Monday, June 25, 2012

The Reunion

It was bound to happen soon enough. Over this past weekend, I attended my ten-year high school reunion. Oh my, where has the time gone?

Earlier this spring, I caught the classic movie Romy and Michele on TV and watched it straight through for the first time since high school. It had me laughing out loud with the classic one-liners (Romy: I've been killing myself for eight days and I gained a pound. // Michele: That's impossible. Did you deduct sixteen pounds for your shoes?) but in the back of my head, a little thought started to grow about what my own reunion would be like. Something told me it would be nothing like that movie (oh so ridiculous) but I was still intrigued.

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What would it be like to see all of those people again?
Would I recognize people? I was never really that close with too many people there, and my best friends wouldn't be attending because of vacation or other conflicts.
How about the cliques? My high school was a typical one that had plenty of them. Would those still exist, and would people mingle across them? 
What would I wear?? (haha!) 
I signed us up to attend and in the meantime, chatted with friends and family about their own reunion experiences. One of my girlfriends, who attended her reunion in the local Atlanta area last summer, noticed that the people who attended hers were the individuals who actually wanted to be there -- everyone was interested in other people enough to show up and mingle for at least a few hours. I figured that a lot of people might just show up and talk within their own cliques. It was good to realize that anyone not cool enough as an adult (ha, how the tables have turned) to break beyond their usual crowds hopefully wouldn't even come! That would make things easier for the rest of us to catch up.

My dad, who attended an all-boys Catholic school up North, attended one of his own reunions many years ago and was able to catch up with a handful of guys he hadn't seen in a long time. While he had a great time, he said that his one reunion was enough -- a blast from the past and a good time for what it was, but nothing earth-shattering. I guessed that my own experience might be something similar to that.

Sure enough, in the end, my own reunion was a worthwhile few hours. It was close enough geographically for us to attend without having to make special arrangements, and I knew of at least a few friends attending, so we wouldn't be totally awkward and friendless upon arrival. I was surprised to see a few other acquaintances there that I hadn't expected, too, so we both had a fun time meeting and greeting and catching up on what's been keeping everyone busy all of these years. The organizers did a great job with marketing the event; around 100 of our graduating class of 500+ made it!

Much was to be expected -- most people were married or engaged, had become parents, had cool jobs or had ventured out on their own to start their own companies. We all gave our little "what are you doing now" speeches and then moved on to actual conversations about more entertaining topics. I felt odd running into people whom in high school had not even given me the time of day, only for them to introduce themselves at the reunion as if we were long-lost friends. I missed seeing the gals with whom I was closest, who all couldn't be there, but that's okay. We already see each other in the real world when we want/can, not on any set reunion schedule.

None of these ladies were able to make it, but I'd love to do a reunion with just them soon!
So would I attend another reunion down the road? Probably not. It was a cool experience, but my life is so much different now than it was then. My friends today have similar career paths and interests to me rather than having grown up in the same neighborhoods and zip codes. We don't have swim team or orchestra to tie us together, but instead have life goals and spouses/S.O.s that bring us all in. Over the next few years, I think I will try and plan a mini girls reunion with my high school gals on a date that works for all of us, and take things from there. I hope to keep up the other friendships IRL, and if not, there's always Facebook :)

Have you attended a reunion recently? What year was it, and how did it go? Was it all that you had hoped for?