Twenty Year Reunion.
by Risa Green
When I ran for senior class president in 1989, I knew that I would have to plan the prom. I knew that I would have to plan our class trip (which, sadly, never happened), I knew that I would have to plan a class fundraiser and organize a class gift, and I knew that I would have to speak at graduation. What I did not know, however, was that twenty years later – when I had a husband, two children, a dog, a goldfish, a mortgage and a house three thousand miles from where I grew up – I would have to plan our class reunion. This, it turns out, is a secret that nobody tells you until you graduate, when one day a packet of mailing labels addressed to all of your classmates arrives in a giant envelope at your house, with a letter from the school secretary requesting that you keep them in a place where you will be able to find them ten or twenty years from now, when you need to start planning your class reunion.
Ten years ago, before I had children, I attempted a ten year reunion. Having not spoken to anyone from my high school in, well, ten years, and seeing as how Facebook was not yet invented, I dug out the mailing labels from a box deep in my garage, and sent postcards to ten year old addresses, requesting that peoples’ parents please send me the whereabouts of their now twenty-eight year-old children. I got about eight responses. But then I found an alumni directory with current addresses for about half of my class. Encouraged, I sent fifteen hundred dollars of my own money to a banquet facility near my high school that my mother recommended, and guaranteed that at least seventy-five people would show to the reunion. I sent a new postcard, this time asking for rsvps. I got forty. I called the banquet facility and begged for my fifteen hundred dollars back, but they weren’t all that interested in returning it to me, so I emailed the forty people in my class who responded and told them that the reunion was off.
Luckily, a guy in my class has a brother who owns a bar, which he graciously offered up free of charge. So my ten year reunion took place at an establishment called Chicky’s, complete with sawdust on the floor and chicken wing appetizers. But, it’s the thought that counts, right? People came, we hung out, it was fun, and then another nine years went by.
This time, however, I’ve wised up. I hired a company that specializes in reunion planning to do all of the work for me, and to pay all of the deposits up front so I don’t have to. They’ll find a place, hire a DJ and a photographer, send out invitations, make name tags and even track down old classmates. All I have to do is put some updates on Facebook and make a few reminder phone calls. Whew.