One of the earlier nights, I happened to make a name connection with a young woman in the class. Her last name was a bit uncommon, so I asked "are you P & M's daughter by any chance?" She looked a bit surprised and answered "yes." That was the first step in my aging process.
Since I waited a bit late in life to have Diva, I forget that people near my age have kids who are now in graduate school. Yikes! I worked with P from 1986-1989 when I first relocated to NH. I had seen him once in the intervening years, but it has been awhile.
A couple of weeks later in comes my student with a note from her father. There is going to be a big retirement party at the place we worked together all those years ago. Four people who were retiring, all of whom worked there many moons ago with me. So I delightedly RSVP'd and counted the days until I could see all of my old friends and former coworkers.
Last night was the party. When I walked into the room, there were probably 70 people there. I expected to know maybe the four retirees and six other people.
Surprise #1 -- I knew roughly half the people there. Many people, like me, had returned to wish these four well in their new adventure as retirees. Good thing the shindig lasted four hours, because there was a lot of catching up to be done.
Surprise #2 -- when you have not seen someone for 20 years, you miss the gradual aging and instead all of a sudden "wow! these people look a lot different!" and "oh x*&^, do I look that old?
Surprise #3 -- lots of people recognized me - and remembered my name. That's really embarrassing, because some of them I couldn't recall ever seeing before in my life. Crap, there goes my memory along with other things.... now where was I?
Surprise #4 -- people I didn't consciously remember would walk up to me and say 'hi' and I would remember random things. I could remember one man's name, but nothing else - not where he worked, what he did - nada. I could remember another's face, but not the name that went with the face. Then there was the one who I could clearly remember going on a business trip with, remembering we watched the Stanley Cup together in a bar in Bangor ME, but once again nothing else.
Surprise #5 -- there were at least five people in the room who time passed by. They had not changed a bit in 20 years. I guess I should have asked for the name of their plastic surgeon:)
I took a lot of pictures last night, and I really need to download these photos off my camera. But for a just a few more days, I think I'll look at the pictures from the 1988 bowling banquet and the golf tournament, and remember the way we were.....