Sunday, November 29, 2009

Lessons from a Reunion

I had a great time at my 25th high school reunion (makes it pretty easy to figure out how old I am).  I was not the only one there who pondered why they attended, given that high school was not a very enjoyable experience.  And, whenever school is in session, I learn stuff:
  • Some folks have a great deal of guts, I think.  One guy, who moved away after 8th grade, showed up.  I would not have been so brave.  But he fit right in.
  • Stay at the reunion hotel.  I had the most fun this time since I didn't have to worry about the ride home.  In other words, I could drink.
  • The last beer is almost always unnecessary.
  • That the organizers did great work to bring back some of our teachers.  It was fun to see them and see if they recognized me.
  • That I apparently not only did not change much (except the beard) since 12th grade but apparently not since 8th either, thanks to the aforementioned guy who missed our high school.
  • That cantors really can talk.  A friend, who works as a cantor in real life, spoke for a few minutes about someone we lost in 8th grade due to cystic fibrosis.  I wish my friend had been my cantor--I might have done a decent job at the Bar Mitvah, although the rest of my life would not have changed much.
  • That the reunions get better each time with greater distance from the shared experience we had.  What does that say?
  • I am far pickier about my beer now than ever so I had to drink mixed drinks during the reception but good beer before and after.  
  • About 50% of the people do not change a lick in terms of looks and personality, and about 50% change pretty radically in either or both. And yes, these statistics are completely made up, and I have no clue as to the real %'s.  But the former 8th grader was a real good barometer.  He seemed to remember that I was a smartass way back then.  So, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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