Not having been to a high school class reunion for 30 years, I decided to attend my 55th. I like to think of myself as a person unconcerned with appearances. But, I must confess that I am not immune to that sociological phenomenon needles us to look our best in front of our peers lest they get any ideas about being better than us. So, six months before the reunion dinner, I spent a small fortune on skin care products designed to reduce the appearances of wrinkles and other unsightly blemishes. I promised that I would tighten up my butt and other muscles before the affair. Well, I did apply all of the creams in a regulated manner and kept up my regular exercise routine. So, while my face did improve, my body just maintained.
Next, I had to decide what to wear. I considered actually buying a new dress. After all, I had not had a new dress in ages. As luck would have it, an acquaintance offered me a brand ne dress in my size that her mother could no longer wear. Immediately, I bought stockings to match. While the size was definitely mine, dresses are often cut differently. The dress fit me nicely on top, but the bottom clung to my hips like a wet tissue, not to mention that the length came to two inches above my knees. The beautiful dress would not do.
Next, I thought that I would throw caution to the wind and wear bolero pants and a silky, pucker top. However, on the evening of the reunion dinner, I developed a head ache. All I wanted to do was to crawl into bed and watch my Roku. Practicality over-ruled. The ticket was paid for; the car had gas; it was time to go. So, I went into my closet and pulled out black nubby silk pants and long-sleeved black with embroidered tan and white-flowered top.
I’d gone to my 25th reunion when all of us were in our late thirties or so. Most classmates were instantly recognizable. Now, in our seventies, things were not the same. My classmates and I were all old! What anyone wore was immaterial. Ninety percent were over weight, several used canes and, sadly, several were missing. This reunion, for me, became food for meditation.
It occurred to me that this high school class was one of the last to be able to graduate, to find a job in a chosen field, with a little effort, advance to the point of buying a house, raising children and retiring with a pension. While some class mates had divorced, many were still married to a partner chosen right out of high school. Most had children of whom they were proud and grandchildren of whom they were prouder. They weathered hard rock, hard drugs, civil rights, women’s liberation, and trips to the moon.
Our parents were “The Greatest Generation”. We are the luckiest; or, the one most blessed. If nothing else, we should be grateful. I for one am humbled by all that the years since graduating from high school has afforded me. Thank you, God.