There is something startling about seeing someone after fifty years. Some people age well or at least well enough. Some people just don’t.
This is the year for my 50th high school reunion. I have never gone but this year I let the idea percolate in my head.
We attended the beloved husband’s 50th several years ago. There were a lot of old people but they were old when I met them so they didn’t look different.
For my reunion I am talking about folks that were 18 years old last time I saw them — at least most of them.
Being naïve and intrepid, I went onto the Facebook page created for the reunion. There were pictures of people. They were old people. I didn’t recognize them. I looked at the names listed and I couldn’t connect them. I knew two of the guys fairly well but my synapses weren’t snapping. There wasn’t a hint of recognition in my brain.
I focused on features that don’t change, like dimples and face shapes. Well folks that can all change. I think I found dimples (it was hidden under some heavy cheek tissue) but everyone had a round face that may have matched their bodies.
These folks are 67 or 68 years old so I wasn’t expecting to see a thin 18-year-old. (Yes, in my day kids graduating from high school were all thin.) But holy smoke! I wasn’t expecting to see such significant aging.
I thought men aged better than women — like Harrison Ford or Sean Connery. Not my classmates!
The beloved husband looks fabulous for his age but if you put him next to his high school picture, I couldn’t pick him out either. He looks better now. Not so with my classmates.
I was severely affected so I did what any neurotic woman would do. Close to hysterical, I went to the mirror. Do I look that old? I pulled out my high school picture. I do look different but I think it is better – sort of. I am 5 pounds lighter and my face is thinner.
I didn’t have any neck waddle or eye crinkles but I didn’t have boobs then either. Don’t boobs cancel out wrinkles? Do they cancel out crinkly thigh skin too? I sure hope so.
There weren’t any pictures of my female classmates.
My best friend from high school died a few years back and I have only seen one other female classmate in the last 20 years. She looked good but we were both under 50 at the time. Some others have died but I don’t know where the rest are.
I live in a small city. You would think I’d bump into someone from my class periodically but I don’t. Maybe I need to go to Bingo games. I didn’t see anyone at the oldies dance and I did look around. Mostly I was checking it out for “exes” but I didn’t see anyone I recognized.
Wait! If I don’t recognize them in a photo with their name under it, how would I recognize them if I ran into them? Maybe I have seen them.
Maybe I have seen them at the Home Depot or the grocery store. Maybe I have passed them on the street.
I can’t decide about the reunion. I have a great fear of walking around with the “deer in the headlights” look if I don’t recognize anyone. I wonder if anyone would recognize me.