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Encounters from the Third Age: Nitzani's Tales at the Reunion | Israel Hayom


Highlights: Last week there was a reunion of one of the six schools I attended. It was nice to meet people I hadn't seen in many years, right in the yard where we played as kids. It's intriguing to know what they've accomplished in life, how much better or worse off they are than yours. Not everyone comes to these meetings. There are those who live in a faraway country, and do not think that memories of the annual trip to Hatzbani are worth an 18-hour trip from Australia.

A reunion I attended aroused mixed feelings in me • On the one hand, after 50 years I am still alive, and relatively healthy • On the other hand, I found it difficult to understand the connection between me and the other friendly elderly people who came to the meeting

Last week there was a reunion of one of the six schools I attended, which brought together its graduates, some of whom were also founded quite some time ago. Like many others, I took the event in proportion, and in a week of preparation I settled for trying to lose five pounds. But unfortunately, due to poor planning and confectionery close to home, there was not a decrease of even a single gram. Since I was sloppy and realized that it was too late to buy a needle, I tried to think about how on the one hand I was screwing up the appearance of my life and on the other hand making sure to look nonchalant, one who "just threw something at himself" and arrived.

It was nice to meet people I hadn't seen in many years, right in the yard where we played as kids. I met girls who at the time I pulled on braids and are now proud grandmothers, and guys I used to play soccer with and now have trouble lacing their shoes without the help of a Filipino. The question, which was not heard out loud, but you could tell that many of the guys were asking themselves in their hearts at the sight of their elderly friends, was: "What, is this how I look too?"

Looking Back

These nostalgic encounters include curiosity and longing mixed with joy and sadness. Sadness, because 50 years have passed since I graduated from the school in question, and even if you live in complete denial, after 50 years it is quite obvious to look back and forth at your life (OK, a little further back) and try to summarize for yourself what you have achieved, what else you want to achieve and what will no longer happen in the current life.

Joy, because you survived all these years, so say thank you for staying alive, not killed in the war, not getting rid of Corona and not being run over by an electric scooter, and because meeting people who are also alive and you haven't seen for decades will bring up pleasant and positive emotions in you.

Curiosity, because if we don't pretend, we'll admit that the only thing that interests everyone in such meetings is what your classmates look like today, which you haven't seen in decades. And even if it did, it only happened in a photo on Facebook, which may have had more filters than Nathan Zehavi's ashtray. It's also intriguing to know what they've accomplished in life, how much better or worse off they are than yours, and you're definitely nervous to see which of them has already done a facelift.

Longing for your youth gone by, for your dramatic loves, for friendships that have fallen apart, and for the innocence that was and is gone. Longing for the one who broke your heart in seventh grade, along with wondering: Is there a chance that now, after you've divorced, and you're available to lead, she, too, threw out the maniac who moved you aside, and she's available for love or at least to compromise on you?

Sabich in Miami

Not everyone comes to these meetings. There are those who live in a faraway country, and do not think that memories of the annual trip to Hatzbani are worth an 18-hour trip from Australia; Some have bad memories of those days, which they have no desire to recover; Some look down on the event and think it is not to their level, as if they are the inventors of Waze and not the owners of a Sabich stand in Miami; And some just don't like where they are in life, preferring not to be seen.

Those who were at the bottom of the social ladder at the time, or whose "look" was not considered their strong side, are now in the best position with the least to lose and a great chance of pleasantly surprising. The beautiful and successful, the queens of the class and the studs of the class - have probably aged and become ugly since then, certainly compared to what is etched in our memory. They can mostly disappoint, and there is no plastic surgeon who can save them.

If you were a good academic and a genius, maybe you still are, but if you didn't become Jeff Bezos, there's nothing new about it, and maybe you should stay home. On the other hand, if you are considered a complete moron, pushtak and addicted to alcoholism, but in the end you came out a reasonable person who does not live in a car and shower in the city fountain, you will be considered to have pleasantly surprised and exceeded all expectations.

Before such an event, everyone wonders if there is something majestic left in the queen of the class, what has survived the aura, charisma, beauty and drive. Was her life a succession of successes, a perfect relationship, achievements, self-fulfillment, happiness and wealth, or has she been neither queen nor shoes since you separated, her life has been loneliness and ongoing sadness, and her look is already more reminiscent of that of King Charles.

Is the handsome of the class still today an elegant, successful and athletic silver-haired man, shapely, handsome and a lover of women who does Iron Man every week with a glass of champagne in hand? Or he's one of the neglected, a belly owner, a bald man who sticks shawarmas and grapes, a pathetic culprit who harasses waitresses, and his shirt is full of stains from tahini drips.

Did the nerdy kaffeh boy who no one gave a chance and whose birthdays were "her father's summer" stay that way and continued to be lonely and sad into adulthood, or did he screw up an exit of life in tech and laugh at everyone with his supermodel wife and perfect children in a penthouse facing the sea, where the bully who bullied him at school now works as a popsicle seller?

Hair transplant?

In truth, those who have disappeared and are not active on social media, can tell about themselves what they want, play nonchalantly at the event with a Ferrari keychain and no one will really have a clue whether the car is really theirs, or they rented it for the event and in reality they have no money for a bike.

Everyone wants to be told they look better than you imagined them, even though you'll be competing with memories from the age of 18. At least I came to the meeting in question with some advantage. Because of my presence in the media from time to time, no one is deluding themselves that I still have something left on my head, everyone knows how I aged and will not be alarmed by the baldness, stomach and wrinkles. On the other hand, if I hid to the dishes, kept a low profile, and wasn't pushed in front of every camera, I could quietly arrange for myself some discreet hair transplant in Turkey, a small liposuction and some facelift, and arrive at the event in an upgraded version.

Everyone carries with him accounts from the past, insults and anger. These meetings are a great opportunity to apologize and settle scores, although there is a reasonable chance that the other side will not understand what you are talking about and will remember nothing about the incident in which he insulted you in residency class, and only you are left with the scar. Therefore, if someone said to you in fifth grade, "Yair you idiot, you won't play soccer with us because you're zero," it is not recommended to approach him at a meeting 50 years later and answer: "If I'm zero, you're the height of the Dead Sea" – unless over the years you became a footballer in England, and today you're a coach in the Premier League.

Recipe for mistakes

These kinds of encounters, which are multigenerational, are a recipe for embarrassing mistakes. It's not a good idea to approach someone and guess their name, especially if you might mistakenly think they're their brother who is ten years older than them. Therefore, the organizers did well to give each one a badge with his original name. Without the badge, you have no idea who the elderly person is who insists that you studied together in class, and you can accidentally turn to someone 20 years younger than you and try to insist that you were in the same class together, only to find out that they are the security guard.

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2023-06-01

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