Thursday, July 01, 2010

They will always be young, they will always be beautiful.

I was looking at some pictures on Facebook the other day of some friends of friends from high school.  It was pictures from a guys' outing, nothing remarkable, just old friends hanging out.  As I was looking at a couple of the photos, which were taken at a distance, there were a couple of guys that I didn't recognize right away.  If I were forced to give a physical description of these unknowns, I would have had to honestly say that they looked like guys in their late 30s, early 40s, whose jobs required them to do a lot of sitting at desks.  A little thick through the middle, a little jowly, a little gray hair.

Then one of the following shots was a close-up, and I had an "a-ha" moment in which I recognized a guy I thought I didn't know.  And somehow, before my eyes, he looked 15 or 16 again -- the age at which I had known him in the past.

I am going to my high school reunion this weekend for the school I went to (and graduated from) in India.  I have seen three or four people from my class in the last few years -- a few of them live in Colorado, and I saw Lisa a year and a half ago when I was in DC for Thanksgiving, but except for a couple of get-togethers in the early 90s, I haven't seen most of the people I went to high school with since I graduated 23 years ago.  I have kept up with a number of them -- many scattered across the globe -- via Facebook and through this blog, but I will actually see them, in the flesh, tomorrow night for the first time in a long, long time.

I am beyond excited.  Seriously, every time I think about it, I get a little bit choked up.  These friends were such a huge part of my life, and I don't even think I realized how much I've missed seeing them and knowing what they are up to.  Who they married, the cool careers they're in, what their kids look like.

I have a hard time believing it's been 23 years since I graduated from high school.  I remember it so vividly, and my experiences living overseas still form such a huge part of who I am and how I see the world, even though it was over half my life ago.

From the pictures I've seen, we are, for the most part, a pretty well-preserved bunch.  Everyone looks more or less the same.  But even if they do have more gray hair, a little more paunch, whatever, in my head they will always be the beautiful, vibrant kids that I remember from all those years ago.  The ones in my picture albums and in my memories of dancing at the Gunghroo, white-water rafting in Rishikesh, camel trekking in the desert, chilling on the beach in Goa and Kerala and Mahabalipuram.  That's all I will see when I look at them and hang out with them over the weekend.

Senior skip day, Spring 1987 - we went to hang out at some old ruins outside of New Delhi, 
drank beer, played football and lounged in the sun

And yes, I've been doing my damndest to shed the baby chub and get down to my fighting weight again, but to the extent I haven't been entirely successful, I hope they will see me the same way.


  1. I can't wait to see you, Wendy! I feel like we all look a little older, but really not that different. I think you're right - always young, always beautiful. Those were gorgeous days in so many ways.

  2. I had such a great time at my 25th. I know you're going to have a blast. Where you hung out in ruins in New Delhi, we drank from kegs in cow pastures. Those memories, whatever they are, become more dear, the more time passes.

    Glad you're getting a chance to revisit them.