I have actually had the occasion to attend a 50th High School Reunion – last year I went with my wife to her 50th High School Reunion at Santa Monica High School. Now, while my wife is the “light of my life” and a “very special person” she advises me that she was not always this way and that not everyone thought of her as I do. In fact, she says, she was quite a loner in high school – rather the intellectual – (she did go on to become a Rocket Scientist, for real) – a bit shy and distant and did not have many friends. So I was “interested”, to say the least, when she asked me if I wanted to go with her to her 50th Reunion.
In a nutshell, I would say, I think there were a few people that she really wanted to see, who she had not seen in almost 50 years, and she was interested to see how everyone else was doing as well. You see – that’s really it about the 50th. It is sort of a landmark in one’s life, and it is interesting to discover how others have fared along the way.
The room at the Santa Monica Beach Club was already jumping when we got there and soon after the appointed start time there were probably around 200 or so people in attendance. Of course, a few people arrived late, to make an “appearance” – (I was told it was those that you would “expect” to do so) – but, low and behold, they were paid no more attention than anyone else ! Everyone seemed to enjoy walking around looking at name tags, with old high school pictures, (ours will have your year book picture on them as well), looking at the current “person”, remarking on how nice everyone looked, (which was, for the most part, true), and commenting something like, “Oh, I remember you” – even though it was often not true.
But what was true was that by the time dinner rolled to an end – and they had a buffet style dinner, just as we are planning to have – people really did remember a lot of classmates, through association with other friends, or home rooms, or activities, or events in which they were currently involved. And everyone, including my wife, seemed very happy that they had attended – even though many had trepidations about doing so.
They all said that the 50th was different. That it marked a “water shed” place in their life. That they now knew of the important things in life – friends, family – they looked at success differently and were looking forward to the next phase of their life. They all planned to attend the next Reunion when ever it was planned. They were all happy that they had attended their 50th.