Reunion

Among the best things I ever managed to do was to be in Costa Rica during my 10 year high school reunion.

My friend Jennifer briefed me of the event, and it sounds like it was for the best I wasn’t present.

I work now in high school, and I always thought that maybe high school teachers did that to relive their glory days. Au contraire, mon frere. I can think of few things less glorious than the days I spent at KR.

Now many in high school felt like they were an oddball, pretty much. And if not, they were the sparkly, shiny popular crowd. Or they were the warriors, who stood between these two groups, who were always desparately demonstrating their, their, their what…their being popular in their own minds or something.

First our location was relevant. We were in the 1980s suburban donut around Seattle. There were about 3 classes of kids. The subdivision kids of regular housing, the rich subdivision kids and the farm kids.

Running through all three of these were a wide scattering of rednecks, jocks, girls who wore too much makeup and always had perfectly coiffed hair, dorks, new wavers, the partiers, the outsiders and the delinquents.

I was a hippie in high school. I dated for way too long the ugliest boy in the school. It was a sad time. He was very hip, though, and he was good at rising above the stupid stuff in high school, and he was very respected for that. But still, he was painfully unattractive, and he was mean to his mom (relentlessly) which if I knew then what I know now, I would have never tolerated. So I don’t feel bad for that insult. He was pretty unkind to me too. I think I might have been clueless, I might still be in this area.

So the reunion, the 10 year, was a combination of guys trying to hit on ex-classmates (girls probably doing the same), drunken redneck fun, those who sought to compensate for their having been a loser saying “Look at me! Now I am an (Amway) milllionaire!” cool!

They compiled a little book. At 28, pretty much everyone’s “blurb” sounded the same. It could have been a Mad Lib. I traveled in (insert well-hoofed European destination here) and now am settled down with (insert name) and have (insert number) beautiful children and we live in (insert smaunchy name of a suburb).

If they were proud of their professional achievement, that was of course included as well.

The one person that was different was a girl I didn’t really know in high school. She has a child with special needs and she put her and her kid in the book. I was most impressed by her because I felt like she was the only one who was honest.

Life does not deal us all this perfect hand, why do we always want to make it seem like it has?

Overall high school was something I could happily leave behind or lived without experiencing. I am sure I got some good experience there in the classes, like Miss Boehme’s ceramics class, and Mr. Old guy’s photography class and Mrs. Tall Hippy’s french class…but really I wanted out of that town.

When the reunion came along, I had no job, I graduated about 3 years late from college because I delayed on knowing what I wanted to study. I went to The Evergreen State College for a year and they taught me things there. Some good, some bad. I did Peace Corpsin Western Russia. All I wanted to do was travel and travel some more. That was my plan. I encourage it. It is the best education a person can get.

But overall, I guess I feel little compulsion to go and be with people who “used to know me” at the low-point of my life. I have nothing to hide necessarily, it just was a miserable time. What would be the purpose? To show them how well-adjusted I became after that misery? Well, I am ok with keeping it all a mystery.

Ok blog people, speak up about your reunions! Did you go? How was it?

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7 Comments Add yours

  1. aadil says:

    We don’t have high school reunions in here. And since Mauritius is a small place, one will be sure to bump into one’s old school friends one of these days. And I did bump into them; most primary school friends are selling wares on the street corners while others are married with kids and wrinkles already. High school friends are blue-collar working or studying at universities.Oh well, life.

  2. Isabel says:

    I admit that I liked high school. Not because I was popular (I wasn’t). I was in the middle and just scraped by without getting noticed, but was still able to have fun with my friends, who were great people. Plus my Dad taught at my school and he was very well liked. So that might have helped me.I didn’t go to my 5 or 10 year reunions. I guess because I would have rather bought a plane ticket to someplace cool then to have spent money on a plane ticket back there for a reunion. I do plan on going to my 20th reunion. I figure that will have been enough time for people to just get over themselves. (and we have “the book” that they sent out after the 10 reunion. It was like people were trying to convince themselves how cool they were. My husband wrote a “silly” blurb about me, which basically made fun of the other blurbs. But I don’t think anyone got it.)

  3. happychyck says:

    I didn’t go to my 10th reunion. I had mixed feelings about it, but then the weekend it happened, there were some severe brush fires that would have required me to take a 3 hour detour on my 13 hour drive. Sounds like a good excuse to me! I have run into classmates from time to time when I go home…and they all married young and have (lots of) nearly grown children. We spend our short conversation one-upping each other’s accomplishments and acting like we’re sincere about bumping into each other. I think I might try to go to my 20th reunion when it comes up in a few years. I think by then people will care a little less about their high school status and be more real. I remember my mom going to her 20th and having a nice time for those same reasons. Plus, we change so much in 20 years, we forget about the bad times…and have already lived twice our lives over. I imagine 20 year reunion isn’t like meeting old friends and enemies, it’s probably like meeting new people.

  4. Adeline says:

    Isabel–Welcome! Enjoyed your blog! welcome…Yeah It’s all about one’s friends. I remember some people who I really really liked in high school too. People who I think about now and were genuinely really good/interesting folk. But I bet more people got the silly blurb than you think.Happy–ditto about the 20th and the 10th. If people are still trying to one up at the 20th, that would be sad.

  5. Megan says:

    Great post. I love seeing how different we’ve all lived our lives. Even through the differences we have so many similarities.I skipped out on my 10 year. I’d moved back to SoCal and felt ashamed for being back near my home. But my real reason for skipping the event was that I was still friends with the people I cared about so why would I want to spend an evening with people I didn’t care about?I love the honesty of that girl. I wish we’d all be more honest with one another like that. After all, it’s the unexpected events that define us. A lot of people are ashamed of my family after what we’ve been through with my brother, but as horrible as it’s all been, it has brought the real, true me to the surface. I’ll never regret that.So, it can be tough being back in my hometown after the public humiliation. Kinda like being a a reunion every day. Hmmm…I’m getting off topic–oops! Great post, though.

  6. Fitèna says:

    What aadil said! this is great having someone to comment in for me! lol!Most of my friends are married. What do i mean most, I know only 1 who isn’t married with three kids and that’s me!Fitèna

  7. jane says:

    heehee! my 10 year HS reunion will be June 2007…. and whaddyaknow, i’ll be in South Korea, and therefore unable to attend. Darn. Or rather, yippee! The only people I still like from high school I see regularly. (one of them is my boss here in Korea!) Why would I want to see the rest of them?

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