Sunday, 28 July 2013

The School Reunion ...

School-days were probably some of the best days of our lives. But the kind of best days it would be better not to remember all that often, so when you get an invite to a school reunion  it can be a bit of a trauma. To go or not to go? That is the thing.

A school reunion is an unrivalled opportunity to stand beside and before your peers to be measured.  They might not admit they're doing it, you might not admit to yourself that you too are doing it back, but everybody does it and we all know we're doing it. Who's the most successful? The richest? The thinnest? The widest? The youngest looking? The most raddled? Addled? Divorced? Dessicated? Surprisingly gay? Who got what from the great menu of life?

But generally in my experience after the first five minutes everybody also thinks: "Sod that for a game of one-up-manship, let's get pissed."

But then I did go to a comprehensive. In Yorkshire.

I left school 30 years ago so there's been several reunions of one kind or another. The first school reunion I went to was in the late '90s, the twins were four years old, I was going through other traumas and thought one more wouldn't break me. So I went; armed with photos of the twins, a quavering smile of trepidation and a complete inability to recognise anyone at all.

The school reunion stood around  a bit, looked at each other a bit, shuffled their feet a bit and then, like the proper sensible grown ups we had become got pissed and went on to a nightclub.

There was another school reunion not long after The Boy was born five or six years ago.This time I met up with a good school-friend (one of those you start with the same point you left off at, however long the gap) before we went.

We were already mildly hammered when we got to the reunion itself and proceeded to get more so when we arrived. We did a lot of standing outside the venue chain-smoking and making the occasional vodka run to the bar but as everyone else was doing the same, much of the actual reunion-ing was in the car-park.Just behind the bike sheds.

Nothing changes.

This week the arrival from Antipodean shores of a former schoolmate induced another reunion, less formal, in a pub, but still as inexplicably nerve-racking to attend. And yet, once again, time slipped a bit because a reunion is just what it says, a re - union, a joining together again of people and experiences shared and it wasn't long before there was the sound of ice breaking....

Glasses of wine and pints of ice, school reunions for the mature woman.
....Though that was obviously due to the weather and NOT AT ALL to do with us being Ladies of a Certain Age. Uh no, not at all.


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