posted by Matt W on October 17th, 2012

First of all, my reunion was great. The organizing committee did an excellent job; great venue, food, band, and plenty of alcohol for those that needed a social lubricant. An all-around good time. Here are some observations from the night.

Hair styles in the 80’s were awful! I looked in a yearbook the night before the reunion just to get an idea of what people looked like and it was basically no help because all the girls’ hair looked like they were on the set of Charlie’s Angels and the guys were from a hair band (again a lot like Charlie’s Angels). There were a few people that everyone said looked the same as in high school and they were always the people with the high school haircuts that were ahead of their time. I have gotten a little taller, gained 8 suit sizes and 80 pounds, and have a full beard, but because I have the same haircut as in high school (2 guard on the sides and finger length on the top), people all night were saying I looked just the same. Thank god, everyone got a haircut in the 90’s.

Speaking of looks, the people that I hung out with in high school all looked great; bastards. I think with any group of people that aged 30 years you have people that have gained a little weight, lost hair, have a few too many wrinkles, etc. There were a few people that fit this description at my reunion. None of them were my close friends. They all played tennis 3 times a week, road mountain bikes competitively, and skied the weekends. I played basketball with my best friends and I had to roll the ball across the schoolyard once and make them chase after it just to catch my breath. Even Joe A., who I was counting on to be chubby with me has been working out and he should know better. I am going to be totally fit for my 40th, I promise. (Oh look, somebody brought in donuts to work, sweet.)

People didn’t change all that much from their high school self. The cocky guys were still a bit cocky. The quiet people still hung out on the fringe and quietly talked among themselves. All the big partiers had a beer in their hand all night. While 30 years had passed, for one night they really hadn’t.

I never could figure out who the woman that hugged me on three separate occasions was. One of my only complaints about the reunion was the font size of the names on the nametags. I realize 16 font seems large in theory, but 32 would be nice in practice. Bold. Helen Keller should be able to read the badges at a 30th reunion. And don’t even get me started on the people who put their badges on their belts. Really? They should get a 10 year penalty and not be let back in until the 50th reunion.  

So anyway, right when I walked in, a woman came up and hugged me that I had no idea who she was. “It’s so good to see you Matt W.; I was hoping you would come!”  “It’s great to see you too!” I said grasping for some clue that might help me remember her name. She had her nametag on her belt. Crap. After a brief discussion, she flitted off to talk to someone else. Later she came out of nowhere and hugged me again with the same result. Then again, near the end of the evening, she gave me another big hug, asked me the standard reunion questions and before I could ask her any name-generating questions, she was gone. When she was in hug mode, none of my buddies were around for me to ask who she was. In the post reunion rundown, the one woman that my friends could come up with based on my description, I don’t actually remember from high school. The only logical answer is a spouse was playing a practical joke on me, which would indeed be genius, but none of my friends would have let me go home without mocking me mercilessly about it, so who knows.

If as you talk to a buddy there are people at the reunion that walk up that you really don’t want to talk to for more than the initial 30 second reintroduction, I suggest pretending to be talking about religion, politics, or your wife going through menopause. They all work equally well; although I will say with the menopause line, they walk away at a much faster pace and head straight for the bar.

And finally, am I the only person on the planet who doesn’t look for rings? I realize I have been married for a long time, but I brought up numerous people’s names over the course of the night and the first comment was almost always something like “Did you notice he wasn’t wearing a ring?” “She was wearing a ring, I thought she was divorced.” Ring, ring, ring, ring. I don’t think I have ever, in my entire life, looked to see if someone is wearing a ring. Anyway, I thought it was strange for a reunion.

So there you have it, a few of the thoughts that went through my head over the course of the night at the old 30-year reunion. I had a great night and a great weekend, and if you are reading this and I mentioned menopause when you walked up, I would like to formally apologize; sorry, hope to see you at the 40th!



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