Darla Methey, president of Reunions by Design, San Diego, California since 1994, has seen and heard it all. Reunions by Design’s services include everything needed to produce a perfect reunion, such as search capabilities, reunion site selection, invitations, mailings, photography/memory books, decorating and entertaining. With all this said, what could possibly happen…?
by Darla Methey
These are some of Methey’s observations. Do you see yourself in any of the examples?
It’s like clock work…about one month before the reunion the committee begins to have ‘reunion stress’. In some cases the committee chairperson becomes the bride. One committee chairperson called us three to four times day a week prior to the reunion date wanting to know who had signed up during the last hour(s).
Last year, a chairperson called us between 2 and 3 AM for four days before the reunion “just to talk.” I told her she had to get some sleep or we may just find asleep with her head in the salad bowl during the reunion.
One committee member wanted to hand out safe sex leaflets and condoms. One committee chairperson wanted to replace all white light bulbs with orange (school color) throughout the hotel property.
Another chairperson wanted her committee to wear only school colors at the event. She wanted women to wear light and dark blue dresses with white shoes and men to wear dark blue suits, white shirts and light blue ties (school spirit taken just a little too far).
Then there was the committee chairperson who wanted to taste four or five glasses of different wines during the hotel’s food tasting. She wanted to be sure the hotel’s bar was stocked with appropriate wines (I don’t think that was the reason).
The outfits that people wear, or should I say, squeeze into…
One woman made her reservations months in advance but for whatever reason purchased her dress reunion day. Minutes prior to the reunion, as she was getting dressed at her hotel, she realized the security tag was still attached. She dashed to the store to have it removed only minutes before the store closed.
At another reunion, a group of former football players decided to renew an old skit that won them 1st place in the school’s talent contest their graduation year. However, ten years later, during the break dancing part, one gentleman got down on the floor and tried to get down and funky. He shouldn’t have. His black dress slacks ripped all the way down.
One alumna called just hours prior to her reunion in tears. She had just dyed her hair (never had before) and looked like, in her own words, “something out of a science fiction movie.”
Even my sister-in-law had her eyebrows waxed for the very first time two days before her reunion. A hairless gap in one eyebrow was noticed (you just can’t glue hair back).
However, one of our favorite stories was a 30-year reunion. Toward the latter part of the evening an alumna decided she needed to remove painful pantyhose. Well, that was not the only item of clothing she removed. Everything came off. She (age 48) ran back into the grand ballroom stark naked and before anybody could catch her (everybody was in shock), ran to the elevator until security caught up with her.
Committee members and alumni keep us on our toes. For the most part, it creates a lot of joy to play such a huge part of reuniting old friends with an occasional laughable story. As my own twenty-year high school reunion approaches in the year of 1999, I will dust off my gym membership card, color that gray right out of my hair, and invest a small fortune in wrinkle-free creams.
About the author
Darla Methey is president of Reunions by Design, San Diego, California. She is a member of National Association of Reunion Managers; 619-593-9357; or e-mail [email protected].