Heart & Soul: Back to school

A reunion can be stressful or so much fun, depending on what you make of it.

ONE evening, as I was watching television, there were many TV commercials but one in particular caught my attention.

It featured a dishevelled girl, who got the shock of her life when she answered a call inviting her to attend a Chinese New Year reunion. After the call, she rushed to a beauty and wellness store, and picked up a basket full of items to restore and repair her appearance.

A few of her former schoolmates who were waiting for her were discussing the girl being an ugly duckling back in school and they were expecting to see an equally ugly young woman. Finally, the girl who looked so untidy in the commercial, arrived at the reunion and everyone was gobsmacked by her beauty.

After watching the said commercial, I was thinking to myself that it was all a little exaggerated. Then again, isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?

I’ve heard a dozens excuses for not wanting to attend school reunions; the most common being not able to make it on that particular day and time even after having given several dates to choose from, not responding to an invitation, and “former schoolmates don’t play a significant role in my current life.”

I wonder whether competition and comparison factors might be part of the reason too.

Recently, we had a get-together among our secondary schoolmates in conjunction with one of them being back from overseas. Those who turned up were all women because we attended a girls’ school and the gathering was meant to be a “girls’ night out” without spouses or children. We had a potluck party in one of our friends’ house, whereby only her husband and son were the only guys. The women easily outnumbered them in both number and voices.

It was amazing how quickly we could recognise each other even after almost 30 years. For some of us, a few faces looked familiar but we couldn’t recall the names. After a round of hellos and hugs, everybody agreed that basically there weren’t many changes in the physical features, except perhaps for some of us who had “grown horizontally”. We also invited classmates who are now residing in other countries to join our party through Skpe. The wonders of the Internet! During the reunion, we walked down memory lane and laughed heartily as we shared old jokes while updating each other on our experiences in life. Some of those who are married have sons or daughters who are already in their 20s, late teens or primary school-going kids. A reminder of how old we are, indeed!

During the gathering, someone suggested that we hold a grand reunion in two years’ time. Another said that we should plan a prom night because we never had one after our SPM!

With the half century mark looming large, and having survived 16 years after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1998, and knowing that two high schoolmates have passed on, I appreciate and enjoy every opportunity being around my friends. It was a wonderful feeling knowing that they are well, happy and blessed. After watching the TV commercial, I realised that none of our schoolmates put on heavy make-up or dressed to the nines during our so-called “alumni” meeting.

We would have had a bigger group if only more people had turned up. To those who didn’t, you were clearly missed. A grand reunion or prom night would only be possible with a much bigger group, so to those who attended SMK(P) Puteri Titiwangsa from 1979 to 1984, please do try and find each other in the Facebook page (smkp puteri titiwangsa year 1979 to 1984).

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Heart & Soul: Back to school


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