Ladies and Gentlemen:
You know there are many guides to help you become a Marine. There are text books, films, reference manuals and all manner of aids. I don’t know if any of you remember now but there was all sorts of advice given to raw recruits before boot camp. They ran along the lines of “How to survive” boot camp. There is a feeling that if you could survive that onslaught, then you can just about survive anything else.
That’s fine for front line duty and overseas tours but what about re-unions? No one ever tells you how to survive these annual traumatic events. We all know they can be scary and terrifying. Well, here are my survival tips for re-unions. They are based loosely on those tips given for boot camp.
Number 1 is to “Run, run, run.” However, this is not a reference to the idea that a blistering training regime will make good years of neglect. It is to run away as far as you can, as fast as you can. Find something else to do on the day of the re-union that you simply can’t get out of.
Unfortunately, we all seem to have failed at that one.
Number 2 is to bring your “Game face.” Don’t show any emotion. You may think everyone will have prospered but you. This is undoubtedly the case. Be prepared to feel humiliated and worthless but try not to show it.
Number 3 is to check your attitude. Even if you feel inferior, conceal it. Pretend to be who you are not. Conversely, if you can feel superior, Lord it over the rest. This is only for one night a year and no one needs to know the truth. Remember the old maxim, if you can’t afford to buy the Porsche, hire it for the weekend.
Number 4 is, of course, to look out for your old “Buddy.” When you see him or her coming, hide.
You have nothing in common any more. Besides, he may want a loan. Worse still, he may want back the loan he gave you
Number 5 is to remember that this is not your life. It is only temporary. If it will help you, remember, it will all be over tomorrow. The rest of your life does not have to be like this.
Number 6 is to know your rights. Obviously, this applies to legal rights and slander.
Number 7 is to study who arrives by coming early. Find out who is coming and plan to avoid them.
Remember how you avoided the enemy!
Number 8 is to run with the pack. Laugh at jokes even if you don’t understand them and try not to draw attention to yourself. It will only highlight your inadequacy.
Number 9 says it isn’t personal. Everyone who has been to one of these re-unions knows, however, that it is exactly that.
Number 10, well that seems to urge you not to be a loner and that somehow, for good or bad, for better or worse, we are all in this together.
I couldn’t agree more. Let’s have a great evening and a wonderful re-union.