Hello to spring and yet another class reunion. This year was a momentous one, marking 25 years since college graduation. There were people I looked forward to seeing, but work and family had left me barely enough time to register, let alone make plans or put any thought into what I’d encounter.
Past reunions had their own developmental ebb and flow. Gatherings for the 5th focused on where everyone worked and who still lived with their parents. The 10th separated the new parents from those wanting to recapture those hazy Everclear nights. By 20 years, those destined to be fat and bald were already there and most of us had forgotten what used to be cool and why.
One notable no-show has been a past BFF-with-benefits who had also dated a couple of my friends. While he and I didn’t end badly, there was a non-exclusiveness to our non-relationship that was annoying. His future break-ups were often a world of hurt for the woman involved and cloaked in an air of superiority and condescension. As his now Facebook friend, I pieced together a life for him that featured a mellow, humbler soul marrying a woman he found his true equal.
Not five minutes into my arrival, that bubble was burst by a story of how he’d up and moved his family cross-country after a scandalous affair and creeping alcoholism. The icing on the cake included a tale of him finding a “missed connections” post on Craigslist and presumptuously thinking it was from my happily married and quite successful friend! The sheer egomania is mind-blowing and a liberating reminder that the ability to grow up gracefully depends little on one’s youthful self-assuredness or popularity. Now when things don’t work out I think, “It’s not me, it’s you,” and move on.
Make a point of signing up for your next class reunion. You’ll all have forgotten most of the petty stuff and be able to celebrate what really connected you in the first place.
Tags: college reunion, high school reunion