No grudges: I hope everyone has a good time.
This article is reprinted with permission from NextAvenue.org.
Call me Karma from Steely Dan. In honor of the milestone (or is it a millstone?), her 50th high school reunion of her 1973 blessed class will be held on June 12 at Jericho High School in Long Island, New York.
And I won’t go
I remember this date because the committee in charge of the reunion is sending out a blizzard of email reminders that seem to have started shortly after holding the 40th class reunion (for the record, I didn’t attend either).
Perhaps they sent too many notifications. Because these people have so many obligations to take care of: families, social security concerns, retirement concerns, etc., that when the 1973 class of “OK, baby boomers” got older, we dated. Because I’m afraid I’ll forget , trust and estate attorneys, cardiologists, financial planners, and more.
My life is as complicated as yours. But I decided not to go to the big reunion because of a deeply held principle: I just don’t want to go.
Besides, I am in close contact with everyone I want to track. No, I’m not against class reunions. I have very fond memories of those years. O courage!
I have nothing against old companions, even if I have lost contact with them for a long time. I no longer hold grudges against the pretty schoolgirls in my native Jericho, NY, and indeed all over Nassau County. .
I also want my old school, like many U.S. educational institutions during the great Cold War space race, to accommodate blossoming scientists and encourage budding writers, artists, and culture trackers. I overcame the fact that I did very little.
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No “fun, fun, fun”
I don’t want to go because it’s not very interesting.
I cringe at the thought of futile conversations and pathetic attempts at small talk. “Where did the time go?” “Hey, what’s your blood pressure?”
And Grandpa: “How often do you have a colonoscopy?”
Full disclosure: I especially don’t want to think that my peers and I are on the wrong side of the generation gap. I hate, hate, hate that so many of us gave up on life. I see so many people my age who have yielded and admitted they should have a lot of regrets.
Nonsense. We should believe that we are just as vibrant, interesting, and promising as when we entered high school.
Think about the 2013 movie Last Vegas, which I enjoyed. Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline, his four old high school friends from Brooklyn, to celebrate the first wedding of one of them (Douglas). gather in Las Vegas, faithful to
The quartet lives happily in the past, steeped in warm memories. It’s heartwarming to note that they still have such a close bond.
But it’s also a little depressing to see how much they yearn for the good old days.
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these are the good old days
I like to sing the chorus of Carly Simon’s great song – “These are the good old days” (by the way, all my friends and I wanted the Carly Simon version that appeared on her cover ” No “Secret” album).
The 1973 class is the assassination of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. the Vietnam War; the Watergate scandal; Death of John Lennon. 9/11; global pandemic, etc.
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We have survived those horrific events. We have found a way to maintain our optimism and sense of humor. I want to burn this memory brightly.
That’s why I don’t go to high school reunions.
I’m sure you hear all about it. And I hope everyone has a good time.
John Friedman, who teaches Beatles music, influences and legacy at Stony Brook University, is the author of the Miniver Press e-book Goo Goo Ga Joob: Why I Am the Walrus is The Beatles’ Greatest Song.
This article is reprinted with permission from NextAvenue.org. (c) 2023 Twin Cities Public Television, Inc. All rights reserved.
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– John Friedman
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