A couple of years ago, I attended my husband’s 25th high school reunion.
Not because I gained some great insight into dear hubby’s youth or saw him in a new light, illuminated by all the cute reminiscing during the event.
Rather, it made me feel overwhelming gratitude for how he had previously attended my last high school reunion and kept a smile on his face the entire night.
This list includes advice which got me through the night as well as a few things I wish I had thought of earlier.
My 10 Tips:
1. As you enter the venue and your romantic partner is caught up in the initial crowd of air kisses and “Heeeeyyyyy stranger!!” discreetly check in with reception to find out where the most comfortable powder room and/or sports bar is located. Call ahead if necessary.
2. Throughout the evening, use the information gained in #1 to take frequent breaks. Your partner won’t mind. S/he may even be grateful.
3. Be proactive and introduce yourself to the other attendees. This creates a natural invitation for others to introduce themselves back vs. your date having to remember the name of some random person they sat in front of during Algebra class two or three decades ago.
4. Your partner won’t be able to resist making references about “how hot” someone once was back in high school. Don’t bother being jealous or offended. If anything, look around and take comfort.
5. Wear comfortable shoes. This is something I didn’t think of in advance. People at reunions don’t sit. You stand and mingle. Until your feet are bloody stumps. In your “fabulous” Alfani pumps.
6. Based on my observations, I suggest you stay away from any appetizer buffet which includes little cubes of cheese and other “finger foods.” Same with the bread basket unless you like a little H1N1 with your crudités.
7. Reunion DJ’s love to play the old songs, a shocking number of which involve JUMPing. Special advice for the ladies -- wear a supportive bra. Please. I beg of you. At our age, this activity could be a safety hazard. I’m pretty sure I saw some poor woman give herself a concussion.
8. Come up with a mantra that you can quietly say in your head over and over. Use this to make the time pass whilst your partner is having repeat conversations with everyone they haven't seen in 25 years. I recommend something simple which allows you to mindlessly smile, nod and throw in an occasional chuckle. This one seemed to work pretty well for me: “Shoot me. Shoot me now.”
9. This next piece advice may be exceedingly difficult for some of you but stay sober. Despite the fact that a Ketel One dirty martini (or five) would make the night so much more tolerable, it’s your partner’s night to party like it’s 1999… or ’89… or ’84 as the case may be. Someone needs to be the designated driver. And keep their shirt on. And refrain from saying things like, “I love you man!”
10. There is bound to be at least one guy or girl who is already drunk at the beginning of the evening. WARNING! Do not engage. Do not make eye contact. If they approach, quickly excuse yourself to a location in #1. Trust me. It’s only going to get worse as the night goes on. You do not want Mr. Slurry Drool or Miss Barfsalot thinking it’s okay to hang on you because you’re “so friendly.”
Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t all bad. I did get to meet a couple of very nice people. I got to tell a few of my old jokes to a new audience, some of whom were drunk enough to find me hysterically funny.
In addition, I definitely had the best date. It was fun just being there with Big D. and watching his enjoyment. Towards the end of the night, we even danced, sang, shouted and shook our bodies down to the ground. (No concussion.)