Character in life: class reunions
By Irish McKilligan
Published on 06/14/2011
Reunions are something you love and hate and the same time.

Well, it's time again for the old class reunion.  I'm referring to a high school reunion.  I'm always astonished at how many people think there is some committee on standby for a decade or two just waiting to send out invitations and plan a party.

It never ceases to amaze me that people who never talk to anyone they went to school with think the mystery committee just knows where they are.  It also always surprises me... and kind of refreshes me... that people still want to make a good impression.  Mostly, they just want to be told we are having a party and what it takes to come. 

I, among many, have participated in all these reunions.  You never know who is going to help out, but you know who the main workers are.  I truly think my class was something unique.  I, myself, was not a stand out.  I achieved nothing major in school.  I participated in a few things, I made decent grades and that's about it.  There were many who achieved more during and since those times.  Sadly, there are many who bloomed too fast and a few whose blossom seems to have burned up in the heat of the sun. 

Yet, it's that time again and 3 months before homecoming no one has done a thing.  A decade ago I was tired of our class having no budget and our reunions looking.... like.... well..... not stellar.  I even once made up this ridiculous 15 page questionnaire to mail out to everyone.  Yes, I did.  I wince at the brilliance of this idea. 

Having learned what we learn from these events, I was making good money at the time and decided to fund a killer party and see who I could enlist.  It is a lot of emailing, calling, planning mixed in with conversation about age old feelings that creep up when, as an adult, you know you'll see or talk to someone you envied or despised as a juvenile.  What I've learned is that you have to use the strengths you have.  If you want 'everyone' to come, you have to involved as many as possible because the reunion is going to reflect the people that come together to make it happen.... good or bad. 

Sometimes this works well, sometimes it doesn't.  Most of us just want a great party...but few realize that someone has to plan all this stuff and pay for things up front... and organize..... and inform.....   It's like planning a small wedding for 100 people knowing only 50 will show but making sure there's enough room just in case they all come to the reception.  It's hard work, but if you get enough involved and keep the focus on the party.... you will have a fantastically good time and create more great memories and photographs to have people buzzing for months.  You also get to know people you thought you knew back in the day.... and remember why home felt so homey. 

This year, I'm trying to get behind an idea to get all the classes together for a big dance and donate some money to the schools for arts which have just been cut.  My mind is racing with a million ideas that I can't share .... yet.