Thea Devine here, basking in the glow from having attended my 50th high school reunion. Honestly, I never thought I’d want to go to any reunion. Had second thoughts about that for my 25th, but I was a week too late. So I made certain people knew where to find me for this momentous year.
50 years since high school. FIFTY YEARS!!! OMG!! That’s surreal. Can’t possibly be true. It feels like I just graduated. I’m still seventeen — aren’t I? In my heart, soul, and day-to-day life I am. High school is just that close to the grain of who I was, who I became
But thinking about attending the reunion was kind of scary. How would it all break out? Would there still be the same cliques, the same alliances, the same feelings, even? Would I still feel like I was at the prom without a date?
In the end, none of that happened. It turned out to be a lovely event. One classmate (male) called it “endearing.” It seemed as if my classmates picked up the conversation as if it were yesterday. There wasn’t a missed beat, once everyone identified themselves. And husbands and wives who’d attended were folded in like they were old friends. The conversation never ended; it just shifted from group to group as we performed a “let’s catch up” do-si-do.
You probably know how this all goes. Football game, cocktail party, talk talk talk; tour of the high school (greatly expanded since our day to the point where, given all the arts and music studios and shop choices, we all felt we wanted to go back ); lunch in the cafeteria (not greatly changed); a visit with two former teachers, now in their eighties; a disorienting tour of the town, wholly changed from when we lived there; cocktail party #2 and a banquet, and more talk talk talk.
We received a Then and Now memory book with contact info and self-written biographies, and a mug commemorating the reunion packed with a bar of goats’ milk soap made by a classmate. Pretty neat.
I wanted everyone to come home with me. I loved seeing them all, I connected with several old friends and I hope we keep in touch. A weekend seemed like too little time to bridge 50 years. I wished it had been a week. There was such a nice sense of cohesion and a recognition that we do have a shared history, and that neither time nor distance can take that away, whenever or wherever we might meet again.
You might wonder if I was even thinking novelistically about childhood, secrets, mean girl alliances, hot and heavy romances, vicious hates, undying teen loves, and long simmering vengeance.
I told people I was. I mean, really, why else was I there?
What do you think?
Have you gone to a class reunion? What did you think? Was it “endearing” or was it “enduring”? Did you connect with or disconnect from former classmates? Would you go to another (I would)?
Thea Devine is the author whose books defined erotic historical romance. She’s the author of 25 historical and contemporary erotic romances, including THE DARKEST HEART and the upcoming BEYOND THE NIGHT. The reissue of her erotic contemporary romance, HIS LITTLE BLACK BOOK, is available now.