Monday, February 13, 2012

The Looming High School Reunion

Something odd is happening.  My 10-year high school reunion is 6 months away.     

I know, I know - by many people's standards, I'm still a young whipper snapper.  I've had a mix of emotions about this event since rumors of its planning began to abound on facebook.  It's amusing, terrifying, and intriguing all rolled into one.   

I have a number of reasons to march into that reunion with my head held high.  In 10 years,  I went to college, earned two degrees, taught classes at public and private universities, got married, and currently hold a career job in a specialized field.  I've neither been knocked up, arrested, divorced, nor fired.  I've moved away from my place of birth and I don't live with my parents.   

I don't have some underdog complex that I need to resolve or a high school bully to confront.  I was never a popular girl, but I had a steady group of band and church friends.  I was a teacher's pet but I earned it by being a good student, not a suck-up.

This doesn't fully erase a few hesitations I have about going, one being that I get to walk down memory lane without Mike on my arm to make snarky comments with (and to show off what a good catch I landed, tehe).

One is that I had the experience of carrying two high school friendships into college.  Both failed and left a bad taste in my mouth.  I don't mean to make that sound like a sob story.  People naturally grow apart and change, which would be fine if that's what had happened. 

It's just that it didn't and both of these people represent unresolved chapters in my past.  Let's just call it unfinished business.       

The second, decidedly more childish, hesitation is my expanded waistline and bloated face.  If I could just look a little bit more like myself when I go, that would be lovely.  Hope my current routine of pilates and walking will help.

The past is a tricky thing.  Some people cherish it, some are trapped by it, and some leave it behind in the dust.

I'm the latter type.  I point myself toward the future, put the pedal to the metal, and keep moving.  So when all of a sudden dusty memories from a youthful time in another decade float up for untouched regions of my brain, it catches me off guard.   

It's even more surreal to think that I am a part of someone else's memories.  Somewhere in a dark corner of their mind, my childhood face or voice is imprinted on a neuron.  My picture resides in a memory box, family photo albums, or, horror of horrors, on video tapes.

I'm in someone else's head!  Muhahahaha!

Joking aside, I understand why some people think high school reunions are a superficial exercise.  Fair enough.  For me, it's not just about reliving those 4 years before turning 18.  It's remembering the time you spent with these individuals since kindergarten.

Think about it.  When you add up the numbers, you actually spent more time with classmates (and teachers) than you did with your parents growing up.  That's a lot of time accumulated between classes, recess, gym, music, sports, birthday parties, church night, theater, general mischief, and whatever else you did previous to your adult life. Particularly when you graduated with a small number of people (101 for me), the memories can be pretty specific.

I think it's going to be pretty interesting to go back and catch up.  I suspect I have more in common now with people I wasn't friends with and barely anything shared with those I was.  Funny how things change, but so it goes.

Did you go to your first high school reunion?  Do you have one coming up?  


  1. I attended my first high school reunion, in 1991. I skipped the second and the third ones. The fourth one won't be until 2021, which seems a long, long way off at this point. It's only nine years and they will no doubt scoot by with the same rapidity (or faster) as the previous ones, but on "paper" 2021 seems very distant from 2012.

    1. Did you enjoy that first reunion? Was it weird or enjoyable?

  2. I got flooded out of my five-year reunion in 2008, though from what I hear, I didn't miss much (pretty much everyone else was either fresh out of college and working their crappy first job like I was, or got pregnant instead). I may or may not bother going to the 10-year reunion next year. I haven't decided.

    1. We didn't have a 5-year. That seems odd to me because like you've said, it's not really been enough time for anything super interesting to happen.