It’s Friday afternoon. You come home from work, pick up the mail and there it is. A fancy little invitation-kind-of-envelope. You’re intrigued (especially since no one seems to mail anything anymore), so you open it first.
It is an invitation. Not one to the wedding or anniversary of a good friend or a major milestone birthday celebration at a great restaurant. No, that would be special. This is an invitation to your high school reunion. (Notice I didn’t suggest the number of years for your high school reunion – but they usually begin at 5 and boldly run up to 50 or 60 for some).
Now ask yourself the following questions:
1. Did I really love high school and my high school friends?
2. Was high school the best time of my life?
3. Was I at my personal best in high school?
4. Who do I really want to see again from high school?
If your answers to the first three questions were a resounding “Yes!” then call the airline, book your seat, reserve a hotel room and start pouring over those old yearbooks so you’ll know everyone who’ll be there without looking at their nametags.
If, on the other hand, your answers to those questions was anything less enthusiastically affirmative – and your answer to Number 4 is “I don’t know” – then sit down with your fancy invite, pour yourself your favorite beverage and play the mind game of remembering those high school experiences.
For me, high school was just OK. I attended a small, private, Catholic girl’s school in San Francisco with small classes and lots of homework. It was there that I found my tribe. We were good students but, more importantly, we were amazing card players. Every day at lunch, we ate as quickly as we could so we could play Pedro (often called the poor man’s Bridge). If we were lucky, we could play four games before the end of lunch and 12 was the magic number. Pedro needs four people to play and with twelve girls there were always three games going.
Many years later, I am blessed to still have five of those girls from my tribe in my life. We still talk often (via email, text or phone) and we’ve laughed or cried together every year since we received our high school diplomas.
Maybe it’s just me (and since I’m the one writing this I guess it really is just me), but I always say no to reunions. Because the best time of my life is now. It has always been now. When I was 25 it was now. When I was 40 it was now. So, why would I go back to celebrate a time that was any less?
If the best time of your life was when you were in high school, I’m happy for you – but also a little sad. It’s tough to hit your peak at 16 and spend the rest of your life looking to recapture that glory.
But that’s not you. I know it’s not. As I’ve said previously, it’s never too late to celebrate yourself; to discover who and how awesome you really are. One good thing about reunions is that they help you mark time, give you a sense of your personal history and remind you of where it all started.
So, if listening to your heart has led to RSVP for that reunion, here are three tips to help you make the most of it:
1. Buy the best pair of black pants you can afford; some that make you look taller and thinner. (More on this next week).
2. Have your hair tinted. (Even if you love your grey hair, give it color for this one event. You’ll thank me later).
3. Pack your old yearbooks, your good memories and your sense of humor. (You’re going to need it).
Oh, and one more important tip from Erma Bombeck: “Never go to your high school reunion pregnant or they’ll think that’s all you’ve done since you graduated.”