Saturday, August 02, 2008

Reunion - Informal Mixer

This weekend, we are celebrating 20 years since we graduated from Berkeley High School: June 15, 1988. It is surprising somehow that it has been so long already. Some of us don't even feel like adults particularly. Of course, my friend John, who made that comment has long been one of the most adult of us all. It does seem as if more of our class has joined us in adulthood, though.

At the 5th year reunion, it felt just like high school. Basically the same clics, partiers partying and planning where to go for more partying, geeks (myself included) being (or at least feeling) socially awkward, etc. 10 years was a bit better. It seemed as if there were more people who were serious about life and definitely more kids. Not that there wasn't plenty of drinking, of course.

There is quite a slate of events this weekend. Last night was an informal mixer at a bar not far from BHS (the bar wasn't there yet when we were kids). This morning was a tour of the campus, tonight dinner at Golden Gate Fields (whose secondary parking lot, in which any number of us learned to drive, is now being replaced with soccer and baseball fields), and tomorrow a picnic in Tilden.

Originally, I wasn't really all that interested in the reunion. The people I most want to be in regular touch with from high school I already am. My two best friends, John and Dan, whom I talk to all the time and see fairly often (seeing Dan isn't so frequent, now that he is in LA, but we agree it is worth his being there - his wife Karyn is wonderful). Kim, one of my closest friends in high school, who now lives in NJ; we keep in fairly close touch, given the distance - I actually didn't even realize she was coming, so imagine my delight when she walked into the bar last night! Daniel, who like John I've known since 7th grade, if not earlier. Danny (first grade).

I planned on going by the mixer, and on the tour once they announced it, and trying for the picnic. Rachel has a birthday party that starts shortly after the picnic, so we'll see whether she and Dawn make it. The dinner, though, is a bit pricey and I don't think I really want to go.

Last night, Dawn was socialed out, thanks to my office summer BBQ, so she skipped. John and I walked down to Thalassa together. I am still somewhat surprised - I wound up staying until almost midnight and made it home just in time to feed Zachary without him waking Dawn.

The mixer was great, if vaguely surreal in a way. I recognized many more faces than I expected but remembered fewer names. There were a bunch of people I recognized instantly, including remembering their names. Alison, Chalyn, Robin, Sarah P, Ted, Dennis, Loren, Cybele, Lucas, Sally, Nicole.

And there are so many people I'm glad to have seen, even though I didn't remember all their names immediately. Lilia, Tawanna, Erik N, Ben G, Jesse, Jessica B, James D. I think I'm already forgetting some of the others, there were so many. And there were some I saw but didn't get to talk to (Sarah H and Maryam come first to mind) or who recognized me but didn't have name tags and said hi in passing so I didn't get their names. As I said, surreal.

A lot of people look GREAT. Cybele, Robin, Loren. John, of course. I suggested he show up in a tight t-shirt that reads "With a body like this, who needs hair?". Chalyn, who does triathlons regularly. Some people look exactly the same, except not like teenagers. I notice this particularly about Kim (and Sarah P), though perhaps it is that I've seen her a number of times since. Dennis, Sarah. Several people commented that I look just the same, except for being taller (I was about 6' at graduation).

I had particularly nice conversations with Alison, whom I remember as far back as 7th grade, and with Lilia, whom I didn't recognize at first. As we talked I started to realize her mannerisms were very familiar, and I agree with her that we had several friends in common. It was a mixer, so there were also many interrupted conversations; I hope to catch up more with Erik N, Sally, and Robin. There are at least a couple of people I didn't even see at the bar: Kelly, whom I remember as very tall as far back as 5th grade, but who I know is shorter than I now (but tall for a woman) because I've bumped into her occasionally, and Shonelle, with whom I had several classes and remember very fondly. Also Jennifer H, Kwame, and Marya.

Now I want to go to the dinner tonight.

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