Drinks with Strangers?
Saturday night I was a local watering hole and had drinks with strangers. They all did different things: there was a cop, a race car drive, a teacher, an electrician, etc. Some were married; some were not. Some traveled a distance to be there, others could have walked home. They were a small diverse group; each person unique in his or her own way.
They were people I wouldn't have ordinarily "hung out with." They were all very nice though and I was glad to have had the opportunity to spend time with each and every one of them, even though we really had only one thing in common; we had all gone to high school together. (More years ago than I care to admit so I won't write it here.) Of the group, there was only one that I could have really called friend; that is prior to our meeting on Saturday night.
Why was that? All those years ago, none of us really traveled in the same "social circles." We may have had a few classes together, but none that I can really recall.
Now we are far from high school. The cliques should be gone and we should be mature enough to just sit back and talk. And we were. Obviously we weren't total strangers, but there was so much I didn't know about everyone. Each person had a story. Now that we are far enough away (time wise) from school, we could share and learn. Didn't matter what group you once belonged to; here we were all just individuals.
How nice it is to connect with people who I would not have ordinarily connected with. To be "outside" of what my life normally holds.
Would this have happened if we had been in a more formal reunion situation? I would say probably not. Knowing myself, I would have gravitated towards people I "knew" (or thought I knew...it's been a LONG time since I was in high school). But this being an informal gathering of people who just happened to be in the same graduating class, we were all on the same uneven footing. When we toasted each other, it was heartfelt and I think we all walked away from the evening with an appreciation of one another. More importantly, I made some "new" friends. I don't think I was alone on that front.
Will we all meet again? I hope so. If not all of us, then I hope some of us. Maybe some other classmates will join in the mix. It will be nice to meet some new "strangers" and hear their stories.