So my ten year high school reunion was this weekend. 10 years is a long fucking time. It’s a decade, a fully grown fourth grader, well, you get the idea. Notes I jotted down while at the bar–
- I’d like to say a big thank you for my parents for giving me good genes. Retreating hairlines are just awful. Thank you for a full head of thick dark hair. Much love.
- Um, there were a lot more cute girls in our class than I remember.
- Say what you will about kids from upper-middle class surburbia, we hold up pretty well.
- Apparently a lot more people read this blog than I thought.
As soon as I walked into the event, I thought, “I need a drink”. High school reunions used to be about who’s doing what, who got attractive, who got fat. Joking aside, it was about just touching base with people that you spent four years seeing every single day. With the advent of Facebook, that became a lot less necessary you know? We know the big highlights of each others lives, who got engaged, married, decided to go live on a commune, you know, the highlights. I guess the biggest reason in the past to go was gone, and a lot of people felt that way. Even I was thinking that all the people that I wanted to keep in touch with, I do. With that in mind, I walked due west to the reunion.
There were 405 people in our graduating class. Out of those about 100 bought tickets. Out of those, probably around 70 came, give or take. I’ll admit, one of the thoughts going through my head when I headed to the reunion was, why am I dropping $60 to say ‘hi’ to people I barely knew. Then I stepped inside and I forgot all about that.
First, I recognized all of the girls. None of them really changed that much since high school. We were supposed to be dressed in ‘city chic’, which, you know, god knows what that means. I assume that they wanted us to look like characters in ‘Gossip Girl’ (bam! high school reference). I could not recognize a single one of the guys I knew in high school until I looked harder. Facial hair and not dressing in cargo shorts made pretty much every guy unrecognizable. Shirts and blazers were the idea, and holy hell, everyone looked grown up.
The first hour was spent greeting everyone. I luckily recognized everyone that came up to me, and more luckily, everyone I went up to recognized me. That would’ve been really fucking embarrassing otherwise. After that hour, it was really funny, people drifted to the groups that they hung out with in high school. There no animosity or anything, but you just wanted to catch up to the people that meant to you the most, and you haven’t seen in a long time. Looking over the sea of people, it was almost like I was sitting in the lunch room again.
For me, it was crazy. I’m not much of a drinker, but the first thing I did was to head to the bar. I thought that liquid courage was needed in order to brave the crowd, but I was completely wrong. I was never a popular kid, nor will I ever be considered cool, but I had a close group of friends, and I always tried to be good to the people I met. I never really made eye contact with anyone and cringed, and I think that’s a good thing. Someone told me, “you’re a lot funnier than I remembered.” Well, yeah. I’ve had ten years to grow into myself. I remember as a teenager I was (if you can believe it) even weirder and more neurotic than I am now. Ten years later, I realized who I am, what I’m good at, and most importantly, that absolutely no apologies should be given for being who you are. For the first 18 years of your life, you try to fit in, and then you realize for the rest of your life that all you want to do is stand out. Seeing everyone that you used to spend literally everyday with was incredible, and seeing who they’ve become, mostly for the better, was something else.
So I saw my best friend, the band kids I goofed around with, the fencers I captained, the girl I had a crush on, and so on and so forth. Hearing their laughs again, hugging them again after a decade, it woke me up. You forget that you spent at least 4 years of your life with these people 5 days a week. I’m lucky enough where my best friends I’ve known since I was a little kid. I know that isn’t the case for a lot of people, and for me, seeing everyone again, even just acquaintances, was amazing. Seeing ‘so-and-so got married’ on Facebook doesn’t have nearly the same effect as finding out in person. It’s all these tiny little moments of connection that makes life rich and worthwhile.
At the end of the night, as we all said our good-byes, I think we all made promises that we wouldn’t keep. Dinners that we’ll never get, numbers that we’ll never call, but maybe, maybe even just keeping one is enough to remind us that our past informed who we are, and the people who were a part of it, shouldn’t be so easily cast aside. It’s been ten years, and when you’re in high school, you can’t even think that far ahead because you can’t comprehend what years 19-28 will entail. It’s a hell of a ride.
So, I’ll try to keep my promises. And I’ll try to keep in touch, but if I don’t, maybe I’ll see you in another decade. That means I’ll be 38, fucking terrifying.
Anyways, thanks class of 2005. Stay golden, we were the special ones, even all the teachers say so. I’m pretty sure our teachers wouldn’t lie to us right?
Til’ next time.