20 Years Later, Some Things Don’t Change

I’d been ambivalent about my college reunion and waffled on going to the very last minute. Oh, it would be fun to see people, but won’t it be depressing, too? Our lost youth and all that. Besides, I’ve never been a joiner.

That said, I went to the pre-reunion, reunion event in DC a few weeks ago. Partly because it was at The Passenger, a cool venue, and because I had nothing else planned. Besides, I could cab home at any time.

It was oddly fun. Of course, I didn’t know a soul … but turns out, I recognized two of the faces there. One woman pointed to me and said as much:

I know you. I mean, I don’t know your name, but I know your face.

Is that a good thing? I guess that means I haven’t changed that much in 20 years. Yes!!! My youth has NOT passed me by.

But does that mean I’m stuck in my late 80s look? Do I look passe? I mean, retro is in, right? This is the anxiety that reunion wroughts.

And why does she remember me? For something good, I hope. But who remembers someone from that long ago for something worth remembering …

A random guy (after too much wine) asked:

Where were you in the fall of 1988?

If only I could remember. Accessing archived memory banks …

As I was leaving, someone asked if I would be going to reunion.

Oh, I’ll go to 25, but I’m not sure about this one, I said breezily.

She replied: At 15, I was happily married. At 20, I will be divorced with three kids. Go, you can’t imagine how much life can change and how quickly.

After those words of wisdom from someone I recognized, but couldn’t quite place, I almost decided to go. Instead, I never quite pulled the trigger.

In the end, it came down to this: five hours of travel to spend 20 quality minutes with the five people I wanted to see. The clinching factor, though, was the realization that my friends were great, but we had all retained too much of our college personnas:

A bunch of us are going solo, my friend told me. It’ll be the first time in almost a decade that we’ll all be sans kids and sans husbands.

Well, sans kids, that would be me every day. So what’s the big deal. And as for ditching the hub … well, that might be interesting to them, but I actually like my husband, and like being with him (!).

Clearly, showing up with G – however briefly – would have been verboten, like flauting some sort of weird single solidarity … this for a friend I adore … and her bitchy friends.

Just the thought of all this was annoying me, reminding me of the unnecessary drama of planning a night out in college. It led to an easy decision: nix reunion – there’s always 25.

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