I had an email the other day… It was a call to action from one of the girls I went to school with for a get together prior to the 30 year reunion the school is organising.
I went to one of those schools that has an Old Girls Association, and to give them their due they work very efficiently at keeping us all in touch with regular newsletters, reunions (usually a lunch and chapel service) and an office that we can use to find each other should we need to. I was secretary for our year having been voted the girl least likely to keep in touch with anyone (how right they all were!) but having cocked it up by moving and not telling them (well, I thought I had but they say not) I was stripped of the title and it was given to another, more efficient, friend of mine.
It is quite telling that we had not got together formally, or in my case at all, when we had the call for our 25 years year reunion. There were a few tentative emails about maybe going that then blossomed into us staying over night beforehand in a local hotel and it proved to be a success, so, although we all said we would see each other in another 25 years, we are doing the same for the 30th anniversary of our launch into the big wide world.
I wonder though am I alone in really looking at these occasions with an equal measure of eager anticipation and utter dread?
I am sure that between us we have more than enough ‘life material’ to write several novels. There is little doubt that we won’t be stuck for conversation even if we never get past the reminiscing about the sub zero temperatures we endured, the teachers, the reasons why two girls were ‘asked to leave’ that no-one ever found about and the like. This is the bit I look forward to. Here we are at school in the prefects study.
Then there is the other terrifying side…. What will they all look like? Will I even recognise them? Will they recognise me? What shall I wear? How can I lose 3 stone in three weeks? What if my life has been dull compared to theirs?
I know I will spend a ridiculous amount of time worrying about what to wear. Trying to be fashionable in a way that exudes a carefree stylishness that I have never possessed. Will I be the only one to have lost their waist and have no need for a bra as my ever expanding midrift holds up my ample bosom when I sit down anyway? Will my life as a village post mistress and photographer seem dull to the high flying executives, buyers, designers etc that they have all become? I can feel a nervous breakdown coming on before I even get in the car to go!
The funny thing is that anyone I know who has been to a school reunion has felt all the same things. I find it incredible that I have such a dread of seeing people that I spent seven years of my formative life with. We all saw each other at out worst and shared in so many first experiences and on going dramas that I doubt things can be any different now. At school we seem to spend a lot of time trying to be accepted by our peers, fitting in and being liked. After 30 years all those feelings are coming back again and what is really daft is that they are all the same feelings I had when we met up after 25 years… and it proved to be such a good time we had that we aren’t waiting until the 50th anniversary of our departure to do it all again!
Man up Hardie! Here we all our five years ago having a great time!