Friday, May 23, 2008

Reunited And It Feels...Just As Crappy As It Did When I Was 17

I got myself spun up last year about my high school reunion. Then, my classmates turned out to be so flaky, we didn’t have one. They all just sort of threw their hands up and said, "well, maybe we can join in with the class of 98’s reunion." They’re much more organized than we ever were.

So, I’d let it go. Stopped worrying about it. Then yesterday, I got a friend request on myspace from the Class of 97 and 98 Reunion Committee. They did get it together. It will be in August, about 2 weeks after Nationals.

All I can say is...well, crap.

Reunions are funny things. You’re torn. You want to go back and see a couple people you missed. You want to see who’s fat, who’s bald, who’s rich. You want to know that the person who made your life hell for four years is still living with his mama and works at a car wash. You want everyone to know how fabulous you are now.

Sounds good, right? But then you think harder about it. Some people live and breathe their high school experience. Those people go back to reunions and have a great time reminiscing with all their football buddies. Everyone remembers them. This was the high point of their life (for that, I feel sorry for them).

I am one of those people whose life started after high school.

Yeah, I was there and I had friends and every day was not miserable (much better than junior high, really) but I don’t know how this will turn out. I was the tall, fat, grumpy, redheaded girl who stomped around in flannel shirts and Converse (it was the 90s...) and aced all her classes. I was awkward, I’d yet to learn how to control my sarcasm, and I had a horrible habit of falling head over heels for gay boys. Yeah, I had a great time in high school.


I ran screaming from the building in 1997 and put it all behind me. I severed almost all the ties I had to the school. I went to college, then moved to Alabama in 2001 and I haven't been back since. I've been okay with that. It works for me. But then I get curious as to how it would turn out if I did go.

I would like to think that they would see me now and be like “Wow, you look fabulous!” I have to say I do. I’m much thinner, I’ve learned to smile, I’ve mastered my hair issues and I clean up very nicely when I want to. Maybe too well. I have these visions of... “You’re who? Hmm...did we have classes together? Ten? Wow, I’m sorry, I don’t remember you.”

Follow that up with the following exchange:

"So, are you married?"

"No."

"Have kids?"

"No."

"What do you do?"

"I'm a writer."

"Are you published?"

"No."

"Oh. Hey look, there's Chico!" :: Rapid departure to stage left ::

Repeat that about 25 times with every new person I run into.

On top of that, there’s the anxiety of taking DB with me. I’m pretty sure he’ll be miserable. Honestly, if I didn’t want to take him to see Vegas and the place I grew up, I’d let him sit it out. He hates this kind of thing when it happens at home - in Vegas, he's completely out of his element. If anyone makes a wisecrack about Alabama or his accent, I’ll be running interference the rest of the night.


Ugh. So I don’t know what to do. Did you go to your high school reunion(s)? Were they worth it? I have to fly cross country and drop about 1k to do this, so I need to know!

SP

20 comments:

Jen said...

Well, that's a mixed bag, SP. First off, if you even think you might go, don't even think about taking DB. I've been to three and have left the DH at home every time. He doesn't know these people. He's outgoing. He would talk to everyone. But it would all be about him and I dont' want to go to my reunion and talk about him. I want to talk about the people there and me. I've never extended the invite and he's never gone. Follow my lead.

As to the not married and no kids. Girl, you have it going on! You've got a great job, you just bought your own house and you have myriad interests. Married is just another state of being.

Maven LJ said...

Reunions. As I recall (looking back oh so many years ago) at the 10 year reunion nothing much had changed. The cliques stuck together, still. The band over here, the jocks over there -- same ol' same ol'. At twenty years, things had changed. It was almost as if we were all so happy simply to have survived that we formed a brotherhood of sorts. People kept coming up to me and saying "I hear you write Children's books." I'd say no, I write romance, which apparently embarrassed the guys to no end. Even in the semi-dark, you could see them go red-faced.

