Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I Won't Be Seeing You Later!

c. David Grim (taken 10/17/10)

I'm not sure exactly why, but I have a habit of avoiding reunions. It doesn't really matter what the nature of the get-together is, I just don't enjoy them all that much. Perhaps if it's a few friends getting together after years of absence... that could be alright. Sometimes it's refreshing to find out what people are up to. But organized nostalgia strikes me as just a bit pathetic. If the times and people to be remembered were great, I'd rather just let those glory days live in my memory unsullied. On the other hand if things were bad in high school (and they were for most people for at least part of time), the last choice anyone is going to make is to attend a reunion.

Even though I had a reasonably pleasant experience starting around the end of tenth grade, I wouldn't be anxious to go to any gatherings of alumni even if that were a possibility. Apparently the treasurer of "our class" embezzled all the funds we had saved up, and the president was in prison until recently (now I hear she might be dead, or maybe I have everything reversed somehow). That makes it extremely easy to pretend that I'm not even from my home town. I never have to go back now that my entire family has moved outside the city limits. Good stuff... no temptation to trip the light fantastic with the grown up versions of folks I didn't really like once upon a time.

And college reunions just seem completely beside the point. Do people ever really attend those things? I do get the opportunity to visit my old fraternity house once a year around homecoming time. I've only done it like twice in the last fifteen years. I'm not like most of those on the arts scene who deny ever having had truck with conventional culture. I enjoyed my time in the fraternity a lot. Indeed the experience helped me reach out to a group of people I likely would have never associated with in any other case. In turn that exposed me to a world of ideas I wasn't aware of. But that doesn't mean I need to revisit those who joined me on that path. I'm NOT that curious about how everyone is doing, and in the instances where I might care... I have Facebook to get my answers from afar.

This past weekend I was even invited to go to a reunion of folks who worked on a large sculpted head of a stag in the Rankin steel mill. I would have no doubt had fun and seen plenty of artists that I knew. Still the only involvement I had with the building of that monstrous thing was the clandestine commando raid a couple of friends and I made years ago to photograph it. I enjoyed that... it was impressive and all. But there was no reason for me to go to any reunion. I was happy to let those who were actively involved reminisce without obstruction from me. It's too bad I missed out on any refreshments, and that's my main regret.

When it comes down to it, I don't want to talk too much about what I've been up to recently anyway. It might sound like a litany of complaint, and if it did, I would feel ungrateful. My life isn't bad. In fact it's a damn sight better than I had any reason to expect it would be coming out of college. So it's not like I wouldn't have anything to crow about. Still I tend to focus on my deficiencies, and I'm not all that adept at receiving compliments. That combination makes for a very awkward approach to reunions. It's better that I simply continue to avoid them altogether.

1 comment:

  1. I do think there are many people who spend so much time and energy looking backwards that they miss some of the view moving forward.