For many people the thought of a Class Reunion has no appeal whatsoever. The mere thought can be absent of any excitement, only dread. Why would anyone want to spend a night having awkward conversation with people they don’t remember and if you do remember them, why haven’t you kept in touch all these years?
Statistically 20-30% of any graduating class will attend their own reunion. For the remaining 70-80% there is a bridge that must first be crossed depending on where you live. For those who decided to live near their home town you might feel that you see everyone you choose to see when you see them, therefore, a reunion is not necessary. For others who moved away the question is why would anyone want to spend their time and hard earned money to fly back to a place they haven’t been in more than 30 years? Let’s not mention the fact that the mere thought induces an immediate sense of critical self-evaluation.
If you can make nice-nice with these thoughts many will question why anyone would spend money on tickets to eat rubber chicken, over cooked beef, and a night wearing uncomfortable clothes with an equally uncomfortable smile.
If this isn’t reason enough you might have the unproven belief that we will be seen as we were and what we failed to be. What if that ugly black cloud returns from yester year and sits over our head like it did when we were a child? What if that cloud sticks around to haunt us for many years to come? What if you never lived up to the potential others mistakenly thought you had and worst of all, what about your significant other? Unless they are really nosey or a glutton for punishment they will question your judgment and you will find yourself trying to convince them that this is a good idea when you are not all that positive that it really is.
As I thought about all of this and my own reunion is around the corner I started to imagine, “what if we look at it differently?” My thoughts spilled out on paper and here is what I came up with.
Have we ever met before?
You look vaguely familiar in ways I cannot explain, yet you don’t resemble anything familiar.
We are here of our own free will. Can we agree to see each other as strangers putting the past in the past?
We can start fresh and from this moment without judgment at last.
We can take one night and board an old plane from the 80’s. Those who want to join us will board without fear and for those who have left us too soon, may their spirit be present and leave memories free for us to choose.
We’ll pick a seat of our own volition and put our tray tables down then we will eat, drink, and mingle.
There are no seat belts on board; please feel free to walk about.
You are safe and much older, smarter today than the last time you took this flight.
Everyone who wanted to go are on board when we hear the Captain say, “Flight EGHS we are ready for departure. We’re on a Boeing 707 destined for a glimpse of the past. This plane is more than 50 years old, experienced, and no longer a child. We are not expecting any delays and where we’re headed, the current weather is as pleasant as you choose to make it. Please sit back and relax, enjoy this time together, and we thank you for choosing to take this flight.”
Reprinted with permission from JoAnn Klump Lau