Saturday, April 27, 2013

What to Say at Your Highschool or College Reunion

Act #117:  Connect with people, not accomplishments.

I worked in college alumni relations for almost a decade and planned a good 20 or so reunions during that time.  I recall the nervousness that alumni felt upon returning to the place of their coming of age, cautious about confronting the expectations placed upon invincible, idealistic 20-year old versions of themselves. During my very first year as alumni director, the chair of the board of trustees was celebrating her 40th reunion and she told me that it was by far her best reunion.  When I asked her why, she told me that people finally didn't care what you did for a living, who you were married to, and how many kids you had.  After 40 years of post-college life, people were finally interested in you - how you spent retirement, what hobbies you were into, whether or not you've traveled lately.  The act of painfully assessing and comparing professional accomplishments and perceived personal relationship attainments seemed to finally be replaced with a nostalgic desire to recapture the very essence of the long forgotten dreams and aspirations of the 20 year-old self. just 22 years I'll have a reunion I can really look forward to.  Until then, here are some entertaining ways I plan on diverting attention away from accomplishments/attainments at my next reunion.  Feel free to test them out for me the next time you find yourself in a room with the Homecoming King.

What do you do these days?
Well just this year I lost and gained back 12 pounds, saw Madonna in concert twice, and sold the last remaining Twinkie on E-bay for $112.  Sucker.  Did you know that they started making Twinkies again?

Did you ever find love?
A few times, but not nearly as much as you did our freshman year at O'Rileys on Thursday nights.  Whatever happened to those daisy dukes of yours?   

Have you been blessed with children?
Why yes I have,  But I must admit, the real blessings in my life since we've graduated have been my family of Apple products, the Johnny Depp/John Travolta/Doogy Howser come-backs, and the invention of flushable wipes.  

You look nothing like you did in college!
I know right?  Good thing - you won't believe the pressure of being on your ex-boyfriend's top ten list all those years.  Let's go find the other 9 and see how they turned out, want to?  You are so lucky that you didn't make it on that oppressive, sexist list.  Disgusting.


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