Tuesday, 7 June 2011

On reunions and growing older.

So this year is 25 years since I wrote matric(yes, I am that old) - for the international readers, that is our last year of high school at about age 18. I have not been good at keeping in touch with old friends from school - in fact I have only contacted 5 of the girls that I was friends with through the last 4 years or so. First contact has typically been via Facebook.I have met up with 3 of them - the other two live overseas. But I am intending on meeting up with two more soon. And still living in the same city, I do bump into some of them - sometimes in unexpected places like on holiday recently. But I digress.

A few enthusiastic people have started to organize a reunion, also mainly finding people (actively) through Facebook and we have started a Facebook group - we already have 83 members, including a few teachers that taught us. A further few were found by other memebers via phone, email etc and have managed to find 75% of our class mates.I have been asked to assist with some graphic stuff which I will gladly do and yes, I will go to the reunion. My problem is this - how the hec will I firstly remember all these people (I get friend requests and then see they were in class with me and just accept - no idea who they actually were)? I will take out my year book and page through, but I suspect I will have big gaps. In any event, I will go and enjoy.

What really triggered this little post (apart from Marcia's this morning), is how different people grow older. Remember - it has been 25 year since I saw some of them. Some of them, even after all this time, is still just the same. They look the same (a bit of lines added and maybe less hair) and sound and am just the same they were. Some of the woman have grown beautiful - no truly. There are at least 4 of the girls who look amazing - way prettier than when they were at school. One was rather over weight and is now an absolute beauty.In totality, most of the girls look a lot like they used to and I should recognize most of them in the street.But the big shocker is how a lot of the guys (and really not all - some are just like they used to be, or even fitter) are "ooms". Now if you are not South African you may not understand this -what I mean is that they look like older men - overweight with tummies, no hair, bears no resemblance than when they were at school. Gee, makes me wonder about the mindset of the Afrikaans man.I was truly shocked when 3 of the guys became Facebook friends with me and regardless of how many pictures I saw of them, I could not find the boy I knew in any way on the pictures.I would not recognize them even with a name tag attached.

But I do feel I need to share some of the observations I have made by getting into with so many of them after so many years.
  1. South African have really colonized the world - to name just a few my classmates live in : Australia, New Zeeland, Canada, USA, Britian, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dabi, Dubai, Taiwan, Spain, Botswana and Germany.
  2. 4 girls are gay - 2 I would have suspected. The other two - not a chance.Would have never guessed. Only one of the guys (whom we all knew about) is openly gay. 
  3. We have had 4 of our school mates that have passed away - one committed suicide after he finished his national service (we are the last generation of that era), another also about two years after we finished school.  One of our friends was shot in his house last year - I wrote about it here. The other one, nobody knows how or when.
  4. One's perception of yourself when you were at school can be seriously warped. I remember myself as being rather awkward and part of the arty crowd - not the "in" crowd.Always feeling as not really belonging anywhere. Now I have to hear from so many that I was a popular girl and remembered by many whom I can not vaguely remember at all. I am really puzzled by this.
  5. A lot of the people are divorced and in their second marriages. And a few have never been married (not counting the ones in item 2). 
  6. Some have kids that have already finished school and one of the girls just had a little boy.
  7. At least 4 of us have twins of which only one pair is the result of fertility treatment.
  8. Most people remember me for always taking photos and painting (now that sounds like me) and dating the older boys .For how one of our class mates threw a compass into my bum in class because I dated his older brother. For being friends with my group - no surprise there. And also for being sick for a big part of my High school career - I only now found out most people had the misconception I had cancer while I only lost my hair due to an auto Immune disease. (Another post for another day.)
So in October I will see what the reunion hold. And you? Have you gone to your reunions? What is your observations?

28 comments:

  1. Sjoe! Those dresses are wild!

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  2. Sjoe! Those dresses are wild!

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  3. Oh goodness me those dresses are lovely :)

    I actually found the same thing with regard to the perception you have of yourself at school vs how others see you!

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  4. Those dresses are brilliant - I matriculated in 1989, so the dresses (and hair) in my year were very similiar.

    Love this post, made me laugh when I was comparing your memories to my own....

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  5. @e608fff5170bf17b533003066b87bf2b  If I had kept it it would have been in her dress-up box by now! But I gave it to an underprivileged girl two years later for her dance. I have kept my wedding dress though - if she wears it one day it would be 3 generations.

    And yes, I feel the same as you in those last few sentences.

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  6. Your dress is absolutely gorgeous... as are you. Have you kept it? Your daughter just may wear it one day... you know how fashion comes around again like a boomerang.
    I wasn't in the country for our 10 year reunion (was living overseas) and we havent had a 20 yr reunion. But I recently met up with a lot of old school friends through the death of Ryan (vine)... and it was fab to see them again! I too am shocked at what people thought of me way back then. i didn't loathe school, but lets just say "varsity and post grad days saw a more confident fun loving me :) I do wish i had more confidence when i was at school too x

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  7. @feb95f4149751076e0fea22090072d26  Maybe you are right - more social pressure.

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  8. I lost all touch with my school mates after school.  Got married within 5 months after writing matric and moved out of the city.  I love your photo...and I also had "BIG" hair and the make up and dresses where quite something.

