Should you attend your class reunion? Yes

Published 9:26 am Monday, July 28, 2008

It has been 40 years since the Wells-Easton Class of 1968 graduated. It doesn’t feel like 40 years. I don’t feel that old. Actually it feels like yesterday. The class of ’68 celebrated the occasion recently on a lake at a cabin that is owned by one of our classmates.

If you would have visited our reunion you might have expected a bunch of old, stodgy people attending. However, I did not see any stodgy old people there.

Well, maybe we were a little stodgy, as I didn’t see any skinny-dipping in the lake. That might have happened back in the high school days. I wouldn’t own up to that, but it could have been possible with other classmates. Then again I didn’t stay until the last sentence died and the owls and bats came out. Maybe there was some skinny-dipping by the moonlight and I didn’t hear about it. If I did I wouldn’t tell since we all have children to set an example for and we need to keep them believing that we were perfect when we were teenagers and we still are perfect in our unstodgy years. We certainly wouldn’t want to tarnish our image.

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I do know the invitation said to bring swimsuits. In the ’60s the swimsuits would have been bikinis. I suspect everyone decided to pass on that since when I arrived everyone was well-clothed. The fact that no one was in swimsuits was probably because as we have aged and we are secure enough in our own skin we do not have to show off our fabulous figures.

We did have a conversation about the dress code of today’s teenagers and the pants that are falling off the hips. We were sentenced to dresses, skirts and, for guys, nice pants when we attended our high school. Maybe we should adopt the new baggy pants dress now since we were denied such cool clothing when we were teenagers. The good thing about baggy pants at our age would be that you wouldn’t notice the rolls that have developed above the waistline. They would just bag with the pants!

Our class reunion was a gathering of a small part of our class. We had a couple of people attending who we had not seen for 40 years. The amazing fact is that we recognized each other. That must mean that we have not changed in looks in 40 years. We still look as young as we did back then. That was so good for all of our egos. Our outsides matched our insides. For one night we transported ourselves backward to remember each other and the times we shared.

Many members of our class chose not to attend our reunion. We were sorry they were not there. They were missed. I am sure there were many reasons for not attending the reunion. Everyone leads a busy life. Some were busy with family and work responsibilities. I suspect some did not attend because of past hurts from high school or past hurts from former reunions. High school kids can be cruel. High school kids, our class included, had their cliques.

High school was a time when we were probably all insecure. We were trying to find out who we were. We wanted to be accepted. We wanted to measure up. Because of all those feelings we didn’t always treat each other well. Maybe we were shy. OK, I wasn’t shy, but I know people who were. These people were labeled stuck up because of their shyness. We had our friends, and we had our enemies. In spite of all of this, we share a history.

I must admit I thought of skipping our reunion. I had a grueling headache in the morning, and it seemed too much effort to get myself together. I didn’t know who was going to be there. Were my old best friends going to attend? Who would I talk to if they weren’t there? The old insecurities started to pop up in my mind, add a spouse to that equation that doesn’t even attend his class reunions, and it would have been easy to stay home.

I looked at my reunion letter with the pictures of all the classmates whose lives ended too early including the picture of one of my best girlfriends, Karen. How I wished I had had the chance to see all of them one last time. I made my decision. My spouse raced me to the car because he was so excited that I had decided to attend my reunion.

It was amazing. It seemed the conversation picked up where it left off 40 years ago, but there was a difference. There were no more cliques. No one felt they had to prove anything to anyone. We were a group of people that shared a history. We had traveled through life surviving weddings, kids, funerals, divorces and illness. We had traveled through life with joy and laughter and experiences that changed us. We were again the Wells-Easton class of 1968. We were older and wiser but of course we still looked as young as we did in 1968.

If you were part of our class and you didn’t attend our reunion, we hope you reconsider next time. We all made a pact to meet at the same place five years from now. We hope you join us. If we weren’t friends 40 years ago, we may be friends now. We all have changed. And we did miss you.

Remember this? “Those Conquer Who Believe They Can.” — Motto of the class of 1968.

I dedicate this column to Karen, Joe, Bruce, Gary, Brad, Brian, Dave, Steve, Guy and Rocky. You may no longer be with us, but the class of 1968 will always remember you and miss you.

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send e-mail to her at