Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Joys of Bygone Days

The ten-year reunion for the Troy High School class of 1995, held this past Saturday, was a smashing, unqualified success.

There was one complaint for the evening, and I'll go ahead and get it out of the way. The reunion was held at the Best Western in Troy, and the air conditioning in the banquet room was broken. It got really hot in there, to the point that I was dripping sweat while eating dinner. Eventually they brought out some fans, and that helped quite a bit, but before that point it was quite uncomfortable. To the hotel's credit, they made up for it by giving two certificates for free stays there to be raffled off during the course of the night, and they also refunded part of the payment to the reunion committee. That money will be put towards future reunions, vague plans for which are already beginning to circulate.

In spite of the heat, I had an outstanding time with my old classmates and friends. I think nearly everyone there had fun, actually. I'm sure there were some who didn't, and those few will likely be absent from future reunions, but I think they were a distinct minority. Even Brandi had a good time, and she was fairly apprehensive beforehand and didn't expect to enjoy herself in a crowd mostly made up of complete strangers. It's amazing what a little alcohol can do.

We got there just slightly after 6:00, when the festivities began. We immediately found our friend Amy, who was on the reunion committee, because I had brought a couple of things to loan to the memorabilia display table. We sat down and hung out with her for a while, along with her husband Doug and a couple of other people they were sitting with. There was a slideshow running, displaying pictures that people had contributed. I didn't get a chance to contribute any, but Amy did, meaning there were plenty of pictures of me sporting my old mullet, generally wearing a tux and striking some goofy pose. Amy, I know you'll be reading this at some point, so let me just take a moment to thank you for that. Remember, for the next reunion, I will contribute photos.

The first person from outside our table to come up and talk to me out of the blue was a girl named Rebecca, a girl I dated once upon a time. We didn't break up well, and didn't talk much after that, so it was a little bizarre that she was the first one to talk to me. Once I had a moment to think about it, though, I was glad she did. It would be dumb to be hung up on whatever it was that happened back in the early days of high school. I actually felt a little silly that it took her coming over to talk to me before I realized that, but it was all for the good. I guess Rebecca later, after drinking quite a bit, said something weird to Brandi, but I wasn't present and so I don't know what that was all about.

Of course, the main reason I was so excited for the reunion was for the chance to see and hang out with some friends I'm still close to but that I don't get a chance to get together with very often due to the physical distance between us. The first, of course, was Amy. Brandi and I see Amy and Doug relatively often, but it was still good to hang out with them. Amy, as I mentioned, was on the reunion committee and was really into it, making her largely responsible for everyone's good time.

Aside from Amy, I was looking forward to seeing Patrick and Jessica. It had been quite some time since I had seen either one of them, despite the fact that I still consider them to be among my closest friends. It was great to see them and chat with them for a while. I got to meet Jessica's fiance Matt for the first time, and he's a really cool guy. Unfortunately, I missed out on saying goodbye to them when Brandi and I adjourned to the hotel bar to escape the heat for a while. Patrick and his wife Sarah left relatively early in the evening, but Brandi and I had an incredibly pleasant lunch with them on Sunday afternoon. I really wish I got to hang out with these people more often. Someday money will be less of an object, and making day/weekend trips to visit them will be possible more frequently. In the meantime, I'll be in the Columbus area for a football game next Friday, and Jessica invited Brandi and me to stop by her place afterwards for a wine-tasting party. Hopefully we'll be able to make it.

Throughout the course of the night at the reunion, I got a chance to chat with several other old friends that I haven't seen in a much longer time, some of them since the day we actually graduated. There was far too much going on to have time to really "catch up" with most of them, but it was still good to get to talk to them for at least a few minutes. I got to spend quite a bit of time with a guy named Winfred, a guy I was pretty good friends with in elementary school but didn't really talk much to through junior high and high school. By the end of the night, Brandi and I had even made a totally new friend, as we closed down the bar talking to a girl named Missy that I don't think I ever talked to back in the day. She was a lot of fun, though, and we saw her safely home at the end of the night.

I went into the reunion expecting to have a decent time but not really knowing what to expect. When the night was over, I can't even express how much fun I had. I only wish that I had been able to talk to more people, that I had taken more photos, and that it wasn't going to be another five years before we do it again. Hopefully by the time the next reunion is in the planning stages Brandi and I will be living closer to Troy so I can be involved. One way or another, though, I'll definitely be there.

No comments: