Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's Reunion Time Again!

No, I'm not talking about family reunions. I'm talking about class reunions. This year marks 35 years since I graduated from high school. Traditionally, our class has had a reunion every five years since we graduated. I've attended the 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 year reunions but couldn't make it to the 30th. I've enjoyed all the reunions that I attended but I must admit that I enjoyed the earlier years more since more of the people I hung out with back in the day attended those.

A couple of my fellow classmates are considering putting together a 35th reunion this year. Now anyone who has worked on putting together a high school class reunion knows that it's a lot of work. It's been likened to planning a wedding, and we all know how much effort goes into one of those! You need people with time and money who live in the area to coordinate the reunion. You need a date and time, a gathering place, some food and beverage, and you need classmates to attend. That last one is the toughest. There's nothing worse than throwing a party and having no one show up. In this case, it would be very frustrating and disappointing to go through all the work to plan a reunion and only have a few people attend.

I am a member of the the second biggest graduating class ever from my high school. I don't remember the exact number but I had well over 600 classmates. I wish I knew how many people have attended our reunions over the years. It would be interesting to see what the trend in attendance was from one reunion to the next. I don't know if anyone has kept those records. I do know that there were only 125 people at our 30th reunion and that's counting spouses. I'm thinking our 5, 10, and 20th reunions would have had between 200-300 in attendance.

Over the years, many of my classmates moved out of the area. Probably even more have done so in the past few years given the high unemployment rate and depressed economy we have here in Michigan. We've all aged some. OK, a lot. We're no longer the wild, partying group we once were. Most of us married and had kids. Many of my classmates are grandparents now. Some are on the verge of early retirement.

The thing about reunions is, what makes them fun is catching up with old friends. But now a days there are so many ways to find and catch up with old classmates without having to go on a diet, by a new dress, pay for airfare and a hotel, and buy tickets to the party. There's MySpace, Facebook, blogs, Skype, and Yahoo Groups to name a few. And those are just the freebies. There's always if you're willing to shell out some money too. I would argue that none of them are as fun or satisfying as face to face interaction with your classmates. But, the other ways are much less expensive, and much more convenient. And especially at a time when many people are facing financial difficulities, attending a class reunion may be out of the question.

I don't know if we'll have a reunion this year or not. It's a lot of work for what I'm thinking will be a low turnout. But I'm not the one who is thinking of taking the project on. It's not my call to make. I will help out if there is a reunion because I'm the webmaster of our class web site and the coordinator of our Yahoo Group. But quite honestly, I don't know if I'll be attending the reunion or not. It depends when it is and how that fits with what else is going on in my life at the time. It also depends on if any of my friends are going. With a class of 600, there are a lot of people I never had classes with or knew at all. Sitting at a table with them would be like sitting at a table of strangers. Not much reuniting there.

So, Creative Gene readers, what are your thoughts on high school class reunions? Have you attended any? Did you enjoy them? If not, why not? How many people were in your graduating class and what percentage of them do you think have attended a reunion? Have you contacted any old friends from high school via MySpace, Facebook, etc.? Would the current state of the economy keep you from attending a reunion this year? Leave me a comment or write up a blog post with your thoughts. I'd like to know!