I went to my 20th high school reunion this weekend. When the emails starting flying around to plan this thing last fall I was only mildly interested. But as time passed, I made the commitment and started doing sit-ups. Sadly, the sit-ups only lasted a day but I followed through with my commitment. In fact, I did my best to help organize the event and help track people down. Why I never won “Best Stalker” in high school is beyond me. Anyway, it took some harassing but somehow we got a decent group of our graduating class together.
Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. I was going to see the people who were around for almost my entire childhood. Some of them I have known since first grade. These people were my neighbors, my teammates and my classmates. They witnessed those awkward moments during adolescence, attended my 6th grade roller skating birthday party and danced with me at the prom. In some ways a reunion makes you feel vulnerable, emotionally naked. Strangely, I was okay being an emotional mess in front of these people. The way I see it, children are the raw version of adults. Core personalities don’t really change. If I liked them as a child, I was certain that I would love them as an adult. Clearly we have all matured. (See below)
For some reason, everyone focuses on the way they look at a reunion. Except for that one skinny little bitch who can probably still wear her prom dress; we have all aged in some way or another? Oh, you’re fat, bald and wrinkled? That makes you just like all of us. I admit it. It was fun to see how people have changed physically but that only lasted a minute. The real fun was the massive flood of memories. Things that have been suppressed for 20 years came to the surface. I found myself apologizing to people for dumb things. Like that one time when I didn’t do my fair share on the 9th grade group project. I had no idea that I was harboring such inner guilt until I saw the guy who picked up my slack. He didn’t remember what the hell I was talking about but that didn’t help my guilt. Don’t worry. I made it all better with an apology and a cold beer. Plus, I noticed that his wife did some heavy petting after my comment. Between you and me, I think his 9th grade work ethics must have turned her on. You’re welcome love birds.
These types of conversations happened all night. We laughed until our cheeks hurt. Why would anyone pay for therapy when you can go to your 20th reunion? Let’s be honest, there is nothing more cleansing. A genuine “how are you?“ from your adolescent family goes a long way. Our graduating class has a kindred spirit that is quite unique. It makes me proud. As my very wise mother says, “sometimes you have to take a step back in time to move two steps forward”. Yes Mom…I agree.