My high school reunion is over. Consequently, my pre-Class Reunion Deprivation Program has come to a celebratory end as well. Relieved to have the pre-reunion pressure off, I’ve spent the day eating as though I’m a triathlete or a prisoner without a last-minute reprieve from the governor. The Bavarian Cream chocolate long john I ate for breakfast today was soon followed by a Johnnie’s Number 3 chili cheeseburger and an apple fritter the size of a Frisbee®. Glorious.
This was a milestone class reunion that I still refuse to mention out loud, not so much because the words stick in my throat, but because I routinely lie about not yet being alive when Reagan was shot. Seeing my classmates, and looking just as old as they do, was alarming.
Fortunately, Facebook has pre-united us in recent years and has prepared me for the shock of encountering the older, balder, fatter and much more wrinkled versions of my former classmates.
On the other hand, seeing me in real life – outside the Photoshopped fantasy
world I’ve been reveling in for years on Facebook – must have been like looking into a solar eclipse for my classmates.
Let this be a cautionary tale for those of you whose reunions are coming up.
Now unshackled from my triple Spanx®, I’ve noticed blood flow returning to my head and, along with it, I’m experiencing an increased clarity of mind about reunions in general.
Here, I’ve compiled a handy, tear-and-keep sheet of Reunion DOs and DON’Ts worth noting.
DO keep in mind that you’re about to walk into a time warp and be ready for anything.
DON’T gasp audibly at anything you may see or hear inside the time warp.
DO leave your glasses – oh, yeah, and that chip you’ve been carrying for decades – at home. Your impaired vision will make a nice stand-in for Photoshop while you’re talking to me.
DO whiten your teeth prior to the reunion date.
DO lie through the aforementioned whitened teeth and tell someone how much you were looking forward to seeing him/her. You can get your yearbook out later to figure out who that person is.
DO remember that your classmates have probably just whitened their teeth, too.
DO feel free to wax on about what a mistake it was to break up with (insert name here) if you’re speaking with that person.
DON’T introduce any classmate to your spouse as “the one who got away.”
DO talk about all the good parts of your career, your kids, your life in general.
DON’T think for a minute that the person hearing about these things would trade places with you.
DON’T talk about anything related to: insurance, bad luck, things you’d like to sell, your assorted illnesses or any impromptu, off-site reunions later in the evening.
DO thank everyone you remember as having always been nice to you in school.
DO buy a drink for anyone you treated poorly in high school.
DON’T believe that, just because you were interesting many years ago, you’re still interesting now.
If you were never interesting, DO use the reunion as your excuse to make up any life you’d like.
DON’T believe that, just because you were a part-time felon many years ago, your reunion is the appropriate venue for a sermon. Unless, of course, you’re now a pontiff. And in that case, take the night off.
DO touch up your roots, trim your nostril hairs, lose a pound or two and wear something nice.
DON’T call in sick (or fat) as your reason for not showing up. Say you’re hang gliding in Costa Rica or studying marine biology on Baja Island instead.
DO promise to stay in touch and keep that promise, even if you can only stay connected via Facebook.
DON’T believe for one minute that my Facebook photos have been Photoshopped.