As Christmas fast approaches, mum of three Lucy Mason discovers there’s less time for work as she catches up with family and friends she hasn’t seen for a while – including several of her old school mates (and a teacher or two) at a festive school reunion.
Now that work is winding down for Christmas, there’s more time to fit in the annual Christmas visits. It’s funny how you can go all year without seeing some friends or relatives, and then when Christmas comes around you feel like you need to squeeze everyone into two weeks.
You see, over the four days leading up to Christmas day we have planned at least four outings with old school friends, in-laws and long lost cousins. I do love catching up with everyone, but it’s all so manic that I wish I could press pause for a moment and suck up a bit more of the Christmas spirit that goes along with it.
At least all these plans have blocked out the potential horror of an imminent school reunion. I can’t say I’m a fan of reunions at all to be honest, I don’t really see the point. I think if friendship is meant to last it will, and if you drift apart then you’re probably better off staying that way.
My fear of reunions probably started a few years ago at the wedding of an old friend. He was part of a group I used to know from working in a restaurant when I was 19, and most of the old gang were also invited. We had so much fun together years earlier, and I experienced so many ‘firsts’ with them (smoking, driving, passing out in fields, failing my A-Levels etc), but when I saw them at this wedding there didn’t really seem much to say beyond small talk.
Perhaps it was me, but it just felt like the spark had gone and I found myself wishing I hadn’t seen them so I could hold onto my happy memories of our wild youth. I didn’t really want to know that one friend had become an accountant, or that another had changed his name from Jim to James, was married with two kids and now worked in marketing.
Anyway, this is a school reunion – potentially the most awful reunion of them all. A school friend is turning 40 and his best friend has organised a party in the pub we used to go to when we were underage school drinkers. The irony being that instead of trying to add on a few years to our age like we used to, we’ll all be hoping we look younger than we actually are.
To make things worse I have an eye infection so cannot wear my contact lenses. I’m very short sighted and for the last three days I’ve been forced to wear my scratched, dirty pebble glasses because of my red, weeping right eye. I also have a blocked ear, so need to stand really close to people with my head good ear turned towards them to hear what they’re saying. I’m just hoping it all clears up and I’m back to normal in two days and I don’t have to turn up like this.
Anyway, here’s to Christmas! I hope you have a good one – whether it’s spent with family or friends, old or new.