Do you ever attend your high school reunion every five years? For some, there’s a lot of debate. This year’s decision was made for me.
A funny thing happened to me on my way to my high school reunion.
My high school class was supposed to get together this evening to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our graduation. Earlier this month, however, the plan died a sudden, unexpected death.
My class started off quite organized. Our reunion even had its own group on Facebook, and a surprising number of people from my graduating class were part of it. Or maybe that isn’t so surprising: Facebook does seem to be, after all, the place where people who wanted nothing to do with school or their classmates suddenly jump right in and start making connections with people they’d acted as though they despised in high school.
The price tag for this would-be shindig was to have been $30 per person, certainly a reasonable price for such a gathering. That $30 would land you a ticket to the party through August 17th; on the 18th, the price would jump a whopping five bucks.
My parents’ high school reunions typically start at $40 per person, so even my class’s “penalty phase” of ticket purchasing seemed like a bargain.
On July 24th, a reminder appeared in the group, asking people to let organizers know whether they’d received a postcard and asking that everyone pay their $30 by August 17th.
Well, we’re in our forties now. Some of us have careers, spouses, children and hobbies that already require more time than we have. Some of us — like me — had potential plans in the works that hadn’t been confirmed, and therefore weren’t yet in a position to commit 100% to attending. Still, there’s nothing wrong with a reminder.
But then on Tuesday, July 30th, a new post appeared, suggesting that they were very low on numbers so far — which should have hardly been surprising since the deadline hadn’t arrived, yet. This new post pointed out that money was suddenly due that Friday, which would have been August 2nd. The post also said that because of low numbers at that point, they were considering canceling the event.
At 10:30 on the morning of Friday, August 2nd, it was announced that the event was canceled and that the committee made the decision based on the lack of paying numbers.
What I assume happened was that Friday, August 2nd, was the deadline by which the venue demanded its payment. There’s no other reason I can think of that you’d cancel an event two weeks before a payment deadline and just days after mentioning for the first time a newer, earlier payment deadline.
So now, I suppose I won’t be able to see how well-preserved my classmates are in person, although I already have a good idea based on what I already see every day on Facebook.
A few constantly-negative people who refuse to let go of past rejection and hurt from those high school days which they claim they refuse to dwell on — yet still do — won’t have the opportunity to walk in with a major chip already firmly planted on their shoulder, alienate everyone who even attempts to greet them, and then complain with great satisfaction when the party’s over about how “nothing has changed” in the way they get treated by their classmates.
We all know those people, I think.
As for the slow response, maybe Facebook is to blame, at least in part. (Slackness in not paying sooner, probably, is still most to blame.) My parents certainly could join Facebook if they wanted to, but they don’t. And it’s just a guess, but most of the people in their age group, who happen to have celebrated their 50th reunions, probably aren’t generally part of Facebook’s primary target audience, anyway.
My class is pretty well represented there, however, and a reasonable contingent of my classmates still pal around with each other, based on photos I see posted.
Who needs a reunion, one might argue, when so many people who want to keep in touch are already doing so. And as for the rest of us, who want to keep in touch with some of our classmates but have greater difficulty because of time or geographical constraints, we’ll have to either make better use of Facebook or make it home more often.
And, apparently, we’ll need to get our checks in sooner for the 30th.