We had a school reunion a month ago. Of course it was fun, of course it was lovely meeting people after years - hadn't met some of them since we finished high school.
But one thing that hit me the hardest was how I was comfortable talking to some guys with whom I'd feel awkward talking to before. Yes, there were some guys who were friendly, and friends with us even back in high school, but there were a few I knew only as classmates. I don't recall having exchanged a single word with them. I don't even remember having looked them in the face, eye to eye.
I was never the shy kind, and was quite willing to talk to anybody who would talk to me. But many of the guys were, I think, terribly self-conscious and diffident, and would skulk away and do anything to avoid talking to girls. Even if they did talk to us, they avoided our eyes, and walked away backwards quickly, as if we were monsters who would gobble them up
We'd had reunions before, one in 2004 and one in 2010 - and though the guys were friendlier at these reunions than they were in high school, it was only at this reunion that I really felt that comfort level. I'm guessing it has got something to do with the stage we are in our lives. We've mostly found our niches, we're married, we have kids, we're comfortable with what we are, we've accepted our "shortcomings" and embraced our "plus-points" - and we have seen life a little - and probably that's why the guys are now comfortable in their skins, and finally know how to interact with the opposite sex like we are human beings.
I shake my head in a worldly-wise way at those poor confused teenage souls we were back then.