There are pros and cons to attending. Make a list. :-)

LJ

Theresa N. said...

I went to one of my class reunions and enjoyed it. I was a nobody in high school so I didn't have anything to live up to. I enjoyed just going and catching up on everyone else's life. My husband never wanted to go to his until a couple years ago, we sent everything in paper work and money for the party. It was all returned other than us and 3 other couples no one else was interested.
Theresa N

Maven Linda said...

My high school reunion was easy. I didn't go. No trauma, no drama.

I still see my best friend from high school, so I already knew what was going on with her. Didn't need a reunion for that.

I ran into an old boy friend at the post office, and didn't recognize him. When he told me who he was, all I could think of was that Garth Brooks song: Thank God for unanswered prayers.

Anonymous said...

I've never been to my high school reunion, and my 30 year reunion would be next year, no thank you. I am a lot different, too much weight, divorced (this was a good thing) I love being by myself. I do have a 17 year old son who now lives with his dad and everything is good for me. So from the previous comments, IF, you decide to go, don't invite the DB. And the suggestion to write down the pros and cons was a good one. Anyhow, I hope everyone has a great Friday and a wonderful holiday weekend, please stay safe.
robertsonreads

Problem Child said...

I went to my 10-year and had a pretty decent time--but I went to a small high school.

Do not take DB--there's enough leftover angst to send you to the bar without trying to keep him happy and entertained. If you must take him to Vegas to see where you grew up, then do so, but send him to the casino while you're at the reunion.

Instigator said...

I went to my 10 year - 7 weeks after giving birth to Baby Girl. I ended up sunburned from the picnic. Fun. The people I really wanted to see didn't come so it wasn't the best time in my life but it was here in town so it wasn't difficult to get there. I might go to the next one...I still have about 6 years to decide.

I agree don't take DB to the reunion. You'll have enough to deal with without worrying about keeping him entertained (because he won't know anyone but you).

Instigator

Playground Monitor said...

I agree that DB should be left at the hotel casino. He'll be miserable at the reunion.

I couldn't attend my 10 year reunion but went to my 20th and 25th. God was it good! I was the skinny, plain-Jane smart girl in high school and by the 20-year-later mark I'd blossomed and had a handsome husband. I also had grown some boobs. ::grin:: I was able to tell them my husband worked in the space program, I had two boys and oh, I was sorry to miss the last reunion because I was living in Europe at the time. I laid it on thick. My 40th -- yes, you read that right -- will be next year and I doubt I'll go. I had 5 friends in high school and 2 of them I stay in contact with. The other three have faded away and if they don't want to keep up the relationship, then I'm not going to force it.

My son went to his 10th last summer only to confront several faculty members who told him he'd never amount to anything. He let them know he was a project manager for an architecture firm and was married and had a baby girl. I'd say he amounted to a LOT. I didn't know those faculty members had told him that; he kept that to himself. I'd have had a heart-to-heart with the school board had I known. He, OTOH, used it as motivation to make sure he succeeded.

The DH's 40th reunion is in 2 weeks but he isn't going. It would mean missing a volleyball tournament and VB is way more important to him. :grin:

PM

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I didn't go to mine. I was only at my HS for 2 years, and most of the kids there were military and transient. They did have a 20th, but I was living in Hawaii. And I just didn't care.

OTOH, my hubby grew up in a town and went to school with the same people his whole life. We went to his 10th and had a BLAST. Hubby was 145 lbs soaking wet in HS -- and he was 6'2". By the time we went to his 10th reunion, he'd grown into a pretty handsome man. He was about 190 then, and all muscle. People didn't recognize him. They'd come up and go, "OMG, is that YOU? No way!"

He was the funny guy who went off to join the military and came back with a tiny Southern wife (oh yeah, glory days, I was wearing a size 4 petite!) and a lean hard body the women were ogling and the men were jealous over. It was a GOOD time. *g*

I don't regret not going to mine, but I'm glad we went to his. I feel like I had the experience and now I'm done. :)

Michele L. said...

