, these in and of themselves are sufficient rationale for not attending most social events....but something that comes up every five years? When the drive (for him) involved is about 25 miles? I figure I must lead a pretty bland life if I gear up every five years for monthly organizational meetings for one weekend's worth of fun with people I see very little of the rest of the time. What is it about my brother's life that is so much fun, so interesting, so diverse, so engaging...that getting together with a group of people with whom he shared an important part of his adolescence does not appeal to him? Or better yet, what is it about my pitiful life that leads me to put such importance on it? Any help here?


thsntht said...

I attended my 10th, 20th, 30th and in a few years most likely will attend my 40th. By far the 30th was the best as people finally realized who they were and didn't put on airs & to some degree finally got over the caste system that is so much a part of HS.

The culture that is the military creates a PCS cycle that was first born out of HS. A 3 or 4 year tour in HS followed by a 4 or 5 year tour in college followed by a career of tours. That cycle refreshes and to some degree introduces a new cast of characters.

I would say that those that have had public or private careers that took them away from the closeness of the old HS stomping grounds do not treat a reunion with apathy; moreover, I think they enjoy the revist of a successful tour!

Doc Milnamo said...

B4 - I have no idea why you place such importance on attending your HS reumion, nor do I have any idea why B5 could care less. It has to have something to do with what each of you experienced during those high school years.

As for me - B1 - I thoroughly enjoyed high school. Yea there were a few hairy moments for sure, but all-in-all, I enjoyed all 4 years and wouldn't trade the memories I have for a thing. I realize - after speaking with many people over the years on this subject - I am in the minority as someone who loved high school. So be it.

I am puzzled by the apathy exhibited by your classmates towards a 25th reunion...very puzzling. The 25th is a biggie and mine was well attended. Our 30th reunion (Nov 07) was not as well attended but that was to be expected.

Hey, B5 is one of the funniest people I know, so it is a shock to not see him out exercising his comedic chops!

Enjoy your reunion, and say "hey" to good ol' LHS for me. Last, but not least - happy anniversary of your birth.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

thsntht, I think you are onto something, at least in my case. I have indeed lived my life in small chunks, each of which is characterized by where I lived or what I was doing.

Doc.....5's apathy toward his reunions appears completely disconnected from his high school experience. I presume he'll pipe up soon enough to inform us.

Goldwater's Ghost said...

CW, I don’t know your brother, but he sounds like an incredibly deep, intellectually gifted young man possessing a rapier wit. If I was to speculate on his reasoning for declining to attend, or even participate in the organizing of his high school reunion, I would guess that your brother feels that he has already lived that part of his life, and has simply moved on. Perhaps he formed two or three good relationships during his high school years and continues to maintain them on a daily basis. But for the remainder of the 400 or so people he graduated with – he bid them the best of luck and life back on June 19, 1986 and didn’t look back.

Perhaps in this era of aging rock star reunions and rehashed movie sequels, he has grown weary of these endeavors. How many Hollywood sequels actually out-do their predecessors? I can name only a handful:

1) The Godfather, part II (part III is not even open for discussion)
2) Superman II
3) The Empire Strikes Back
4) Toy Story 2

Out of how many? The rest are crap, and always seem to tarnish the original’s luster a bit (remember, I’m just speculating on your brother’s complex psyche). Maybe he truly enjoyed every minute of his time in high school when he was sixteen and wants to keep these experiences tucked away in his mind’s eye, to be replayed on rainy days in the future. And perhaps the prospect of seeing his classmate’s age before his eyes will remind him of his own impending mortality.

Or, maybe he’s just lazy.

SamShapiro said...

The best thing about a reunion is seeing the people you were not really friends with 25 years ago and what great people they have become.

SamShapiro said...
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