“I’m not going because . . .”
If you haven’t decided yet to go to the BHS57 50th Reunion, perhaps a few words of encouragement will help.
This is not directed at those who are too distant, recovering from surgery or an illness, disabled in one way or another, caring for a loved one, in financial straits, going on long-planned journeys, or otherwise kept by circumstance from attending.
It is, instead, a way of reaching out to our classmates who could attend, but hesitate to do so for reasons that might go back 50 years, or because of how they think their school companions of 50 years ago might view them today.
If some slight in the distant past still rankles, think about this. We didn’t know much then. Sometimes we were quite stupid in what we said to each other and in how we treated each other. We had our little groups that, like tribes everywhere, included and excluded based on pretty flimsy criteria. Every now and again we as individuals did something unforgivably egregious to another individual.
We know more now. We’re presumably wiser. Time has, for most of us, softened the hurts and dimmed the puzzlements of our youth. Do we remember them? Of course we do. I still remember vividly one very hurtful incident from 8th grade (8th grade, for heaven’s sake!) and, if I wish to do so, can revive my burning anger at the individual who caused it. But what’s the point? I was 12 and so was he. Other things occurred with other people when I was 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 - just as they did, I’m sure, to everyone. And? They make no difference today, at least to me. As I said, we were stupid sometimes. It was part of growing up.
As for how anyone will see you today, not to worry.
If your hair is gone, you’ve become less shapely than you once were, you have crows feet around your eyes (or, possibly, everywhere), you use a cane, you’re taking all sorts of medication, your body would look like a Google road map if you suddenly were naked because of all the surgery, join the crowd.
If things have drooped and your glasses are thick and your knees won’t flex, welcome to the club.
If you’re not a millionaire or even a thousandaire, nobody gives a rap.
Here’s the deal: we’re having only one 50th Reunion. That’s it. The arithmetic dictates this. So if you miss it, it won’t come back.
Worse, if you miss it, we’ll miss you. That’s a tragedy we won’t get over.