What is it with people and reunions?
First of all, to have a reunion you had to leave or get away from a place or a certain group of people, go out into the world and make your way in life. Now maybe I am being a wee bit cynical here, but, for the most part, we were happy to get away from a mind-numbing place or certain group of people and never gave it a second thought of ever going back there.
Because, as we all know, if people never go away, then you can’t have a reunion. Or, as I am fond of saying “How can I miss you if you never go away?”
And yet, like salmon returning to spawn, we as human beings have this incredible urge to go back to those places we originally hated to go, see people we really didn’t like in the first place and do what is basically the theme of Bruce Springsteen’s song Glory Days.
We love to meet in high school gym’s all across this great land of ours and mentally re-live moments of being pummeled by freakishly mutant people who played offensive line for our acne infested alma mater. We love to see how the previous “Homecoming Royalty” of our past has now turned out in life. Her Majesty is a spandex wearing, chain smoking, Dolly Parton wig wearing beautician at a mortuary who’s job is putting the “final touches” of the dead before they are either cremated or laid to rest. She currently has 6 kids, 3 broken marriages and a tramp stamp tattoo that says, “Welcome to Walmart”. On the other hand, His Majesty is now the highest ranking security guard at the sewage treatment plant. The former king’s hobbies now include watching his hairline recede, showing people his collection of his own teeth in a jar, picking a never ending supply of naval lint from his ever expanding spare tire, telling people about if it wasn’t for that freak knee accident, he’d have made a killing in the pros and wondering why he has been banned from every online dating site on the Internet.
But what about family reunions?
Now, those are scary because with High School reunions, at least you can look at the freaks and say “There but for the grace of God, go I.” But in a family reunion, you see a freaky member of your family and you realize that you share some of the same DNA as these escapees from The Island of Doctor Moreau.
Do we as humans have some sort of masochistic streak in us that we actually derive pleasure from an event that is only one millimeter above poking out our own eyes with a blunt sewing needle?
And yet, every time there is an invitation to some reunion, we just can’t wait to jump at the opportunity to go. We love to go to these events and brag about events in our lives that never happened or tell people that despite the implants, hair transplants, renting a luxury car just to be seen getting out of it upon our arrival, that our lives are just as successful or even more so than the bozos who we can’t wait to see try to walk down the red carpet in a cocaine infused state.
And if that wasn’t enough, the genius’ behind the current Reunion Craze are now planning new and unique ways to “get people together.” So don’t be surprised if you go to your mail box and get an invitation to your Kindergarten Class reunion. Or maybe you’ll be tempted to go to the “People who were used in Quasi-Volunteered/Forced Medical Experimentation” Reunion. Or for those of you with a “Hidden Past” (and a really good lawyer), “Reunion of people housed in Cell Block 7 and so forth.
So, in closing, please remember the following: Reunions are full of people you did your best to get away from in the first place. After all, “How can you miss someone if they won’t go away?”