Reunions, I’m told, can be fun. Most of them, in my experience, are not.
Last week, against my better judgement, I went to a company reunion. It will probably be my last. Not because the grim reaper will intervene – though that possibility rises by the year – but because I find these affairs increasingly tiresome.
Most of the people whose professional talents I once admired, and with whom I mixed socially, were not there. Some had a perfect excuse: they are dead. The absence of the approved survivors didn’t matter much because I still see many of them from time to time. The people who were there fell into the category of serial reunion attendees.
“We ought to do this more often,” one of them gushed.
“Wouldn’t that rather defeat the purpose,” I retorted, probably more tartly than I intended. My response drew a puzzled expression.
“Well,” I explained, “If you have reunions regularly, you remove all the fun of renewing acquaintance with people you haven’t seen for many years”.
“You’re becoming grumpy,” was the return volley.
All too true, I suppose. But the sight of middle-aged men and women (I was probably the oldest person there, a regular experience these days) cavorting and shrieking, apparently in a desperate, energy-sapping attempt to revive the ambience of the ‘good old days’, was far from pretty. Mind you, I’m all for cavorting, but it’s a life-affirming pastime for the younger set, not a nostalgia-inducing exercise for ageing hooligans.
I stayed quite late, largely because I became engaged in a discussion about a possible business collaboration. When I left, the party was still in full swing, with plots being hatched for a continuation at some West End night-club. Most of the revelers would probably be rejected by the door bouncers on the grounds of age.
I can’t say I had a terrible time, but memorable it was not.
Grumpy I may be. But here’s my defence: while most of my former colleagues are looking back, I’m the one looking forward.