Here, I take a deep breath. Since you know when I was born, it should come as no shock that the college reunion just passed was my 40th ! Well, you may not be shocked, but I sure am. 40 years since graduation from college is a L-O-N-G time!
The reunion made me think of the expression time and tide wait for no man (or woman for that matter). If you follow the link you will see that “tide” does not refer to the ebb and flow of oceans, but to seasons. So, we know that time marches on, irrespective of any desire we may have for it to stand still, if even just for a moment.
The most obvious feature about attending a class reunion is seeing how we all have changed. Sometimes we recognize these college friends, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we are recognized, sometimes not. In addition to the friend who marched up to me and asked if I knew who he was, there were some other “shocks” at the reunion.
One of the girls (as we called ourselves) in our class was “as cute as a button.” What on earth does that expression mean? I know what it means, but WHY? And Googling didn’t help. Anyway, she was cute. When I next saw her at the 40th reunion, she was a most mature (that’s a polite way of saying aged) woman. Her face was care-worn. And the sparkle that had always been in her eyes was dimmed. The lively laughing girl of my college days was gone.
Two other brief stories from this reunion. I have recounted how during these college years, I was pretty much on my own, with my parents in Africa while I finished high school and began college in Pennsylvania. One of my girlfriends was an absolute life-saver. She was always solicitous making sure that I had somewhere to go over vacations. I recall going to her home in Ohio for Thanksgiving and for Easter. I always admired and even envied her. She seemingly had many things I did not have—she came from a fairly well-to-do family, she had a car (a real rarity in those days) and she had an endless stream of boyfriends. Even though I have seen her from time to time since we graduated, we had not really caught up on mutual news for some time. It was with shock mixed with sadness that I listened to her, as we all sat around a circle exchanging life stories, as she described her discovery that she had colon cancer. She has been successfully treated and is doing well. But I was so struck by my good fortune in being healthy.
Another guy from our class, who had in fact been class president, and was one of the best looking guys (who dated all the girls in the class except me) had a similar story. He had gone through a marriage, a divorce, a second marriage, and then last year had a sudden intra-cranial bleed which almost killed him.
So much changes in 40 years. The carefree days of college linger in our memories. And then we go to reunions, trying to regain or relive some of those times. But, of course, we are confronted by the indisputable visual evidence that time and tide wait for no man.