Time for a 50th high school reunion

Rick Watson
Posted 11/26/17

A classmate from my old high school alma mater sent me a note this past week. She said it was time to start planning our 50th high school class reunion. Staring at the message for a few minutes, I wiped the screen with my thumb, to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. I wasn’t. Math was never a strong point in my education, but after counting a few times on my fingers, I saw she was right. I’m officially older than dirt.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

Time for a 50th high school reunion

Posted

A classmate from my old high school alma mater sent me a note this past week. She said it was time to start planning our 50th high school class reunion. Staring at the message for a few minutes, I wiped the screen with my thumb, to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. I wasn’t. Math was never a strong point in my education, but after counting a few times on my fingers, I saw she was right. I’m officially older than dirt.

The thing is, I rarely think about age. I still do most everything I want to do. I don’t sprint like I once did, and my knees are wonky – but still. I haven’t started comparing scars yet. And I haven’t competed in the, “I take more medications than you,” game when I get around other folks my age.

But there are signs. For example, my hearing is spotty. Jilda describes it as selective hearing. When she asks me to do some chore, and it doesn’t get done, I can say without lying that I didn’t hear her. It still doesn’t get me off the hook but my conscience is clear – so there’s that. I also seem to spend a lot of time looking for things that I had in my hand only moments before.

Benchmark reunions are sometimes hard. I wasn’t a class officer, but in the past, my work with computers and networking made me a natural to help planners with reunions. I’m glad to help, but one thing I heard time and again was – “I’m not going to the reunion because I’ve gotten fat. Or, I’ve lost my hair.” It’s been my experience that time messes with everyone’s waistline and hairline.

Some of the people in every graduating class aim high. It’s easy to dream when you’re young, and your first light bill and car notes haven’t arrived. But life gets messy. Couples get married, have kids, and plans change.

I remember comparing myself against the lofty prospects of some of my classmates. I wasn’t sure I’d ever leave my mark. In the Song for Adam by Jackson Browne, there’s a line that summed up this phase of my life.

Though Adam was a friend of mine,

I did not know him long

And when I stood myself beside him,

I never thought I was as strong

I don’t remember having many dreams when I graduated. When I enrolled in college, the Jeff State College guidance counselor asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up. Shrugging, I told her that I had no idea. “We’ll worry about this later,” she said. And I was off and running. It’s been a life of going with the flow.

If the size of one’s house or the size of bank accounts are measures of success, I’m sure I’d fall somewhere toward the middle. But if the number of smiles you’ve had, the number of miles you’ve traveled, and the strength of relationships with spouses, family, and friends figure into the equation, my life has been a successful one. I’m making a life decision here when I choose to use the latter.

And there’s no way I would let the lack of hair, stop me from competing in the “pharmacy bingo” match at my 50th class reunion. Let the games begin.

Rick Watson is a columnist and author. His latest book Life Goes On is available on Amazon.com. You can contact him via email at rick@rickwatson-writer.com.