Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ten Years From Now, We'll Still Be On Top (Or Something)

I put a lot of advance thought into my 10-year high school reunion. What should I wear? Who would I show up with? How long would I stay? What would we talk about? Would it be weird? Would I be weird? Is there anything realistic whatsoever about movies like "American Reunion"? I tried to convince friends to attend, some successfully & others to total failure.

And then it came! And then... it went. Turns out it was a fairly lackluster event, with no discernible climax or apex to speak of. My expectations were perhaps overblown by a comically dramatic discussion that took place a few weeks before the event in our class's Facebook group, spurred by one perpetual whiner's displeasure with every minute detail of the event. A friend of mine left the following comment in response to the whole thing, which should give you a feel for how it went down:
"You're telling me if we want to attend the reunion we're going to have to drive ALMOST SIX WHOLE MILES from the site of our graduation to an IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT CITY?! And when we get there, we're even going to have to PARK OUR OWN CARS? This is an outrage. If I were Donald Trump, you'd all be fired."
That makes it sound like there's a lot of potential for amazing dramz, right? So you can see why I was so excited. Alas, it was a drama-free night, virtually the opposite of how movies indicated it might be. To my knowledge, no one was inspired to film a porno upon leaving, &, I mean, no one even claimed to have invented Post-Its! And OK, I didn't actually expect it to be anything like a cheesy teen flick, but I'd imagined it to be slightly more action-packed or at least more conversationally stimulating/entertaining/something.

Unfortunately, despite the modern miracle of Facebook, only about 100 people showed up for the big event, of the nearly 400 in our graduating class. Even if more had attended, there wouldn't have been much space for them, as the room reserved for the event was tiny & sweltering, staffed by a bartender who was unequipped to deal with the fact that everyone in attendance needed to be drunk in order to deal with being in attendance. Eventually, seeking air, the party spilled out into the attached bar & people lost sight of one another, seriously limiting the potential for mingling.

Don't get me wrong: I saw people I hadn't seen in a long time. We talked. It was fun. And though I have gained weight (one of those prototypical high school reunion measurements of life failure), I have also gotten notably better looking, considerably less awkward, & infinitely more successful, so I wasn't particularly embarrassed to share my life details with long-lost peers. I had a total of three drinks, which kept me from being as outgoing as I would've liked but which also kept me from dancing to "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" with the bachelorette party that took over the bar's stage. I wouldn't say the night was a bust, by any means - but I will say that by midnight, I was sleepy, sober, & more than ready to crawl into bed.

Our class officers put considerable effort into making the night a success, & nothing I say here is intended to discredit or disrespect their work. But perhaps the modern miracle of Facebook also means that the magic of high school reunions has disappeared; we all know what we're all doing, so we don't feel the need to catch up in person. Ever the nostalgic goody two-shoes, I spent most of the night feeling like Melissa Joan Hart's character in "Can't Hardly Wait" sans pigtails, wondering where everyone's school spirit went. "What is wrong with everybody? These are memories frozen in time, people!" Don't you care about making memories, guys?!



Yeah, another movie reference. And OK, it's possible that I suffer from blockbuster-induced delusions of high school reunion grandeur. But coming off of a disappointingly disappointing 10-year event, maybe those are exactly the kind of delusions that will ensure that I buy a ticket to the next one. See you in 2022!

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