7.24.2014

My High School Reunion was Weird

My high school reunion was weird.  I'm not really sure what I expected but that's the best way to describe it.

I had mixed feelings about whether or not I wanted to go.  I was a cheerleader for three years but I didn't build a network of friends out of high school, or college for that matter, and there is only one friend I'm still in touch with outside of Facebook who I already knew wasn't going to be there.  The 10 year reunion is all about who got fat, who got married, how the popular kids turned out or who made it big but 20 years later nobody cares about that stuff anymore.  By now we know that life happens and keeping your head above water and being content is sometimes as good as it gets and that's totally okay.  The stuff you cared about in high school is almost totally irrelevant and the stuff you wondered about even 10 years later feels a little juvenile.

To go or not to go?  My thought process was this.  I'm here, I have a cute husband, I haven't made a total mess of my life.  Might as well go.  My life actually was a total mess 10 years ago and I still went to that reunion. 

I bought the tickets, put it on my calendar and then mentally checked out.  I didn't submit a biography.  I gave myself hardly any time to get ready and by the time it rolled around I kind of wished I wasn't going at all.  I got off work at 5:00pm, I needed to be there at 7:00pm and at least an hour of that was to be drive time.  I rushed home, rushed into the shower, rushed to do my hair, rushed to do my make up.  Threw on a dress.  Forgot to put on a necklace.  Rushed out the door.  Forgot my camera.  It's a miracle I had the foresight to get my toes done last week but I had to have MJ slap a clear coat on my nails.  On the way there.  While I was driving.  Yeah, that was interesting for both of us.

Turns out I probably could have come in anything and it wouldn't have mattered.  The dress code on the flyer said "cocktail casual."  I don't even know what that is.  It also said "cash bar only" as in cash paper money no credit cards.  Weird.  

There were a few people that didn't want to pay to come inside including an old cheer buddy, J.  They showed up at the hotel to meet for drinks before hand and I can't say that I blame them.  I almost wished I'd thought of it myself because tickets were ridiculously overpriced.  $75 per person and that's times two for me because I wasn't going to make MJ pay for such shenanigans.  I was really glad J came over and said hi.  We keep up on Facebook and I always really liked  her.  We spent a few minutes catching up before everyone started to go inside.  She was a fun girl then and she still is.  It's too bad we don't "really" keep in touch.   She tried to speak to this other couple whom neither one of us recognized and was totally ignored.  She'd mentioned it to me and I gave her a you weren't kidding look with my eyes when they did it again. She just side eyed her and looked at the guy but wouldn't speak and there was no word or acknowledgement from the guy.  Either he had no idea who she was, she was mean to him in high school or they have no social skills. More weirdness. 

We signed in, got our obligatory name badges, and went inside.  People were wearing everything from jeans and maxi dresses to cocktail dresses.  I start to wish I'd gone casual instead of cocktail and felt a little bad for vetoing MJ's polo shirt request.  I made him wear a button up.  The room was small and there were only a few tables so I already knew the turnout was going to be low.  There was a booklet on the tables with class biographies but hardly any profiles in it. 

There was a picture area set up where we took cheesy prom like photos against a black textured backdrop.  I actually liked the pictures of us but I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with 1 8x10, 1 5x7 and 4 wallets for $40.  I know that we graduated before the digital age but now that we are in it, what's with the old fashioned picture packages?

We heard that dinner was ready so we went out to the Mexican food buffet to fix our $75 fajitas and then sat down in the still mostly empty room and started to eat while I wondered if anybody else I knew was coming.  There were familiar faces but nobody I was actually friends with.  I was closest to my cheer friends and gymnastics friends but none of them showed up.   Where are you? I send a message via Facebook to the one friend I was really hoping to see.  She replied that things got busy and she couldn't make it which is a total waste because I know she bought her tickets and there are no refunds.  We did cheer leading and gymnastics together and triple dated to senior prom.  We were Freshman year college roommates, she lives about 1 1/2 hours away and yet I haven't seen her in 10 years since our last reunion.  Why didn't we stay in touch?  I've asked myself that question many times over the years but I don't have a concrete answer.  Why didn't I stay in touch with anybody?  Some of those people I see on Facebook don't live that far away but when high school is over some stay in touch and most of us drift.  It's just what happens.

