My high school reunion was last weekend. Twenty years. How is that possible? Wasn't it yesterday that I was slamming my locker shut, running down the hall and ducking into the choir room because I decided at the last minute to ditch math class (again), and didn't want to get caught? Didn't I just walk out of the lunchroom, carrying the most fabulous breakfast burrito I can ever remember, and walk backstage for some performance or another? And I'm fairly certain that it was just last week that we were all hanging out in the Homecoming King's barn until the wee hours of the morning.
We've all changed. We've all grown up. We've all become responsible adults and contributing members of society. (Well, most of us.) And yet, for three days, we were all those 18 year old kids who didn't know how to worry about anything beyond tomorrow.
As we walked into the bar on Friday night (okay, so that may be one benefit to being older....) one by one, looking around for a familiar face, it was amazing. Someone would call out a name, everyone would look, there would be some squeals (yes, fine, that was me...), a lot of "How have you BEEN???", and some of the best hugs ever hugged in the history of hugging.
No one, and I mean NO ONE, hugs quite like an old friend.
Each time I'd look at one of these people that I had loved so much back then, I didn't see their faces or bodies as they are now. I saw them as they were then. Every new conversation started with "Do you remember me?" To which we would hear, "Of COURSE I remember you!! How could I NOT?"
Not a single conversation lagged. Not one awkward moment was experienced. Not even one minute of transition. It was like the last 20 years simply wasn't there. Friendships picked back up. Flirtations were continued. And we were all left wondering why we'd let it all slip by us.
Later that weekend, when Bug asked me if I'd been popular in high school, it got me to thinking. No, I don't think I was. At least, not by the typical definition. But looking back at my high school years, looking back at my reunion weekend, I have to say this. I may not have been "popular", but I was loved. And remembered.
In my eyes, that counts more than having been popular. Popularity fades. Love? Well, it picks right back up where it last saw you.
Even with twenty years in the middle.