Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Wistful hankering

I went to my old school's 30 year reunion on Saturday. It was specifically my year group - but it was a very VERY big school, so - even with lots unable to make the reunion - there were a lot of people there (70+), not all of whom I could remember ever having known at school.

It was a wonderful night - and I really enjoyed catching up with those I'd known quite well at school and those I'd hardly known at all, but who are now very lovely, friendly 47 or 48 year old men and women. Much nicer people than they were at school, in many cases. Indeed, I had a strong sense that everyone was at a very good age for such a reunion, seeming happy and comfortable in their own skins. The vast majority were married with kids, and (like me) still with original spouses of 20 odd years. A few had moved on to a second partner. I was interested/surprised to discover that my eldest son being nearly 21 put me at the top end of those who had had their babies youngish: a number were similar to me, but plenty had much younger children - including a few with a youngest of only 6!

But the highlight of the evening for me - which was very unexpected - was a bit of a frisson with one particular chap. Someone who was as delighted to see me as I was to see him, although I wouldn't have predicted it beforehand. The odd thing is - as soon as we saw each other, there was a fantastic sense of connection and real affection - but for the life of me I can't remember how we became friends at school, or indeed anything about our friendship 30 years ago. It's very odd to be fond of someone and not be able to remember why! I'm pretty sure we never had any teen romance - I was always very thorough at recounting all my endless boyfriends in my diaries. He wasn't involved in the Drama Society, didn't do the same subjects as me for A level - so how exactly did we become friends?? It's driving me mad - and I had to be quite careful not to let on how little I could remember, always hoping that he would say something that would jog my memory and it would all come flooding back - but no luck.

We chatted about our respective lives, each of us happily married and with children, each of us happy and in jobs we enjoy.

At the end of the evening, when I was sorting out getting a lift home from my Dad (now that really DID make me feel like a teenager again!) at about 1.30am, I was looking around and couldn't find him to say goodbye. I thought he must've already left, but then - at the last moment - I spotted him outside the front door, sitting chatting with the smokers on the verrandah. I knew my dad would be coming along in the car any minute, so I just went over to say cheerio, and to give him my contact details, in the hope we could stay in touch.

As we were saying goodbye, he gave me another lovely hug and half-jokingly, half-wistfully said quietly into my ear 'Ah Heather, in another life, eh?' It was very touching - and I knew exactly what he meant, cos I felt it too. I said - 'but we can be friends, can't we?' And he agreed - he said he wasn't really into email never mind facebook and - although I'd only given him my email and phone details but hadn't given him my home address, he said he'd find a way and would write to me via old-style snail mail. I really hope he does - although part of me is a little worried, because... - well, it's obvious why!

He may come to the same conclusion and may decide not to contact me after all as a result (I did very much leave the ball in his court) I wonder how much the alcohol played a part that night too....

He has a facebook page, but hasn't responded to my friend request (yet?), not that I take too much from that, because I think he only did the facebook thing to get in touch with the organiser about the reunion.

What a strange thing!

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