No, don’t look back. Things were never as good as they seemed at the time. Some of the friends you chose in high school did not continue to be the friends you would keep or would choose to keep after you became a “thinking” human being. However, in contrast, some people you chose to overlook at the time became dear as the time passed.
Class reunions give occasions to reevaluate your friendship scale. Being easily impressed, one friend I chose because she was voted the prettiest girl in my senior class, and I thought the glamour would rub off on me. It didn’t. We were both military “brats” which gave a certain point of departure, she being army and I proudly proclaiming my navy heritage. Her chin was permanently pointed toward the sky, and she obviously saw her father as at least a 3-star general instead of his lower rank. I on the other hand, was well aware that I was not the admiral’s daughter. However, I did choose her as my maid of honor when I married, and she certainly dressed up the receiving line.
We corresponded from time to time throughout the years, and I was delighted to see her across the room at a subsequent reunion. But when I approached to greet her she looked uncomprehendingly at me, checked out my name tag, and effused “Oh Kayti! I didn’t recognize you!” I didn’t know whether to be insulted or pleased to think that I had perhaps changed for the better in her eyes.
Some high school friendships do continue and become more precious as time goes by. Dr. Advice was fortunate and blessed to have a number of that sort. He made the acquaintance of his dearest friend at the tender age of 5 when they shared a naptime mat in kindergarten. They were also neighbors a few houses apart.
They shared their affection and confidences throughout their lives until sadly, fate decreed otherwise. His longtime friend departed too soon, and left gaping holes in the hearts of his family and friends.
At reunions, you table hop, laugh and compare notes from the years in between–it’s compulsory behavior. As the years pass you’re afraid to ask the inevitable question: “whatever happened to…..? ” You realize that though the stories you tell may begin on a jaunty note, in spite of your good intentions, can turn a little sad at the end. You only think you have control of the story you’re telling.