After attending my 40th class reunion in 2012 I came to several conclusions. The first is that women for the most part take better care of their bodies than men do. The amount of overweight men to overweight women was like 70% men, 30% women. There is is also the balding ratio which is 100-to-0. So you basically have overweight, balding men mingling with the wives of Beverly Hills. Women win the appearance contest. The next conclusion I can make is that people get nicer as they get older. The first 10-year reunion we were all near 28-years old. Half of the guys were still trying to see how messed up they could get at the bar while the other half were boring the crap out of anyone who would listen about how successful they were. The girls were dressed to impress as if to say ” You should have paid more attention to me in high school, I’m hot”. Some of the women had started families by then and their conversations were baby talk. I can appreciate it now but then it just sounded like jibberish, ” You had a baby , great, excuse me while I get another drink”. People still stayed in the same groups they had in school and the reunion was heavy drinking and partying. I remember leaving the 10th reunion wondering if I sounded like as big of an asshole as those I had just left…probably so since I had a pretty good hangover the next day. The 20th reunion now rolls around and everyone is about 38-years old, the height of consumption. We still had the usual barflys but the discussions were less slurred and more materialistic. The men and a good percentage of women would just throw in your face about how much they had acquired in terms of job status, homes purchased, cars bought, and how their children were destined to be the next president. Everyone’s lives were just perfect and the more people that new about it , the better. This reunion also brought out the physical changes that go on for 20-years between 18 and 38. Some of the guys were packing on the pounds fast, hairlines were reclining and some of the women looked like they had put a lot of miles on. The majority of us were married with children by then and those that weren’t hooked up immediately. Some had already been married and divorced by then and could usually be found near the bar smoking a cigarette. I stayed away from the bar for that reunion and it was a real eye opener to be sober as nearly everyone else around you got drunker. Discussions went from materialistic to flat out obnoxious. Trips to Europe, second homes at the beach, investment opportunities…it just went on and on until everyone was so drunk that by the end of the night we were boring each other. Big change for the 30 year reunion…it’s like everyone had taken a nice pill before going. People were glad to see one another again and the focus was not seeing how many drinks you could put down but how life was for each other at 48. The discussions were polite and usually started with people asking how each other was doing rather than let me tell you how great I’m doing. The majority had kids that were now past the baby stage and in their teens or early 20’s. There was no pretending each kid was going to be a US Senator…people were actually willing to discuss problems they were having in raising children. There were more divorces and sadly some deaths by then. We danced to early 70’s music, which seemed kind of awkward in 2002. The men clearly had not danced since high school, only the women had any rhythm left, but it was fun. At 48 you have clearly set your path in life and it was interesting to share the experience with others. People were actually interested in what you had to say and alcohol wasn’t needed to get the conversation going. The crowd was also smaller than the first two which saddened me a little…I guess at 48 you have lived much longer since high school than before it. People had also moved away from the town our high school was in and it wasn’t a priority to travel across the country for a weekend. A few more had passed away but for the most part I could recognize everyone without name tags. It was a nice evening. The crowd for the 40th reunion was smaller yet, but the kindness of most of my classmates came shining through. People were happy to see one another at 58 and the discussions were genuine and sincere. Our children were now married or going to their own high school reunions and it was a time to look back and laugh at some of the antics we had pulled when we were 18…it seemed quite distant. Spouses no longer came to the reunions as it is terribly boring not to know anyone and listen to story after story about your husband’s or wife’s high school memories. Many weren’t married to their original spouse anymore while others were celebrating 30+ years of marriage…it didn’t matter, now was not a time to judge. I think everyone in the room had one or two of life’s curveballs thrown at them by now. We were just happy to see one another. The great thing about reunions is that you know the person you are talking to can relate to the timing of your stories as you really have a group of people at the exact same age…quite different than any other social setting. The next reunion comes in 2022 and we we all be 68. I’m sure the group will be smaller but the kindness shown towards one another even greater.