Reunited, and It Feels So Good

This coming weekend, I am attending my high school reunion.  Want to guess which year I graduated? 

a.            1982
b.            1986
c.             1991
d.            1993 

Thank you for all picking D, as I’m sure you did!  However, B is the correct answer.  Yep, it’s been 25 years since I donned a scratchy graduation gown and a cardboard cap and flung tassels from one side to the other. 

There were 213 students in my graduating class at Calallen High School in Corpus Christi, Texas.  What do I remember about high school?   I participated in choir and was named Best Female Singer at my senior prom.  (Any rock group need a lead?)  I was drum major of our marching band, which went to state competition three of my four high school years.  I didn’t date a whole lot.  I wasn’t in the popular crowd.  I was into English and history even back then.  And our high school got out for three full days during the Nueces County Livestock Show because too many students were involved to hold classes; plus many of us went to the livestock show, even if we hadn’t raised a pig or a sheep, baked an apple pie, painted a picture, crocheted something, or roped calves. 

But enough about my past, here is what I wonder now:  What do people hope to convey about themselves when attending a high school reunion?  Of course, you assume that others want to know what you managed to do in those years since you swore you’d be BFFs 4-ever and everyone was 2 Nice 2 B 4-gotten!  But what else do we think about?

I theorize that most people headed to a high school reunion want to convey one or more of the following messages: 

I’ve done something worthwhile since graduation.  Whether it’s the five children you spawned, the company you started, fabulous vacations you’ve taken, or volunteer work that contributes to the good of humanity, you want to say that you accomplished something.  If you were voted Most Likely to Succeed, the pressure might be high to deliver on achievements.  But even the stoner who barely eked out a diploma with more knowledge of Nirvana lyrics than the American Revolution may want others to know he straightened out and did something useful with his life. 

I’m older and wiser.  Young and stupid – it’s almost redundant.  Every youth does something unbelievably foolish that you would never do again or, God forbid, let your children do.  And your high school friends were eyewitnesses!  They can testify to your idiocy.  Hopefully, we don’t freeze each other in time and expect that we are as stupid today as we were then.  We want to come across as having learned a few things in life and being at least a smidgeon smarter than we were when we called that guy twenty-five times one night to breathe heavily into the phone or mooned a car of middle-aged businessmen from the band bus. 

I’m sorry.  You hurt somebody’s feelings in high school.  Intentionally or accidentally, you did it.  Looking back, you may be embarrassed at the ugly names you called someone, the way you excluded a person from your clique, or the theft of someone else’s boyfriend (even if he was incredibly hot!).  Now that the years have passed and you are wiser, it would be nice to issue a blanket apology:  “To anyone I injured emotionally, I am sorry that I was selfish and made you cry every night; plot revenge against the world; or become a writer to work through your feelings in a socially acceptable way.”  

You should have asked me out when you had the chance.  Whatever your appeal is today – looks, money, fame, charm, whatever – you hope that one of those people who rebuffed you in high school is thinking, “I should have asked him/her out!”  Yep, you should have!  Even if you are happily married to the love of your life, there is likely someone from high school that you had a crush on who didn’t give you the time of day or fed you the “I think of you as a friend” line.  And you want that person to wish they had it to do over again, so they could grovel at your feet and declare you to be the god/goddess they had been looking for – at which point, you would smirk and say, “No, thanks.”  Okay, we aren’t that cruel, but we might want that guy or gal to notice us and at least think, Hmmm. 

I liked you back then.  Just as common as the crush and rebuff scenario is the I-never-told-you-how-I-felt situation.  In fact, I know a couple of friends who got in touch with old high school chums on Facebook and eventually one said, “I had a crush on you,” to which the other said, “Why didn’t you tell me?  I totally would have gone out with you!”  Maybe there is some of that at high school reunions too – a realization that if we’d had more gumption back then, we might have dated someone that we never knew liked us. 

I’m still fun.  Ultimately, you go to a high school reunion to have fun once again with people you enjoyed before.  Even with a serious job, home ownership, and knee-biters getting in the way of your current social life, and the fact that you no longer “cruise the main drag” looking for a good time (at least I hope you don’t), you are forever that fun guy/ girl who  did crazy things, made others laugh, and danced the night away.  You know have to have a good time!  Whatever your brand of “good time” (drinks and karaoke, bustin’ moves on the dance floor, telling jokes, etc.), let loose again!  Create some new memories! 

