Can you ever go back?
Two weeks ago I attended my first ever school reunion – the Class of ’77. Back in the late seventies/early eighties it was harder to keep in touch. Social media didn’t exist. Mobile phones didn’t exist. The result – I lost touch with everyone. It’s 40 years since I left school, since I had seen these ‘girls’ and so the idea of the reunion filled me with as much trepidation as excitement.
I was never one of the popular girls at school, I was never ever in the ‘cool’ crowd. The outsider looking in – that was me. Don’t get me wrong, my school days were happy, it was just that I was always painfully shy and my parents, bless them, were very protective. Not for me the weekend parties, the discos. The result, I was never invited anywhere, I was always listening to my classmates talk about their weekends rather than sharing the experience. Therefore what was I expecting from the reunion?
Leading up to the event, photos were posted on Facebook and guess what? Mine was the face that several couldn’t name. Why was I even thinking about going?
In the event, I did have a lovely time. It was nice to see old faces, to meet again the girls that I had shared classes with. We didn’t really talk about what we were doing now. Surprisngly, there was no sharing photos of husbands and children/granchildren. Four of our teachers also attended, all in their seventies/eighties and they were thrilled to meet up with us again. The distances travelled to attend were amazing; America, Germany, Scotland. And it is funny how even though faces may change with age, character traits remain. The girls who liked to be the centre of attention at school made sure that everyone noticed them that evening. The group that used to stand in the classroom corner passing comments on everyone else, soon found their very own corner of the hall. The best bit for me – seeing my favourite teacher again.
When I returned home, my husband asked if I had told them about my Mike Malone novels. I had to confess that I hadn’t uttered a word about my books. Why? To me it would have felt as if I was trying – for once – to get noticed. I prefered to stay on the outside looking in, exactly as I used to 40 years before.
We all swapped numbers/email addresses and made promises to stay in touch. I’ll let you know if we do.