One, I find the term homecoming written next to the word alumni a bit tacky. Two, I never enjoyed being held witness to how time ravages individuals, makes most of them bitter, and others too proud about how they’ve become their former classmates look bitter sitting next to them. Three, attending one means one day fewer spent home (I come home once every two years and I consider each day with my family precious).
I feel uncomfortable attending them.
This year, my former high school held its second grand alumni homecoming (god, I make mental eyeball roll whenever the modifier “grand” is added to the phrase).
There were only three of us from my batch. And I knew none of them after seeing names written on the registration form, neither did I find them amid the chaos. I stayed that afternoon to attend a simple program. Like when I was 15, listening to a speech by our principal did not give me a pleasant feeling. Principals, I surmise, always sound exhorting and self-righteous, condescending at times.
It nevertheless felt good seeing former teachers, most of them retired a few years after I graduated. Some struggled to recognize me if not for my mother who is a teacher at the school and who was with me. Some have altogether relegated memories of me in the part of their brain that shreds useless information.
I allowed myself to be hostaged after the program to represent my batch in the creation of our alumni association’s constitution and by-laws which dragged until 10:30 that evening. That would be my contribution to my alumni association. I went home exhausted at 11.
For the stretch of time I was there I knew there was something awry with the whole idea of an alumni homecoming. Or at last with my high school’s alumni homecoming. There were a lot of drinking that night on the field. It should be fun, of course. But that is not my idea of a homecoming.
My aversion to alumni homecomings is personal. I do not know why. What I saw this weekend only further strengthened my resolve not to attend one ever again.