It made me think about our lost opportunities for meaningful human connection, but also the well-intentioned but unwanted attempts of third parties to have us reconnect with our contemporaries.
A few years ago, I was annoyed by the old boys association of my Melbourne high school. They'd kept including me in invitations to their Sydney dinner events, even though I'd demonstrated my disinterest by never attending.
I was uncomfortable with the upmarket venues, the dress codes, and the culture surrounding the occasions. I indicated this when I grumpily replied to them saying that I didn't own a dinner suit and the cost of the evenings exceeded my budget. I disingenuously implied that I would attend if they changed their tune, not expecting them to do so.
Subsequently I was floored when they began holding dinners at a lowbrow club in the city with minimum dress standards. I was impressed but nevertheless have not considered attending.
A year or so later I asked to be removed from the main mailing list of the association, explaining that receiving their newsletter was for me an occasion of 'retraumatisation'.
I didn't give any detail. They responded cordially and stopped sending the communications. I did not wish to enter into dialogue with them but simply remind them that school provided a mixed or negative experience for some.
I hoped that they would be challenged to consider my view that it was more likely than not that the old boys association - as it has traditionally operated - was most likely to reinforce rather than atone for that.
My high school was an elite all boys institution. Fairly or unfairly, I associate such institutions with the kind of entitled sexist alcohol-fueled exuberance that the Federal Government is currently being forced to face up to with the rape allegations.
I always felt alienated by that culture. That is why I have become increasingly selective when I revisit those times by meeting up with old school friends. Nevertheless it's worth the effort, as I discovered on Friday.