I had a wonderful time, but I noticed a few people seemed uncomfortable, and their discomfort made others uncomfortable as well.
I have compiled a list of DOs and DON’Ts for such events.
With reunion time just around the corner, I hope you will print my “Reunion Rules” for others who may be feeling awkward about attending the festivities:
- No whining or moaning over what “might have been,” or anything else depressing. No one wants a pall cast over this happy event.
- Seek out people who have made a difference in your life, and thank them. They will appreciate it.
- Check your midlife crisis at the door. No one needs to know you are having an affair or that your spouse just left you.
- Do not brush off anyone who wants to talk to you. It doesn’t matter whether or not you liked that person in high school. We have all changed.
- Bring an extra hankie, and cry all you want when you are overwhelmed by nostalgia and old friends. Tears can be a great catharsis.
- All responses to questions should be at least two full sentences. Don’t be abrupt. It will make you appear snobbish.
- Don’t do too much bragging. It puts a spotlight on your insecurities. The best compliments are the ones you get without fishing.
- Any remarks about your baldness, weight or wrinkles should be countered with something humorous or self-deprecating. No offense is intended. Sometimes, when people are surprised at the change in the appearance of an old friend, they don’t know how to deal with it, so they try to mask their surprise with humor.
- Be careful how you approach others. Be respectful. Remember that you are dealing with someone’s wife, husband, mother or father.
- Be yourself. We remember you from way back, and will accept you the way you are.