I remembered everyone who sat at our table (and vice versa) including the guy voted class "Most Wanted."  He brought along our class yearbook which I have sitting at home, but haven't looked at in forever.  I didn't even remember that two of us were on prom court together. I was impressed that they'd traveled out of state to come. We had some interesting catching up conversations.  
28 out of  a graduating class of 300 something
We took an awkward class photo.  It was an oh my gosh this is really happening kind of moment as the photographer cajoled us into gathering around.  They gave away really weird prizes for things like most kids (6) most tattoos (29) and longest married (17) based on so called ballots we filled out.  Now that I'm thinking about it why was it a ballot?  It was more like an info sheet but I guess in some roundabout we we were voting for ourselves even if we didn't know it.  One of the prizes, which is what looked like a fish bowl full of rocks, cracked when tattoo guy, whom I didn't recognize claimed his prize.  It is announced that he will receive a free beer to match the one in his hand.

After that we were left to our own devices.  The music got louder so I looked around for the DJ and saw an iPod hooked up to a speaker.  I guess $75 per person really doesn't go very far.  I spotted a girl that I did Girl Scouts with in elementary school and hesitated before approaching her.  We lost touch after she stayed in girl scouts and I quit in middle school.  I don't think we spoke a word in high school so would it be weird for me to talk to her now what would technically be over 20 years later?  Maybe a little, but I said hello anyway.  We caught up a little and I chatted with a friend she's kept up with all these years but someone whom I only knew in passing in high school.  I ended up in a really good conversation with three other girls two of which I remembered.  We all had really interesting stories about how we met our spouse/fiance.  The dance floor mostly sat empty.  I doubted this thing would last all the way until midnight and was surprised that we stayed until just past 11:00pm. 

It was interesting to see how people have aged or not aged over time.  So where do you live?  Here.  What are you doing?  I work.  Kids?  No, but we travel a lot.  Polite inquiries along with the obligatory I can't believe it's been 20 years because really, none of us can.  Where does the time go?  How is that I am as old as I am?  How is it that my peers are old enough to have teenagers almost the same age we were 20 years ago?  Sometimes I feel it, but most of the time I don't feel like the old person I thought people in their 30's to be when I was in high school. 

The organizers from our class did the best they could with what they have to work with and have already said that the 30 year reunion will not be professionally organized.  It will be a happy hour somewhere instead which makes much more sense considering the turn out is likely to be even less...or maybe it will be better if it's free.

A few days later I got this e mail with all of the candid pics from the reunion.  I found our gallery and all I could do is shake my head and laugh.  Out of all of the random pictures taken throughout the night I'm only in two that were taken while we were all doing the group photo.  I'm glad I went (and according to MJ he did not have a terrible time) but It's almost like I wasn't even there.  Just like high school.

Are all high school reunions this weird?  Or just mine?


17 comments :

April Ronnecke said...

The way you described your mixed feelings about going to your reunion sounds like me when I make a decision to go somewhere I don't really want to go lol. If I do decide to go ( usually the last min) I'm all rushing to get ready lol. Yea but anyway the tix and photo prices was highway robbery smh. Way too expensive. I don't regret going to my reunion.

Faith said...

I didn't go to my high school reunion ... I just had no desire whatsoever because just like you I did not keep in touch with anyone. I still don't understand why I did that ... I went to college and just forgot my high school friends. But yeah, high school seems so long ago and our thought process was just so out there that I feel it wasn't really who I was. If that makes any sense.

hya21 said...

This account was very interesting. And funny! I could almost feel the discomfort.

Mrs. Pancakes said...

These are always as weird as they sound but looks like you made the best of it!! I would so love to attend my high school reunion...I get updates on Facebook though which is helpful!

Nylse Esahc said...

i went to my 30th hs reunion and it was loads of fun. i was not ms popularity in hs and our hs class was really big - over 1000 students, so everyone was in the same boat at the reunion. ours was professionally done and the money spent was worth it. i even reconnected with some friends. on the flip side i really didnt keep in touch with anyone from college. i was lost in hs but not 30 yrs later.

Miss MP said...