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  9. @ae6f03a74be54924532f9e4a218581b4  You are too sweet. I have to admit that if it was far away I would not have gone to the effort.

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  10. laurakim  I should have added that I designed my own dress. LOL!

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  11. @3bd3bfb05fe7cbf88a427a92a8e8925a  I reluctantly went to my 10y ear and it was ok, not great. However, I feel that now I have the confidence to go and not care a bit what others think of me - eiother then or now.

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  12. @8e4f28b7f7ce893d594efa691e0cd2c2  School was also not the best time for me - I was shocked when I told our organizer the other day that it was really not the best time and I had much better times after. He says it was the best days of his life. I think that is rather sad.

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  13. Its only been 13 years since I matriculated, but yeah some people change so dramatically, that you wouldnt recognised them now. Admittedly I have not been to the last two reuinions. I should probably make a more concerted effort to go. Life kinda just ran away with me! :)

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  14. Your pic is FANTASTIC! :) :)

    I don't know if a reunion was organised for my 10 year (in 2008) but there was talk on Facebook and then it seemed to fizzle out.  I doubt I would have gone. School wasn't exactly the best time ever for me.  I was in no uncertain terms not part of the in crowd although I desperately wanted to be. One of the few friends I still have from my school days said to me the other day that I was always so cool because I just didn't care and carried on doing my own thing.  Funny how others see you differently :)

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  15. That picture is priceless!

    I've never been to a high school reunion but in hindsight I still see alot of my high school friends.  We are a biggish crowd that still get together on the weekends, go out for dinners, go on holidays together, go into business together...yes some friends have moved away but when they are in SA we still hook up and its back to normal like the good old days.

    I hope you enjoy your reunion.  I bet you are going to have alot of fun :)

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  16. Your daughter looks just like you! I actually like this picture. A lot.
    Not sure if I will go to a reunion. Actually I don't think that I will go. 

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  17. Loving the pic darl!  You still look exactly the same!  Haven't changed a bit, just as gorgeous now as you were then.

    I missed my 20yr reunion and was completely fine about it.  So many of my class mates are scattered overseas, and i have little contact with them.  I must say that i don't regret it at all.

    Looking forward to hearing all about it x

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  18. The photo is really funny! Those Dresses LOL
    I went to my last reunion of 20 years, and promised myself "Never again!"
    I also couldn't remember most of the men, and the same irritating people were still the same irritating...
    I kept in contact with my friends, and for the rest we do not have much in common anymore!

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  19. We all had the big permed hair!!! Loved the rouged frilly matric dance dresses of that era!  I wore one to my matric farewell

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  20. Susie's Homemade22 September 2011 at 15:17

    Those dresses were radical!! I loved the 80's!!!

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  21. I went to my 20 year reunion a few years back, it was weird, most people hadn't changed all that much and I was mostly reminded of why I hadn't kept in contact with them. I did have fun and I have stayed in Facebook contact with a few of them since but yeah, there was a reason I felt isolated and different at school ;-)

    Your Matric dance photo is a classic of its time, love it! I wore black to my Year 12 Formal, I made it myself 'cause nothing in the shops either appealed or fit :P

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  22. ps - that pic is really sweet. and you look gorgeous. just like your daughter

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  23. I am in touch with many of my school mates cos i am back living in the town i went to school in. Many of us left - and then came back years later to raise our families here. We have impromptu *reunions* all the time - its always fun and I get a real kick out of it. There is nothing like hanging out with people who knew you BEFORE you were wife/mother/grown-up.

    i must say - most of the girls have aged better than the guys...but i do think that is societal pressure actually. we *really* want to stay younger looking more than the okes!

    I was also surprised to hear peoples opinions of me in school as oppose to the way I saw myself - I wish I had been more confident back then!

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  24. I just had such a good laugh after seeing that picture!  Sorry, but ..... whahhahaha!

    I remember going to my 10 year reunion and feeling even more awkward that when I was in school - how is that even possible?

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  25. O!M!G! that picture is totally hilarious! wahahaha! I'm sorry :p
    i'm sure it was very stylish in its day. in fact... when my sister went to her matric dance, i was about 5 years old (in about 1987) and she looked pretty similar to what you are sporting here! LOL!!

    good for you for being involved and wanting to go to the reunion. no amount of money or chocolate could get me to go to mine (my 10 yr was last year).

    also LOL that the boys in your class are now Oooms!

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  26. @1483693f2995fb2fb8d161d49d40acdb  You are too kind my friend.

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  27. Okay, I LOVE the picture of the good old 80s :) I need to find a pic of me - I know I was thin and one of my favourite compliments EVER from a class mate (not that one I wrote about) was that I had legs like Steffi Graf. HAHAHAHA

    Can't wait to hear about the auto-immune disease.

    I wonder if anyone in our class has died? I know a classmate's wife was murdered (I used to tutor him and she was then his sister's friend :)) and I ran into him at the Bedford Centre (remember we're from PE so it is always a huge shock to find ppl in jhb) and he told me. What do you say?

    I think most of us still look the same, just a bit fatter and with wrinkles...

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  28. Lovely post ~ got to learn a lot more about you during the younger days...
    YOU ARE THE ONE IN THE PINK DRESS...cant miss that...You have not changed...still as beautiful as always...like Princess.

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So what's on your mind?