I graduated from high school in 1976. The year of the Bi-Centennial. The year today’s 39 year-olds were born. The year I had mononucleosis.
Our class has a rather unique bond. We always have had a core, but it’s even more pronounced now that we’re older. We’ve all had ups and downs. We’ve all had successes and failures. Despite the teen-aged segregation into who was “cool” and who was … ahem …. less cool (me), we middle-aged folk all put on our pants one leg at a time. Thirty nine years of life is a great leveler.
I like that. I like seeing who we’ve all become. We have much more in common now than we did as teens. It’s comforting and grounding. As one classmate put it so beautifully, “these are the people we started life with.”
These are people whose existence still frames mine. These are people I enjoy knowing.
I did have an ever so teensy moment of panic as I sat alone in the bar waiting for someone else to arrive. What if this was like team selection in 8th grade gym class all over again? What if it became known on Facebook and throughout the universe that I instigated a reunion and not one single classmate attended!? Gah! For a hot minute I was in crisis, clad in my old red gym suit, haunted by my gawky teenage self.
Then I recovered and remembered that no matter my cool or non-cool status in high school, we’re all cool now. We’ve grown – into our looks, into our lives, into who we are individually and together. Plus I had on a truly great pair of ankle boots, and what could be cooler than that?
There were eight of us in all – a mini get-together. We talked for hours and caught up. I learned something new about each and every one of the disparate personalities at the table. I learned some back stories about things that had happened in our collective class past, gaining perspective on my own past in the meantime. I liked it. It was cool.
It really was.