Thursday Column — Reunions

So my 20-year high school class reunion has been canceled.

Lack of interest was the official cause of death. Only seven people said they’d show up, organizers said. What started as a country club dinner shrank to a lakeside picnic and now will be downsized to an informal gathering of friends. I’ll be there.

It’s disappointing. I’ve had a lot of fun at past reunions and was looking forward to this one.

Granted, I was hoping to be 20 pounds lighter and 30 percent more successful by now, but what’s a guy gonna do? Those bacon cheeseburgers aren’t going to eat themselves.

At the same time, the news isn’t exactly shocking. With the economy still in the tank, I’m sure some far-flung classmates are reluctant to make a pricey trip to the homeland during the official summer of the staycation. The Fourth of July weekend, when nearly all reunions are held in Belmond, is filled with scheduling conflicts.

Maybe some members of the class of ’89 are skipping to attend tea party protests. Who knows?

All I know is there will be one fewer flatbed filled with aging Broncos in the July 4 parade. Bummer.

But really, in this day and age, high school class reunions have become largely anti-climactic relics. Facebook has pretty much ripped away that shroud of mystery that used to make reunions alluring. If you have an account, you’re probably already up to your mullet in high school reuniting.

Gone forever are those tantalizingly anxious moments when you walk into a country club bar on a summer evening, squint into the dim light and try to figure out who the heck these people are that you haven’t seen or heard from in years.

Is that? No, couldn’t be.

Now, you already know. Boy do you know. You know what they look like, what their kids look like, what they do for a living, what news stories they read, what they think is funny, how much they know about ’80s music and which character they’d be on “Friends.” And they know I’m a flabby, goateed chump clinging to this newspaper thing.

My shroud of mystery has become a sheet of Saran Wrap.

Reunions are for catching up. But we’re been caught up in a social network. The need for socializing in person is so 1989.

I’m not saying this is all a bad thing. I’ve enjoyed connecting and catching up with classmates in cyberspace.

But I’ll miss the old-school, analog awkwardness of revisiting the old school. Like high school, there’s no going back.

We’ll see what happens in five years. Maybe we’ll revive the reunion. I’ll bet thin, successful Todd will have a great time.


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