One week ago, I was attending my 40th high school reunion.
I remember when my mother went to her 40th & 50th reunions – I thought she was ancient. Of course, I’m sure that no one sees me that way . . .
Our high school was a bit odd – it was “co-institutional,” which meant the nuns taught the girls, and the brothers taught the boys, and never the ‘twain shall meet (except on the busport after school had been dismissed for the day). The school (Catholic, as if you hadn’t guessed) was fed by 6 Catholic elementary schools in the area, all of which were co-ed. So, if the guy went to your grade school, you knew him; if not, chances were that you may never meet him throughout the next 4 years, as you had no classes together. (Indeed, for the first 3 years, we could not eat lunch together – our cafeteria was L-shaped, girls in one section, boys in the other, with 2 gender-based and distinct lines for food.)
This gender separation makes reunions strange; all the women knew each other, as did all the men, but there is a fair amount of introductions (generally beginning with “where did you go to grade school?”) The list of those from our class who have departed this life is growing – that’s a bit unnerving. It makes one wonder how many more will be gone by our next major milestone, 50. As a general matter, I would say that the years have been kinder to the women than to the men, but, as someone correctly pointed out, women are more likely to engage in hair coloring, and are far less likely to have male-pattern baldness.
Politically & religiously, folks seemed to be all over the spectrum. Many of us have given up on the Roman Catholic Church – some for no religion, some for liberal protestantism, some for conservative evangelicalism and even Mormonism. My guess is that those who no longer consider themselves Catholics outnumber those who do. By and large, the group seemed to be more liberal than conservative – but I didn’t take a scientific poll. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of folks who’d volunteered for Obama.
What did surprise me – although I should be used to it by now – is the amount of mis- or dis-information about the Canadian health care system. People were shocked when I explained how good it was, claiming they’d never heard that before (guess they’re not regular readers of this blog, lol!). I did my best to explain that other countries have excellent health care, and urged anyone who would listen to really dig into the facts. I think I might have won some converts – but at a minimum, I think I corrected some misconceptions.
In general, I found the group to be thoughtful, caring and interesting. If I were a bit closer, I’d likely see more of them more often. I’m proud to be a member!