59 of My Closest Friends, Many of Whom I Barely Remember

Party Day: Many hands make light work.
Photo courtesy of Gina Barnes

Our high school graduating class hadn’t held a reunion in ages, so a few of us came up with the idea for a classwide birthday party.

If you knew me as a teenager, you realize I’m the very least-likely person to suggest and plan a huge party. We’re talking The Ultimate Wallflower. Aside from an occasional sleepover, I don’t think I even attended any parties while in high school.

That introversion is also why I barely remember many of my classmates. I spent most of those four self-conscious years wondering what everyone else thought of me instead of paying attention to them.

Anyway, back to the party… My friend Gina and I started the ball rolling, asking locals to find a venue and a caterer. We created a Facebook group to get the word out. Friends added friends, people who aren’t on Facebook heard from others who have their contact info, and the guest list began to grow.

We booked the perfect party room, just big enough and plenty warm on a chilly night. Just one little shortcoming: no sound system. Only the four people closest to the cake-table boom box could hear the Doobie Brothers and Lynrd Skynrd tunes. And all those brilliant welcoming remarks I was gonna make?

They went unsaid.

So, yeah, pretty much like my entire time in high school.

Be that as it may, I learned a few things and found some fabulous blessings in the evening…

1) Facebook is a marvelous invention. In fact, we couldn’t have gathered nearly as many classmates without the ripple effect of those connections. But being together in person–seeing and hearing each other, the warm hugs, catching up on each other’s lives–technology offers no substitute. Not even close.

“Reunited and it feels so goooood…..”

2) Don’t wait too long to get together. A shocking number of our class members have died since graduation.

3) A good reunion takes a village: the planners, the local connections, the inviters, the setter-uppers, and the guests who take their weekend to travel for the event.

4) It doesn’t have to run flawlessly to be fun and meaningful to everyone.

5) Some classmates I barely knew in school, or didn’t think I had much in common with, have turned out to be fascinating people.

6) Best of all… None of us are teenagers anymore!

Your turn: Have you ever been to a reunion? Been pleasantly surprised at anything about your now-grown-up classmates? Bonus points if you tell an embarrassing story on yourself.

Thanks for reading,
Jan

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2 Responses to 59 of My Closest Friends, Many of Whom I Barely Remember

  1. Pastor Tim says:

    We’ve had several reunions, most of which you came to with BJ. Although we’re not teenagers, some of those arriving at the last one surely acted like teens. And some of the girls were ogling over the high school heartthrob, which is now an old guy with a pot belly and a bald spot. Gee… I would think that was me except I wasn’t anybody’s heartthrob.

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