I hate going to school reunions. I would even make up wild stories just so I can get out of one (can’t make it, sorry, am moving to Hong Kong next week!). Unless of course the invitation clearly states “alum only, no children allowed”. Unfortunately, I have yet to receive such an invitation.
It’s not because I resent the (smug .. naa just kidding) marrieds, or envy them their kids. But because of the inevitable conversation – or variations of the conversation – below:
Married: Hi! It’s great seeing you! What are you doing these days?
Singleton: Well, I’m …
M: ANNIE!! Get off your brother!! What did I tell you about behaving in front of strangers?!?
M: I’m sorry. Kids you know (rolling eyes). What was that you said?
S: I’m actually …
M: NO Jack! NO! That’s dirty! Diiirrrrrttttyyyyy!!!! (runs over to Jack)
S: Well, lovely to see you again (stroll off)
M: (distractedly) Yes, we must catch up sometimes … Stop that! STOP! Mummy’s angry at you …. (sound fades)
Or, if the spouse was actually also your school mate, somewhere in the above dialogue (probably after Diiirrrrrttttyyyyy!!!!):
Married: Mas, WILL you please help with Annie?
Spouse: Yes, dear (picks up Annie). Hey there S! You look great, married yet?
Singleton: No, no, not yet (force smile)
Married: Look she’s got food all over her dress, that will never wash off!
Spouse: It’s not that bad … Look I’ll just get a tissue paper there (walk off)
Married: No, no, you’ll only make it worse (walk off)
Eventually, the singleton will be standing there alone, the only one who’s realized that the school reunion has become a family outing with focus – instead of reminiscing over old times and catching up – on competitions for the kids and pony rides.
On a flip-side, I just remembered what another singleton told me once: that reunions are also a horor for stay-at-home mums. They fear of being asked about their jobs, and had to contend with “I’m a housewife” while their former playmates say:
“I’m a partner at lawfirm A”,
“I’m a director at company B”,
“I save whatever with NGO C”.
So, what is it with us women? Or do men have the same fears of school reunions?