I guess I am in the minority here. I have gone to all of my high school class reunions with my hubby. We both went to the same high school and we are 2 years apart in age so hubby knows practically everyone in my class and visa versa which is great!

I have served on the reunion committee for the last 4 reunions. My 30th year reunion is coming up in 2009. We have a class reunion every 5 years. We have our own website also which is generously donated by a student in our class. We all make contributions to the site to keep it running.

I agree that it would be better to leave your hubby at home. They look like a bump on a log sitting there while their spouse goes off chatting with her classmates. Although, if your hubby is a socializer himself he just might enjoy himself! Have fun and good luck!

Michele L.

Sherry W. said...

I agree - make a list. Be honest with yourself and then decide if it would be worth the effort, time and money to go.

Me, no. Notta. I went to the first one cos I still lived there at the time (tiny farming town in S. GA with 3 traffic lights) and saw the same people I saw at WalMart and the grocery store on a regular basis. The ones who got a life and moved on didn't come. Sooo, needless to say I eventually moved on and away (I wasn't as smart as Linda - I married and then divorced the dumb boyfriend) and send the obligatory cards now and then. I still keep in touch with my best friends and they keep me informed if anything changes. Which it doesn't.

And I just can't see you as ever being awkward and stomping around wearing a flannel shirt!

Smarty Pants said...

You all are just daring me to scan a picture in from my yearbook!

I don't know if I'm going to go, but I'm leaning toward no. I may go to Vegas and take DB, but not for the reunion.

birdzilla said...

SP

Please let me go to the reunion with you. Let me emphasize please again.

I will gladly spend however many days in the casino. I will even keep the yee haw talk to a minimum.

Side note: Ask Instigator about her experience with Eeyore this mornig. She finally has excepted him. :)

terrio said...

I went to my 10th. I was all excited for some reason and drove from AR to OH for it. Even took hubby-at-the-time. I'm sure you realize the AR accent isn't far from the AL accent.

My hometown is predominantly Italian and less than 10 minutes into dinner, Ex-H looked at me and asked, "Are they gonna whack somebody later?"

None of my HS friends attended which left me with no one with whom to share old stories. And as mentioned earlier, all the old cliques were still there.

I have heard the 20 year is better. That would be in two years and I'm not sure if I'll go or not. Odds are not.

Instigator said...

Hey, if you take Zilla he's liable to win you back the cost of the trip :-)

And I'm saving that story for my blog next week. Y'all will just have to wait to find out what the damn donkey's done now.

Instigator

Smarty Pants said...

I guess it is kinda cool that I get to go back to Vegas for my reunion instead of some little town in nowhereville. Growing up there, though, it doesn't excite me that much.

If you really want to, 'Zilla, I'm sure we can work something out. If Instigator doesn't go it might be a little weird, though...

Anyone up for a Playground trip to Vegas??

Instigator said...

Hell yeah! :-)

Instigator

Rhonda Nelson said...

I missed my 10--went to M&M instead. :-)

I've already started dieting for the 20, which is in--GASP--a year.

It's funny. I don't feel that old...

MaryF said...

As for me; I never went to any of my reunions and I don't really plan on going. Mainly because I have nothing left back there that I want to revisit.

I did go to my husband's 10th and it was an empty experience.

On the other hand, a friend of mine went to her 20th and had blast.

Personally; if you are really wrestling with it; maybe you should go. It may lay to rest things or open new doors. :)

Not very helpful; am I?

Avery Beck said...

Hey, I'm from the class of '97 too!

I didn't go to my 10-year because I moved to a different state just in time to start my senior year, so I was only with my graduating class for 9 months. Not enough time to bother with a reunion.

I tend to agree with LJ--things won't have changed enough in 10 years, especially for a cross-country trip. Just think, wait until the 20-year and you can talk about being multi-published. :-)