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Too Many Conversations

August 12, 2011

I am hours away from confronting my former high school peers.  In doing so, I am realizing a few things.  One is that my son is dreading the likelihood of a lot of adult conversation.  Two of the events of this reunion weekend involve family.  This means that he will have to endure my running into people with whom I could possibly have a lot to say.  It has been 30 years.

 

But this is one area in which my son Sid and I have our greatest conflict.  Too many conversations.  It is not just that wherever we go, I seem to know someone and wind up in what I am told is a boring conversation.  It is that it takes from our precious time and often involves bragging about him.  The mere existence of a parent can be embarrassing enough.  The highfaluting, self-consciousness raising prattle is more than any tween should have to live through.  I am guilty.  I DO know too many people.  And they all have to hear about Sid.  They know this.  They usually ask, first.

 

Another things I am realizing is why I have not been to one of these gatherings before.   It is not so much that I am recalling my lack of motivation for going, or motivation for staying away.  It is reading comments, sharing, private and public about the dread that comes with the idea of returning to a place that might have been wonderful for a select few, returning to a context from which everyone will be judged, not wanting to be judged, evaluated or compared, not wanting to return to a place that might be much the same as it was when it became clear that we had to escape for more than just opportunity, but for sanity and ideals.

 

In going back, I am ready to through more than vanity out the window.  I don’t care.  I did hear from one of the most dear people who greeted me with kindness and welcome when I first arrived at the new, strange school.  She is not going to the reunion.  As a comment from Jennifer from last week’s post (“My First Reunion“) reminded me, she is one person who I would like to say thanks to.

 

At the same time, I am urged by several people to either have fun or make the most of this context-providing experience.  In the next week, I will be sure to share  something.

 

At the very lest, I will bow out of one of the high-profile events, the evening hanging at the pub on Saturday night.  I will be at the St. Cloud River Bats last home gave of the season with Sid and my father.  In a few minutes, we will get in the car and drive northwest, where grandma and grandpa will be waiting for their son and grandson.  They will feed us.  They will worry as much as I should about my reunion experience and care most that it is a good excuse for them to see their only grandson–and to give him the chance to watch more baseball.And soon, I will be confronted with the truth about how old I really am.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2011 12:26 pm

    ohhhh, now i understand why you were trying to “borrow” my clothes! have fun!! what are you wearing???

  2. August 12, 2011 12:48 pm

    I recently went to a gathering of old college friends and acquaintances, and was surprised to hear that many were nervous before they came. One woman said “I made some bad choices back then.” I was like, “Yeah, I thought that was what we all had in common. Lots of bad choices.” Even as college students, I think we were still basically children, or children awkwardly becoming adults. Remember that you were kids, and some of the people who weren’t so kind to you then, might be embarrassed my their own behavior now. Good luck, and do try to have fun. Enjoy the Riverbats game and stop by Lake George if you have time. They’ve really done a lot of work there.

    • August 13, 2011 2:59 am

      Jennifer, I don’t think I made enough mistakes in high school. For me, they could have been a little more costly than they were for my peers, but a few lessons in how more costly were enough to ward me off from more misbehavin’.

  3. August 12, 2011 1:10 pm

    great advice, jennifer!

  4. August 12, 2011 1:19 pm

    As you know, I had my 30 yr reunion last weekend. It is always hard on the nerves at first but by the end, I predict you will be happy you went. Relax and enjoy!

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  1. Guest Blog From Sid: Not Too Many Conversations: A Bearable Reunion Weekend « The Clarence White Blog

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