Reunited & it Feels So...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

In every young adult's life, there is one highly dreaded-slash-anticipated moment. For me, the day has finally arrived: I've been invited to my 10-year high school reunion.

People seem to have really strong feelings about reunions. It's all "NO WAY AM I GOING TO THAT" or "I WOULDN'T MISS THAT FOR THE WORLD." I seem to be unusual in that I don't have particularly strong feelings either way, except to say that I think Facebook has, to a large extent, ruined high school reunions: When we can see with a few clicks exactly what our old classmates are up to, it diminishes that nosy urge to see them in person to find out for ourselves how they've fared since graduation. Because most people put their best faces forward on Facebook,it's likely that we're getting a seriously warped view of our former peers' adult lives, but we rarely take that into account when we playing the game of comparing their lives to our own. This means we may be scared off from attending, worried that our lives won't stack up against former friends' impressive achievements - when really, they may be feeling the same way about us.

You know what else ruins high school reunions? Movies about high school reunions. Romy & Michelle & Zack & Miri have set the bar too high in terms of reunion expectations. And have you seen "American Reunion"? They're all wearing suits & sporting nametags & drinking out of punchbowls, when I'm pretty sure my own reunion is going to be held at a townie bar, where I'd likely see 60% of my graduating class on a Saturday night in my hometown anyway. If I felt like my reunion was going to be an opportunity to look really good & essentially attend some adult prom, I might be more excited about going. Any excuse to make up for how I looked at my actual prom(s):
OK, that was just an excuse to show you funny prom photos. I'm so, so, so glad reunions are not adult proms because clearly girlfriend can't be trusted with ballgowns & updos. And what is that scarf?

What I'm trying to say is this: I liked high school. No, really, I did. I know a lot of people say high school was, like, the worst experience of their life & they never want to see any of those people ever again thankyouverymuch. I don't really feel that way. Was I sort of lame in high school? Yeah, sure, but I was 16 - & weren't we all kind of lame then? When it comes down to it, I was a happy kid who performed in show choir & school musicals, who spent four years on student council, who was elected to the class executive board because I was friendly & made an effort to get to know everyone, not because I was really popular & awesome. I edited our school paper. I spoke at my high school commencement ceremony. I never drank or did drugs or had sex or was friends with people who did. Teachers liked me, my classmates liked me, & in general, I was a pretty middle-of-the-road kid. I wasn't cool, & I wasn't a loser; I was just average, somewhere in between, with stringy hair & a prom dress that looked like it was made out of wrapping paper.

In so many ways, I'm still that middle-of-the-road girl. I'm not doing big, huge things, but neither am I living in a rat-ridden apartment & working at a gas station. I moved out of my hometown, sure, but it's not like I'm leading some glamorous, fancy life; I shop at BJ's & Target, & I spend about 50% of every day in leggings. I also haven't gone the uber-domestic route (yet): I'm not married, I haven't popped out any kids, & I don't own a house or a dog. I have a good job, a good boyfriend, a good life. I wouldn't be embarrassed to tell anyone about my last 10 years, except maybe for a year or two when I was sort of a basketcase, but, hey, no one's asking me to bring a timeline to this thing. I'm gonna cut those anecdotes out of my answers to the inevitable repeats of "So what have you been up to?" Overall, these 10 years have been good ones.

All this to say that I think I'm going to go to my high school reunion, as long as I can make the timing work for me (because, really, who holds a high school reunion in August?). I'm going to talk a few snarky old friends like @NankOfAmerica, @KyleARoss, & @MissMarisaLee into coming with me, & when it gets to be too small-town to bear,* we're going to get the hell out of there & drink our Yuenglings in peace while we discuss how relieved we are to be adults.

And just because I love you, here you go:

PS: To my knowledge, 70% of the people in this photo are now married, most with kids; I am apparently a late bloomer. Regardless, I'm rockin' quite the bird's nest in this photo. Also, HOT PINKKKK. 2001, I don't even know you. Except for those skinny arms, which I'd like back, please & thank you.

*God, someone I went to high school with is going to read this & decide I'm an asshole in advance of the reunion. I may be shooting myself in the foot here.I LIKE ALL OF YOU OR ELSE I WOULDN'T BE COMING. Seriously.

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