*A year ago when I signed up on Facebook I did it primarily to see what all the hype was about. Spending countless hours on the computer chatting on a social networking site didn’t appeal to me.
It seemed to be the new age version of what my mother called spending time on the phone talking about “he said, she said;” Something I outgrew decades ago. That, coupled with my disappointing experience on MySpace, left me to expect little to nothing positive.
But it didn’t take long for me to change my point of view, for it was on Facebook that I reconnected with more than one hundred people with whom I grew up. Some of those people attended high school with me. They knew me before I knew myself.
The re-kindling of friendships and acquaintances inspired me to organize my 25th year high school class reunion. We were a close-knit class of 130. So my initial inquiries via FB and email about the reunion were well received. Of all the calls I made to former classmates asking them if they would be willing to attend the reunion only one person declined. So I went about the task of setting a date scheduling events and collecting the graduation fee.
Oh yes, the dreaded fee! Since we had no funds to speak of at that time our reunion activities would have to be funded by everyone who would attend the event. Sixty dollars per person seemed a small price to pay for a fun-filled reunion weekend. And sure, some of us would travel from as far away as Houston, Chicago and the Carolinas, but there were dozens of classmates who still resided in Tennessee.
I’ve been told that most people refuse to attend reunions due to their lack of money, dissatisfaction with their weight gain or they consider themselves to be underachievers. That might explain why less than forty of my classmates attended our reunion this past weekend. But for the ones who took time away from their busy lives to remember the good old days I say thank you.
We broke bread together. We danced and sang together. And we laughed so hard it felt as though we were in high school all over again. A lot had changed, but some people didn’t and probably never will.
Those who attended said they’re glad they did. And those who didn’t said they wished they would’ve. There’s something tranquil about going back to where it all began to spend time with people who knew you when.
After one of my classmates – pastor of his own congregation now – preached the sermon Sunday, we parted and vowed to do it again in five years. We might combine our efforts with the graduating class before and after us to share the expense of doing something different the next time around. Then again, the beauty of getting together with real friends is knowing that we don’t have to impress each other to have a good time.
Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Send questions, comments or requests for speaking engagements to Steffanie at [email protected]. And see the video version of her journal at youtube.com/steffanierivers.