Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Reunions - Part 3, High School Melodrama

Ahhh yes, the high school class reunion. Do we all hate this or do we love it? I have to admit that when I graduated, I had no love for my high school class. For me, high school was not that wonderful life experience people reminisce about and those four years certainly were not the best years of my life. I was the fat, brainy, egghead; not at all popular; and certainly not part of anything remotely considered the in crowd.

Ever the optimist, when graduation time came, I begged my parents to let me have a swim party. We lived in the country and had a 2 acre lake. So I bought hot dogs and buns, pop, snacks, and more for the entire class, and asked my dad to bring in tons of beach sand to create a beach along one side of the lake. We already had a floating dock with a high dive and a diving board. I sent out the invitations and was all excited about having such a cool, unique party for the class.

When the day of the party came, six or seven girls that I used to hang around with showed up. No one else came. I was incredibly hurt at first. I had gone to considerable effort and expense to throw a great party, but I wasn’t considered cool enough for the city kids to show up. Then I just got angry. I swore I would never attend anything having to do with the class ever again.

Fast forward 30 years. I got a call from the guy who used to sit in front of me in most of my classes. He had a story to tell me that I’ll pass on at some other time. But he asked me if I would please attend the 30th class reunion. I reluctantly agreed. Amazingly, I had a wonderful time. Everyone I saw there was warm and friendly and genuinely interested in talking to me. Seems we all grew up in the interceding years. I found I wasn’t really angry at anyone anymore. And I wondered why I had allowed myself to be angry for so long.

In September, I will be attending my 40th class reunion. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone, and I hope that we have a large turn-out. I’ve even been active on the reunion committee and working on the class web site; quite a turn around from the angry alumni I used to be. What saddens me is that there are a couple of my classmates who, for some reason or another, are so angry that they refuse to attend even though they live locally. Some have gone so far as to demand that no notifications be sent to them at all. Some of them were in the popular crowd. I can’t help but wonder what could possibly have happened to evoke such a response. I believe that if I can get over being snubbed by 95% of the class, they can get over whatever petty thing is holding them back.

The only way to find internal happiness is to forgive and move on. It worked for me. You might be surprised what it can do for you.