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OCHS Class of '98 Reunion

Time to Spiff Up That Normal Life?

Creative Commons LicensePhoto credit: meddygarnet
Have you ever been tempted to spiff-up your perfectly normal life in order to impress OPs (Other People) in your life?

High school – forget it. Jocks became jocks, cheerleaders became cheerleaders. We became us. I like us.

— Kenneth Wurman (Courtney Gains)
in Can’t Buy Me Love

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I’d vacationed with two of my high school buddies.  Now we’re making plans for another staycation at one of their homes so we can attend our high school class reunion – it’s one of those milestones.  And naturally we’re contemplating whether or not we really want to go, what we need to do (or not do) in preparation for the reunion…

Why all the angst? Once again my favorite cartoon character, Rose Gumbo, provides insight into our quandary:

Although her husband Jimbo reminds Rose that she:
“Went on to college, got a good job, met a great guy, got married, had a baby! Sounds pretty nice and normal!”

Rose’s retort clarifies her angst:
“I’m not going to a class reunion with a normal life!”

To which Jimbo remarks:
“You do spend a lot of time up a tree.”

And Rose replies:
“That’s a start…”

A Normal Life???

What in the heck is a “perfectly normal life” anyway?  And why, oh WHY (!) would we want to spiff it up to impress people we haven’t seen in years and aren’t likely to see again in our lifetimes – people with whom we share little else besides four years of adolescence?

Yet many of us do attend the reunion and fret over figure and fashion and philosophy – why do we do this to ourselves???

We do it because:

True friends are the ones who never leave your heart, even if they leave your life for awhile. Even after years apart, you pick up with them right where you left off, and even if they die they’re never dead in your heart.

— Anonymous

And because, when reunion time rolls round, we’re curious to see who will show up and which bonds will be remembered, which might even be renewed.

So I’m Going

But I’m not going to be like the woman who prepared for her reunion:

…like any intelligent woman would: I went on a starvation diet the day before, knowing that all the extra weight would just melt off in 24-hours, leaving me with my sleek, trim, high-school-girl body. The last many years of careful cellulite collection would just be gone with a snap of a finger. I knew if I didn’t eat a morsel on Friday, that I could probably fit into my senior formal on Saturday.

And then she had a change of heart:

I put on my sweats, fixed myself a drink, ordered pizza, and skipped the reunion.

Nope, not gonna do that.  Instead I’m going to go to the reunion.  But I’m going to forget about fretting over figure, fashion and philosophy.  Instead I’m going to remind myself that “it’s not about me” while I concentrate on heeding Dale Carnegie’s advice:

To be interesting, be interested. Ask questions that other persons will enjoy answering. Encourage them to talk about themselves and their accomplishments. Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems. A person’s toothache means more to that person than a famine in China which kills a million people.

And that’s all the spiffin’ I plan to do!  (So there!)

So – don’t go spiffn’ up, simply practice the art of taking an interest in OPs’ perfectly normal lives.

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Cup o’ Inspiration

cup with steam swirl

Take a short break and consider the following:

“True friendship comes when the silence between two people is comfortable.”

David Tyson Gentry

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