2017 is a year of re-unions. It is 30 years since I scampered away from secondary school, the bright lights of sixth form college beckoning down the track. It is also 10 years since I graduated from drama school with hopes of a worthwhile and successful acting career untarnished and shiny new.
With the advent of social media it is far easier to organise re-unions and to reach those very souls who will participate in them. Very few might be direct 'friends' but 'friends of friends' or even 'friends of friends of friends' seems to yield remarkable results. So the initial introductions are re-kindled digitally, rather than shiftily in a function room of a dreary pub.
The misery in me has always been skeptical of re-unions. I wonder why I would want to meet people who I haven't seen for many years. Will it not just be an exercise in comparing careers, families, houses, cars? Would it not just be easier to record a 3 minute condensed version of the life you would like to convey and share that with those rather than the pain of actually meeting? And surely if we were meant to be friends I never would have lost touch with you in the first place? It is self fulfilling right?
Well the first of those re-unions has properly happened - when I rocked up in Chiswick last week to meet up with 20 people who have actually seen me in a unitard and lived to tell the tale. I have remained in touch with a few of them. Plus this is the Facebook generation with all of us joining the social media monolith 10 years ago and 'friending' each other simultaneously. Even so, this was a remarkable and memorable evening. There was reminiscing - yes - but there was also joy, laughter, beer, haggis (it was Burns Night after all) and more beer. Everyone had grown up obviously, and everyone was so much better for it. If I don't see any of them again for another 10 years I am sure that another wonderful evening would be had.
So roll on May 17 where I will meet those who have been fixed in my head as teenagers with an dodgy mix of fashion senses. I now have a unique opportunity to see them all as wives, husbands and other assorted unique creatures born in the 70s and made in the 80s. A compelling combination.