Saturday, May 25, 2024

C. Stroup: There must be some mistake!

I’m the worst when it comes to keeping on top of my emails. Sometimes I let them go for days at a time. This results in pain and punishment, and often chastisement from people expecting a prompt reply from me. The pain comes in the form of having to sit too long staring at the screen until my eyes start to burn and water. The punishment is perusing enough of each item to discern whether it’s worthy of a complete read. This process is painstakingly slow. I can’t help but get a little trigger happy as I highlight row after row. The delete button becomes my friend. I zip down the list with little regard for the name of the sender. My bad. This impatience has caused me many a headache so wouldn’t you’d think I’d learn from my mistakes?!!!

Recently, I was zooming down the list and did spy a name that caught my eye…Kelly Regis Smith. While it had to be spam, I was intrigued as the subject line read: McCluer High School 55th Class Reunion. Whoever was sending this email had the school correct and spelled right but was way off on the year…a further indication of spam. I emailed my BFF from high school and asked if she by chance had received the same trash. “Why sure,” she replied. “Wait a sec,” I interrupted her. “Who in the world is Kelly Regis Smith?” “Oh, for Pete’s sake. Regis is Kelly Smiths’ married name.” “Okay then, where did she get that ridiculous number for how long ago since we graduated? There must be some mistake.” Jane shot back, “I’m afraid you’re in denial, my old friend! Indeed we have been out of high school that long!” I was speechless and for those of you who know me that rarely happens.

C Stroup back in the day.

While chatting with one of my millennial friends and her pal I made mention that I was looking forward to attending my high school reunion. With confused expressions on their faces they asked each other if they had ever gone to such a thing. Turns out their high schools never offered the opportunity because high school reunions didn’t exist. But one of them said even if they did she wouldn’t go. She said she knew way more than she cared to about her classmates from following Facebook. The other one wanted to know exactly what you do at a reunion.

I explained, from my own personal experience:

At the 10 year there was a picnic the afternoon before the actual reunion. This included munching, drinking and plenty of time for catching up with a more intimate group. The next night people dressed to the nines in order to impress. It was all about learning who had graduated college, gotten married, had kids and the like.

For the 20th year the attendees were anxious to follow the picnic tradition for a relaxed afternoon even if it meant being so relaxed they were hungover for the reunion. Again, being clad in their finest threads folks not so inconspicuously eyed each other from across the room. And most conversations revolved around who had the most important job, the most impressive title, ergo had become the most successful.

By the time the 30th had rolled around the picnic was still an important staple. Reunion attire became a bit more relaxed. By now the barista on the cruise ship, the top gun on Wall Street, the seamstress down the street or perhaps some dude with a job that could be considered menial, well, they all were coaching little league teams of one flavor or another. So all that peacocking that went on truly didn’t matter.

The older you get the faster time flies so the 40th cropped up in a hurry. The afternoon picnic gave way to bar stools by night. Seems it was becoming more and more difficult for folks to get up and down off a blanket. Exchanges became more about the achievements of the offspring…like who was making the big bucks and whose career path seemed most promising.

That 50th reunion was enlightening!  Hardly any mention of success or money or worldly possessions. At every table the occupants could be seen vying for their opportunity to flaunt pictures of their grandchildren. The only one-upmanship in this competition was in the number of…the more grandkids the further up the ladder in the hierarchy.

So now I’ll be making an appearance at my 55th OMG 55th High School Reunion. The committee decided to not wait 5 more years for 60. I’m afraid they think it’s getting to the point that we’re going to be too infirm to travel. Or from a bit more jaded perspective they figure too many of us will have just died off.

I certainly hope in either case

There must be some mistake.

C. Stroup
C. Stroup
Cindy Stroup is a Double Oak resident and has been contributing to The Cross Timbers Gazette for over 30 years. Read her column each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette newspaper.

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