I have a high school reunion coming up in a few months. Last week, former classmates on the reunion committee contacted me to see if I could design the promo materials for it. It’s a freebie thing, of course, but I agreed.
When I sat down to do it yesterday, these weird feelings from high school re-emerged. Instead of this being a quick, get-it-done project, I ended up spending the entire day on the stuff, fine-tuning every detail. Inside, there were these nagging adolescent worries about impressing others — especially the cool kids (that I haven’t seen in decades).
The whole thing reminded me of why I had such a miserable time in high school — sort of like a repressed trauma getting dragged out of my subconscious.
I still haven’t sent it off to them this morning, thinking that I ought to spend just a bit more time on it. Geeech!
Ugh. I reluctantly went to my 25th high school reunion, and before that the last one was 15th. I have no plans to do any future ones. The people I want to be in touch with from high school, I am. Everyone else, meh. We also had a class size of about 500, so maybe that is part of it. I mean, I don’t even remember 450+ of them. Ha.
I give you props for wanting to have anything to do with it.
I don’t go to anything related to school days. It’s not “good old days” memories for me.
I’ve had a couple people want to add me on the book of faces Even a few “popular” kids who were not very pleasant 100 years ago. I really don’t care to hear “but, I’m different now”. Yeah well so am I. I won’t cower away. I’ll tell you to go fly a kite and probably not so delicately lol
I am very much over the trauma they inflicted … but the memory is there and always will be. I have no desire to revisit it.
So, bottom line. Send it in and don’t stress. It’s not worth it
I did not fit in in high school. It was a smaller school, so unless you were one of the cool kids, (traditional) athlete, scholar or wood shop guy, there weren’t a lot of options. My wife and I went to the same high school and were high school sweethearts. After our last reunion, I made the comment that it was just a reminder that I didn’t fit in back then, and I still don’t fit in today (not to that group, anyway). Everyone was cordial and all, but there was no connection to the memories or good old days mentality.
My school was a bit different. It was a rural school with only 90-some students in my class. In one way or another, I knew all of them and was related to, probably, half of them. There were the usual high school cliques, but the school wasn’t large enough to enable anyone to confine themselves to just those groups.
After high school, I headed off to a Jr. College for a couple of years of around 1,000 students (a little like a big high school). I had a ton of fun at there but formed zero lasting friendships. There were just too many people coming and going all the time.
Here’s the trouble that I’ve found with high-school reunions. If I were to pluck anyone out of the pack and have a lunch with them, we’d probably get along swimmingly (save for a few). But at a reunion, everyone slips back into their cliques.
Yeah, I’ve noticed that too. I think it has to do with a couple of things.
First, the people in those cliques know (or knew) each other, so I suppose it’s natural for them to cluster together at the reunion.
Second, everyone’s a little nervous, and there’s this weird mix of being a mature adult yet navigating an onslaught of social encounters where one’s rusty experience with the people in question hasn’t been updated since adolescence.
It’s sort of fun listening to the awkward encounters. For example, I was sitting at a table next to a guy named Bob when another former classmate sat down across the table.
Bob said something along the lines of, “I haven’t seen you in years, Boog.” The other guy said, " No one’s called me by that awful name in years." Bob said, “What do people call you now?” The other guy haughtily responded with, “They usually call me Dr. Kunz.” Bob didn’t miss a beat and said, “Now, I remember why we all called you Booger.”
There was another guy who was always timid in high school. When his turn to say something came up, he took the microphone and loudly announced in a surprisingly assertive voice that he had had a massive crush on Janice throughout high school. He said he just wanted her to know before he died from an undisclosed ailment.
Everyone, including Janice’s husband, turned to look at Janice, who was doing her best to appear as though she wasn’t even there.
Ahh, I’m beginning to look forward to this.
Reunions are not much fun now. As John Lennon wrote, “Some are dead and some are living” …
Haven’t been to any reunions and don’t plan to. Every now and then I will run into someone from the olden days and they always have some false memory about me, and it always feels creepy. “Yeah, you and those guys used to hang out in the quad all day and play hacky sack.” Nope. Not me. Not even close. Never played it. And no idea who you could be confusing me with. “Campus police were always at your door. What were they looking for?” Nope. Never happened. Everything you think you know about me is wrong.
My only joy going to a reunion would be to see how many of the…ahem… beautiful people…I’ve outlived.
Haven’t gone to one yet. 50th is coming up in a few years… but just getting the letter from the ‘committee’ usually goes in the trash.