News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


How to survive high-school reunions

Regina simply had to go in for a haircut last week. And on the Saturday before, she thought she could save us money if she shopped the marked-down clothing at her favorite department store.

Not a word was said about getting ready for her 45th high-school class reunion that took place Friday and Saturday nights in Andalusia. She had ignored the event from the day the invitation came some two months ago.

"I'm not going," she said, when I suggested that she respond to the invitation.

She doesn't do high-school reunions, she said, declaring that for these past 4 decades her Andy High Class of '61 has carried on without her.

But this year is different. With a little cajoling, she went. So, with new clothes, a fresh haircut and accumulated reluctance, she grimly faced the unknown.

She approached the social gatherings as "this is something you talked me into doing and I don't like it."

I offered advice based on having attended several of my Oneonta High School reunions.

"Don't say to that old rival of yours, 'Is that really you?' as in 'Gee whiz, how you have aged.' "

"And be sure not to mention how thin Mary Lou was in the 11th grade. If she wants you to remember that, she will tell you."

I was on a roll so I continued:

"Don't ask Josephine where her husband B.J. is because he might be standing next to her. And remember that You-Know-Who used to be a lawyer but isn't any more. So don't ask about his practice."

"I can handle myself. I'm not stupid," she said, on the trip to South Alabama.

"Then, what's the problem?" I asked.

"It's not that I am afraid of saying those things to them, but of them saying them to me," she confessed.

I suppose we all have that high-school reunion phobia, particularly if we haven't seen the old crowd in nearly a half century.

Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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