Last Saturday afternoon I went to a reunion of my high school cohort. This year was special as 2014 marks the 50th year since we started Year 8...gasp! Yes 50 years!!! For the last 5 years, we have had a reunion get together every year and I've loved them!
But this year, I wasn't so sure that I wanted to go...I really did feel quite reluctant.
And the reason was simple...I had heard that a particular person (male) would be attending for the first time. This person had managed to be quite nasty to me for 4 of my 5 years at high school...it started in year 9 with him calling me a particularly nasty name which included the taboo, (in my opinion), 'c word'. At other times he would claim that, as I was a friend of his younger brother, (a lovely, polite boy) and that he hated anyone who was a friend of his brother, therefore he hated me. So for 4 years, he gave me 'a hard time' whenever I was unfortunate enough to be near him. Please don't feel sorry for me as I had many friends in high school and this bloke was just an A grade pain in the butt! I believe that he bullied others as well...especially male students who were not 'cool' according to him. But for a while this year all those memories flooded back...
He wasn't at the venue when I first arrived but I kept an eye out...he turned up but I didn't recognise him at first...I think I had to ask another person who he was! lol. I stayed away from him, preferring to talk to other fellow students. I figured that he wouldn't recognise the 63 year old me,so I was 'safe'.
|What I looked like aged 17...|
Despite my misgivings about attending the reunion, I was having a wonderful time catching up with old friends.
It was getting close to the time when the reunion would be at an end and I felt this surge of annoyance with myself for 'hiding'...so I walked up to this man, to whom the recent years have not been kind in the physical sense, and said 'hello * ' He needed to check my name badge and then he greeted me like a long lost friend... I couldn't think of anything much to say so I commented that the last time we had met, he was an alderman (it was in the 1980s before the term 'councillor' was introduced) with the Brisbane City Council. He then proceeded to remind me in detail about all the things that he achieved in his council ward during his one term....humble was not a word to spring to mind. And it wasn't long before his conversation showed that he is
quite very racist...so it was time for me to end our 'catch up' conversation. The good news is that he didn't belittle me and that my teenage opinion of him has been vindicated.