Reunions; Worth The Effort?

I went to a ten year reunion at my old firm’s glossy new premises on Tuesday evening, celebrating the work we did as the legal team for the 2012 London Olympics. It was grand to see some old faces, embarrassing to fail to remember the names that went with them and chastening to watch some of the videos made between 2009 and 2012 covering the various stages of development and the progress and then comparing the saggy, graying people around me with their enthusiastic younger selves.

For my part I was clean shaven, fatter and more pompous, back then, being as I was a ‘lawyer of some repute’ at the time and needing to convince myself that that label had any truth to it.

Attending such events always fills me with trepidation. It’s not just the certainty I will meet someone with whom I worked closely for months/ years and totally forget who they are but the possibility that I will actually know no one, or I will meet that person who was boring then and is if anything more boring now and be stuck with them.

And there are the canapés. They are always either: a, over complicated; b, impossible to eat while holding a glass; c, unexpectedly disgusting and this is the time you didn’t take the too small paper napkin into which you might have spat the offending nibble; d, so chewy that you inevitably take a bite just as you are asked ‘so what are you doing now?’ And by the time you can answer they’ve drifted away to find someone who is a better masticator; or e, filled with a highly viscous tomato based sauce that, one bite in and you look like you’ve taken one for the team or, worse still you’ve be-splattered your companion with something resembling gazpacho gore.

Tuesday had the usual raft of strangers who turned out not to be; old comrades in arms who are now so successful that you inevitably die a little inside; people who are unexpectedly unable to hold their drink; sad people who want to go back to find something now lost; happy people who’d love another spin on the carousel; and people who you never met at the time, even though you were in the same group of twenty five for three years and now that you have, you realise what fun they would have been to know back then

I left very nearly at the end, having dug out my old Games Maker’s uniform which has been in a crate in the loft since 2012 and worn it with pride. No one else did. I suppose I’m not surprised; not many people are as prepared to make a total tit of themselves as I am.

We were asked to bring along memorabilia from our days helping set up and run those Games. Some had pens and those foam hand thingies with pointy fingers. One had a hat.

I had these…

Yep, bullet cases. One of my volunteering roles was at the shooting in Woolwich. I understand zip about shooting but then I didn’t get to chose. On this particular day, I’m in charge of spectator management inside the firing range, moving between the spectators and the competitors to ensure no one jumps over a barrier and some such. My position is next to a Bulgarian. Who, blow me, wins the gold. His supporters do a rather low key cheer and he turns and smiles and tosses some bullet cases at them as souvenirs. And gives me these. Now I can’t prove their provenance but rest assured this are gold medal cases. Worth a fortune…

Everyone agreed that I’d not changed. Still capable of misreading the room and dressing like a peacock and still the one most likely to have the weirdest story.

Like the time the lift plummeted three floors in the Orbit, the peculiar squashed trombone thing that Boris as mayor insisted was installed in the park, and which is now some sort of overblown slide. I was with two Sri Lankan cleaners who didn’t seem to react as we fell, while I fought to prevent my sphincter from trying to hide somewhere near the ceiling.

Maybe it’s me…

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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26 Responses to Reunions; Worth The Effort?

  1. A fun take on what I always experience as a cringeworthy event

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reunions are always bittersweet. I think you rather enjoyed this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That 3 floor plunge explains a great deal of your literary output!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. JT Twissel says:

    I went to my old boss’ eightieth birthday celebration a few years back – oh my, was it depressing. And it was a hot day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I went to a 25th college reunion. One person seemed to be a loose ends since I had obviously become a success with trophy wife in tow. At the close of the weekend, I pulled him aside and told him that I was really not a major corporate President with a car and driver, that the woman with me was rented and I was unemployed. He was so relieved until that Monday when one of his employees told him he was trying to score a meeting on my calendar and could he help since he heard we went to college together. Yeah, I took the meeting.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Darlene says:

    We don’t do reunions except for family reunions. Now there is a lot of story material for you! (or maybe that’s just my crazy family)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. petespringerauthor says:

    Whether we participate in reunions has to do with two things: 1. Where are we at in our lives now? Is taking part practical and reasonable given our present circumstances? 2. How do we feel about the people?

    I did not have a great high school experience. I would say it was the least favorite part of my life. I have yet to attend any of these reunions. On the other hand, I organize a monthly retirement lunch with my fellow retirees. They are like my family, and I like seeing them each time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Chel Owens says:

    “Still capable of misreading the room and dressing like a peacock and still the one most likely to have the weirdest story.”

    I think I’ll use this as an opener when you next win a grand award.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. willowdot21 says:

    In the case of the lift Geoff you definitely reacted normally!
    You worn your uniform from the Olympic games…I expect no less from you 😊
    No Geoff it is not you it’s all the others …. great photos and memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Jennie says:

    I think deep down you had a delightful time, and glad you attended. This was fun to read!

    Liked by 1 person

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