Friday, June 20, 2008

20 Year Reunion Reflections - If Only I'd Have Know

The few weeks before my 20 year class reunion I spent worrying. Honestly, it is what I do best in life, especially when it comes to worrying about really petty and unimportant details and things. For this event, I fixated on finding the right thing to wear. Never mind the fact that our reunion consisted of a picnic in a backyard and a catered and very casual dinner that evening. Casual was stressed in every message. And, still, I managed to work myself into a tizzy over capris and a pair of dressy jeans shorts like you can't even believe!

Now that the event is over and there's been time to reflect, there are things I wish I'd have known ahead that would have taken away that pre-reunion anxiety completely. Here are a few of those observations...
  • People will remember you--no matter what kind of complex you have developed over your adult years about being forgotten and unimportant. You will realize this immediately when you walk up at the picnic to see a childhood friend and neighbor who you really didn't talk with much in high school rush over to hug you and talk about childhood memories.
  • Everyone will look older, balder, fatter, and yet everyone will be recognizable minus one or two faces that have drastically changed.
  • The sweet hometown boy who used to call you in the 7th grade and listen to all your tales of woe over crushes gone awry will show up now a bread delivery man who has kept up with everyone in your class and even many in the other classes close to yours and can tell you detailed stories about each and every one of them.
  • You will not be the most overweight person at your reunion. Not by a long shot. In fact, at one point some of the more overweight people will openly classify you in with the "skinny people" who were on the back row of the class reunion photo. This will thrill you to no end...
  • The dorky boy that made you laugh in school but usually went unnoticed or got picked on will suddenly be the hit of the reunion, cracking jokes and serving margaritas to everyone. All the popular crowd will be so surprised at how funny he is--something you knew all along.
  • And, the childhood friend who hurt you most and took you for granted often--the one who swore she'd never come back to your town especially not for a reunion? Well, she will show up and tell you that you are the main reason she came and that she holds all those childhood memories so dear, and touch you with all the things she still remembers.
  • The really boring, but most popular girl in the class still will not have more than two words to say to you. She will leave only an hour into the reunion and act as bored with everyone as ever. Everyone will still act like she's a goddess for some reason that you still will not understand.
  • The state champion sports star you most wanted to be like in high school will still look exactly the same and will be training for her next marathon.
  • However, she will be among the two girls that you are very convinced have had boob jobs. There will be one very big girl who announced to everyone she's had breast reduction in a very awkward moment.
  • The brilliant and dear boy who kept you in stitches senior year will not show up because he's commanding troops in Afghanistan. This will make you quite sad and yet comforted all at the same time.
  • The party girl you befriended in typing class will be unrecognizable by her weight and will barely say hello and then snub you fiercely as if she is superior to you. For some reason, you find this sort of entertaining when it probably would have really irritated you in high school.
  • The kind-hearted neighbor boy who rang your doorbell and cried on your mom's shoulder during his parents' divorce will still be just a big old teddy bear.
  • The teachers you adored will all come to see your class and gosh, they will look so old.
  • Your college roommate and pal from grade school will still be the caretaker/mother hen, making sure every detail is taken care of for the reunion and hovering around to make sure everyone had the best time. And, thanks to her, everyone will.
  • The person you considered a best friend of high school days who betrayed and hurt you in college will not show up and will openly snub all those who try to convince her to come. Reports at the party will surface and expose that she is, in fact, a self-centered beeotch that no one really likes anymore. As petty as this sounds, this will also kind of make you smugly content.
  • The same old stories will be told, but they will be fun to revisit. Some of the new stories you will hear are only because you didn't party in those days at all. But, no one will acknowledge this or tease you for that and you will feel like you fit right in laughing at them all.

In short, MomCat, you had nothing to worry about at all. You will be complemented and noticed enough for your appearance to up your self-esteem for months. You will smile the entire night. You will get warm and gushy feelings about all of these people and it won't be from the 'ritas or the PMS.

Later, you will get a little teary just remembering the whole day. The day that you learned that looking back can reveal some new things about yourself that you never realized before and that there are so many more blessings growing up in a small town than you ever could have imagined back when you were 17.