I didn't go to my 10 year reunion and I probably won't go to my 15. I wasn't popular in high school and although the snarky side of me would love to go back and say, "hey that girl you made fun of now is successful, has traveled, and lives in a cool city,"-- I'm past it. Most of the people I went to high school with still live in the same same town, have mediocre jobs and lots of kids and are working on their first divorces (I'm from a very small southern town in the middle of no where). Through facebook, I've seen that for some people high school was their glory days. For me, it was just a stepping stone to get me where I am today (and much happier). Good for you for going--- that entry ticket price was pricey!!! Oh and girl-- you do not look your age-- AT ALL!!!!!

A Life Less Traveled said...

I didn't go to my 10 yer reunion and this year makes 15 years. I wasn't popular in high school either.

Ashley R said...

I am going to my 10 year reunion this year and have complete mixed feelings about it. This 20 year reunion sounds super awkward! haha, but at least you can laugh about it now. Reunions are just weird... if a few of my friends weren't getting together to go, I definitely wouldn't have!

cashanamusings said...

Class reunions are tricky. I have yet to attend any of mine and it is 3 years out for our 30th. I caught an attitude because for the 10 reunion, I didn't get information regarding the reunion until the money was due and my address has not change in 30 years. So, when ever it comes around, the folks I graduated with always say just come and I respond that it is a waste for me to attend. If we are still friends or acquaintances that is all that matters showing up for crappy food, dull music and awkward moments is not what I want to do at this time in my life.

Brittany said...

Okay pulllleeease don't take this the wrong way but HOW was this your 20th high school reunion?! I thought you were, like, 23!!! Can't get out of the shock right now. You're so beautiful and I just assumed in your mid-twenties. I do admire you for going to the reunion; I'm looking forward to my 10 year next year but it may turn out to be a big bust. I do love my alma mater so it'll be nice to go back and see everyone. You look gorgeous in the picture, even without a necklace! ;) (never would have noticed)

Brass Honey said...

Such a great post. I had just moved to NY a month before my 10 year reunion so I skipped it. My 20 year is 3 years away and as long as I'm still living in CA, I'll definitely go. I'm pretty sure most reunions are weird though. Like you said, you don't really keep up with high school buddies so you're basically in a room with a bunch of strangers forced to interact :). You never know who or where you'll really connect with someone though so why not go. Seventy five dollars is pretty crazy though. I'm sure that kept a lot of people from going.

Ameena said...

I am allergic to reunions...haven't been to a single one. I think that $75 is a lot, not that I have any kind of reference point though!

Sorry it was so awkward but at least you won't regret not going!

Jenny said...

I went to my 10 year reunion after much deliberation of whether or not to attend. We also paid $75 per person but it was at a nice catering hall, had a DJ, favors, etc. And we surprisingly had a good turnout. I would say about 1/2 (possibly more) the graduating class showed up. I felt it was weird though as well. I actually had a great time and saw a lot of old friends and we swore we were going to stay in contact and get together but of course we didn't. It was just one night of pretending we were still friends. Strange.

Newlyweds on a Budget said...

I didn't go to my 10 year high school reunion. It seems through Facebook that there are a lot of people who remained friends and see each other all the time. I dated this one guy from high school for like 4 years and it was a pretty bad breakup. I just don't want to see him aagin and I have no real desire to see anyone else. I am still good friends with my two closest friends from high school and I see them about once a year. My mom gets on me for not maintaining friendships but ugh.. who has the time to waste on people who are not really worth it?

Whitney Cypert said...

I'm with Brittany...totally thought you were in your 20's, MAYBE early 30's! This post cracked me up and simultaneously made me a little sad. Because really, where does the time go? My 10 year anniversary is next year, I am a little excited because, for the most part, we have a little group of friends that stays somewhat in touch. I bet it will be totally different in 20 years though. It will be interesting to see who has aged a little and who hasn't! I'm glad you went and shared your story, it was a great read! : )

Janna Renee said...

For some reason, I thought we were the same age! You look WAY better than everyone else in your class! My ten year is this year, and I have a feeling it's going to be quite weird. A lot of the people that are going are the ones I don't really feel like catching up with, lol.

Lisette said...

I didn't go to my 10th high school reunion either. It's back in NYC (I'm now living in Georgia) and I didn't keep in touch with ANY of them. Maybe for the 15th or 20th?

But, 20th? Really? You look really young!

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