For those keeping track, it was the last option, thankfully (with a side helping of the previous one).
BB can report that after thirty years, your contemporaries turn out to (still) be lovely people, in remarkably good shape, surprisingly sweet about your former transgressions, a source of unexpected and delightful revelation about past glories and generally, well worth getting reacquainted with. There aren’t many people you know half as well, and they only blossom with age. And where you had differences, three decades of water under the bridge invariably washes them away. It’s not worth holding on to distant grievances you acquired as a conflicted adolescent, even in the abstract - they will obscure the comfort of looking back and the opportunity to fix bonds that were unfairly neglected. And besides, not everyone makes it to the party so celebrate your arrival.
(By the way, if you’ve ever swallowed the Mr Chips myth about teachers remembering the names and faces of every child they’ve ever taught, forget it. Does. Not. Happen. If they remember you at all, it’s either for very good or very, very bad reasons.)
Inevitably, and perhaps not to be resisted, there were bittersweet notes alongside the bouquet. As naturally self-absorbed teens, one never realises how often others too, no matter how well they affect to have their act together, struggle with private worries and turmoil, with most of us unready at the time to reach out and offer each other mutual support at a difficult stage in life.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”
as the author Ian MacLaren said - those words are always true. Children, all we have is each other. And kindness deferred can still be timely.
In other words: go to your high school reunion.