16 July 2011

Chickened out

I'm feeling a bit cross with myself at the moment. This afternoon I was supposed to go to an annual summer meeting at my old secondary school. As it suggests, it is held every year for old girls and teachers. There is usually included a reunion for girls who left ten, twenty, thirty years ago and so on. This year was supposed to be a special occasion for those of my year-group who have all gradually turned 60 in the last twelve months. We were encouraged by the organiser to turn up no matter what. I seriously considered going. Honestly I did, even though I have not been back to the school more than twice in the last forty years, since I left.



My school was originally a grammar school with great historic connections going back to the Middle Ages. Its founder was a big name in the Medieval City - a sort of Lord Sugar in tights and a curly wig! The school in its heyday was a very good one and very hard to get into. It was a state school but with pretentions of being a private one and we all left with very good qualifications and passes onto greater things. Over recent years,the school was forced to turn into a comprehensive, but it still churns out good results. One of their recent girls is now a newsreader on national TV and the school (as a shining example to more poorly-performing schools) now takes on partnerships with other schools to bring them up to standard.



As I said, I did intend to go, but rather thought I would see how I felt on the day. This morning it was raining quite heavily in London and I decided that, if I did go, I would turn up wet and bedraggled, having negotiated a minimum 45-minute drive across busy parts of London to get there. Parking the car would be a problem and I would inevitably end up walking for the last part of the journey and arrive with hair all over the place and mud halfway up my legs. Seeing as I had not seen some of the potential guests for forty years, I did feel I owed my grand entrance to be rather more impressionable than that of a drowned rat. Maybe it also had something to do with the fact that I am a bit harrassed (I am looking after my sick mother who I have transported up to London to live with me for the last week since my return from Venice, as she has had a persistent stomach bug) and probably more to do with the fact that one of the other guests was going to be an (at the time) arch-rival of mine who is now Principal of a College in the West Country. I just didn't know if I had the confidence to meet them all, particularly in the wake of Greg's death.



I decided to stay at home instead. Of course, at the appointed hour of the meeting, the skies cleared, the sun came out and I have been kicking myself for being so stupid ever since. Maybe I'll go next year, but then it won't be a special occasion for my peers next year and they probably won't bother to turn up either. Ah well.

7 comments:

Kelloggsville said...

oh I wouln't worry too much, I wouldn't go to one of those things if wild horses tried to drag me there. You have to want to do it and be in the right frame of mind or it would be an emotional drainer, and quite often just the invite is emotional drainer enough!! Hope your mother picks up a little soon. Love to you all x

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I understand how you must have felt Addy but like Kelloggsville feel you shouldn't worry too much about it. You will go when you are ready to face all those old friends, whether it is a special year or not. Hope your mother is soon feeling better.

Lord Sugar in tights and a curly wig - hmmm! A x

Robert said...

Thanks for popping over to mine - after all this time!

Because I think (rightly or wrongly) that reunions are mostly a vehicle for folks to show off how well they've turned out, I've always avoided them. Maybe I've been missing out on some really enjoyable events!

Btw, I absolutely love Venice :)

Flowerpot said...

Chances are whatever you decided to do would have been the wrong thing - sometimes it just is, isn't it? I can quite understand how you feel though. Take care.

Nota Bene said...

let is pass...not to worry. You made the right decision. If you'd gone that would have been the right decision too. The important thing was to make the decision. Hope your mum perks up...

Spencer Park said...

I was invited to a reunion this year (the first time I think they've had one). I gave it a miss. Maybe, I'll make the one to celebrate my 60th - but I doubt it!

Ellen said...

Maybe this was a bridge too far this year, but who knows, maybe you will feel differently next year.

I am sorry to hear that your mother is unwell and I wish her a speedy recovery. She is very lucky to have a lovely daughter like you to look after her.