Blogger LadyBugCrossing said...

So beautifully written and so very very true. I had to laugh at "As petty as this sounds, this will also kind of make you smugly content." How many times have I felt this way?!!
Glad it was fun.

7:05 AM, June 21, 2008  
Anonymous Wickedly Scarlett said...

Wow, that sounds so fascinating!! Thanks to facebook, right now I have a pretty good idea about what a few of my old high school peers are up to, but I wonder how much more we'll have changed in another 12 years?

And I find it really interesting that I could think of a person from my own experiences that fit into almost all of those archetypes you listed--I guess all high school are pretty much the same when you get right down to it!

2:48 PM, June 21, 2008  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Thanks, LBC!

Scarlett--that's a generation gap between yours and mine. We don't do Facebook or My Space as much. I have to admit though, I've Googled some of the old names from time to time out of curiousity!

5:01 PM, June 21, 2008  
Blogger Dipu said...

I've only been to my 10th, but it was a lot more fun than I thought it'd be. You're right about how people remember you more than you'd think; I spent the entire time talking to people I'd known but never really hung out with back then, but it was great catching up with them all the same. You're making me wish I'd gone to my 20th...

5:48 PM, June 21, 2008  
Blogger babs said...

Gosh, I'm so glad that you went! All of your observations were very cool to read... I worry that no one in my huge senior class would remember me, and it prolly doesn't help that I skipped my 10th. (I would've also been super-paranoid about what to wear... yes, there's a reason we're friends! ;)

12:10 AM, June 22, 2008  
Blogger Crazy MomCat said...

Dipu - I know you'd have had fun, but you can catch the next one. If your school is like Jimmy's, they'll do a 25 or 30 for sure.

Babs - we just got from Jimmy's 20th & I think we saw your friend Melissa there. It was very crowded and I didn't think she'd know who I was, so I didn't say hello.

It was so bizarre comparing how different a class of 700's reunion would be to my class of 63! Also, I don't think I'd have gotten along that well with the women in my husband's class (excluding your friend...but she probably knows what I'm talking about).

4:49 PM, June 22, 2008  
Blogger Alison said...

Yours sounded much better than mine! But then, I had one of those classes of 700. And our 20th reunion was not well attended. The 10th was okay, but at the 20th I literally didn't talk to a soul from my class except for about 6 people who had gone to my junior high school. Most of us sat at the same table, as the only people there who had gone to our smaller junior high. But those were people I hadn't even kept up with in high school! I decided not to go to any more school reunions, even though they were talking about a 25th.

On the other hand, I've recently reunited with 8 or 10 real friends from high school days online, none of whom were at my reunion, who are all my MySpace or Facebook friends now! Some of them I hadn't heard from in more than 15 years when we found each other online, but now I get regular updates and messages from them. Weird! (But good.)

9:01 PM, June 22, 2008  
Blogger Alison said...

P.S. 4 years ago I also went to a reunion of the drama school I took classes at in junior high and high school, and that was a blast because I did know so many of the people. And of course a college reunion would be useless for me, since I went to UT (I sometimes envy people who went to small colleges where they can know everyone), but I've often wished for a dorm reunion!

9:09 PM, June 22, 2008  
Anonymous Brunette said...

I have never been to any of my reunions - my next would be my 20th. I am going to see family in September for my sister's wedding, so I wonder how that will be. It will be just like a HS reunion - I know I am the heaviest, there will be tons of gossip, and there will be the few family members that I could go without seeing!

9:56 PM, June 24, 2008  
Blogger simplypink said...

Hooray for dorky guys!! One of our dorks is doing very well and I want to cheer for him every time I hear something good about him. And the popular girls...ugh! When I witnessed a cheerleader pushing carts at a store awhile back...again I was cheering. (And I didn't feel guilty about it at ALL, because she dealt 100 kinds of misery.) We missed our 20 but 25 is coming up. I will go to the next one, wearing cute clothes with matching shoes and borrow one of my sister's high dollar handbags but they won't know it. (Meaning they probably won't know it's high dollar.) :)

12:09 AM, June 25, 2008  

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