Romy & Michelle - Never saw it; heard it was funny!

I do not plead guilty to all of the above, only some.  And I SWEAR I have never mooned anyone; if you had known me in high school, you would know how completely incapable of that I am!  But I am definitely looking forward to seeing familiar faces, even if our faces all hold a few more wrinkles and more tales to tell. 

Have you attended a high school reunion?  What was it like?  What impression did you hope to make?  What impression did you make?  Did you learn anything interesting?  And what should I wear to my reunion?

14 thoughts on “Reunited, and It Feels So Good

  1. We went to my husband's 20-year-reunion (he graduated in 1984). I think it was satisfying to him. He won the award for most successful…and we were on the Harley and wearing head-to-toe leather. He grew up in one of those poverty-striken East Texas towns. This year would have been my 20-year reunion. I could have gone, but didn't. I didn't like those people then, and I have zero interest in seeing them now. The two people I'd like to talk to are 1) dead and 2) on the missing list. Romy and Michelle is totally one of my favorite movies. 😀

  2. What should you wear? NOT high heels!! lol! I discovered at mine that everyone was truly interested in seeing everyone…even if you weren't that close in school. It's exciting to see old (well maybe aged to perfection) schoolmates because they are such a big part of your childhood.I went to mine a week or so ago and made the rounds to say Hi to everyone…even the one's sitting at their table the WHOLE night.Enjoy! You'll be glad you didn't miss it.

  3. I never went to any of my reunions until the 40th which was last August! I had fun and mostly was interested in seeing what everyone turned out looking like as well as what path their life took. Well, I didn't recognize most of them and everyone's careers were all over the map. But I found out that people's impressions of me were NOT how I thought of myself. And there was one guy who I'd had a crush on forever and it turned out he said he had one on me. WHY didn't he every say anything?

  4. Reunions…what an interesting thing. I moved a lot and so I never befriended more than a couple of people at a time. We've stayed in touch. My husband is in the same state where he went to school his whole life and graduated with 72 kids, the ones that have moved away seem to be the very few that actually attend his reunions and that's maybe eight or nine. The rest see each other all the time and don't bother. In a way, I'm envious of his lengthy relationships.Have a great time at yours.

  5. Ooh, have fun! My class president got busted for smoking pot on the student council trip during senior year, and I'm not sure if we replaced him (ah, Generation X and our lack of caring!). Since he was supposed to organize it, but wound up being a hippie and touring the world, it never got done. Most of us are Facebook connected now, and it's fun to see everyone having kids and being grown up (but still inherently Gen-Xish). Have a blast, and wear anything you feel gorgeous in…just maybe not your wedding dress. Isn't it weird that people sometimes do that?

  6. I'm not big on the high school reunion thing. I could have gone, but wondered why?I've moved on and so have they, or should have after 30 years. I have a different life and am a different person. Thank heaven!Hope your reunion is a good one.

  7. To tell the truth, I was one of those MIA people post-graduation…for 22 years. Then I caught up with a couple of people and found out that we had all matured. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone — well, MOST everyone.

  8. I love your questions at the end – the last one in the line made me laugh aloud.I never attended a high school reunion for one main reason – just about all of my friends graduated a year before I did. I would have loved to go to their reunion, alas, I was not invited. :-)This was a fun post. You 'sounded' like high school. lol

  9. Hi Julie!I like how you talked about reasons we attend a high school reunion. I guess that's why I've never had the interest to "go back."I hope you have a wonderful time. Who knows, maybe you'll get to sing with the band, just for old times' sake. LOL

  10. YOU do not look nine years older than me!I've been to my 10 and 15 year reunions. I loved it. Of course, the party was put on by my friends and we all attended. The 10 year had hundreds show and the 15 was pretty bland, but – it's always nice to see my old friends. We all actually had a great relationship, and although there were cliques, we all got along. I wouldn't trade-in my high school experience for anything.Facebook is also a nice reunion. 😉

  11. And Tiffany White gets the prize for saying I look younger than I am! I actually think the cliques thing won't be the issue 25 years later that it was in high school. We'll see.I plan to post a follow-up and say how it went. Maybe I'll even throw up a picture or two! We'll see.Thanks for checking in with me. I consider all of you a success!

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