blast to the past

So I went to my ten-year high school reunion last week.

The short form is that there isn’t too much interesting to say; there weren’t any CIA spooks or hired assassins after me, and the whole event was hosted at a club rather than at the school, so Grosse Pointe Blank hijinks were not terribly likely. There were some people there I was glad to see, a bunch more I would have liked to see but didn’t come, and (thanks to the size of my graduating class) a giant crowd of people I wouldn’t have recognized ten years ago, either.

But it does encourage a bit of reflection. I don’t think I’ve changed very much in ten years, you see. Not so much because I’m still invested in who I was in high school — at least I don’t think that’s the case — but rather, I figured out quite a long time ago who I wanted to be after high school. What’s happened since then is, I’ve gotten better at being that person. I liked fantasy novels: my taste in them has improved. I liked certain kinds of art: I have the money to buy nicer examples of it now. I wanted to be a writer: I have three books in print. Music (in the performance sense) has sadly left my life, as has dance, but there’s no sense that I’ve “outgrown” them; the love is still there. I’ve gotten back into fencing. My hair is still long. <g> I’m just better at being me.

I can live with that.

Anybody have exciting high-school reunion stories? Did any of you rush off to reinvent yourselves after you escaped the madhouse?

0 Responses to “blast to the past”

  1. mastergode

    I had what was quite possibly the best high school reunion experience that I could possibly have had.

    I was the fairly typical nerd in high school. I was popular in my own right in that everyone knew who I was, but I hung out with the other uncool kids, and was never invited to hang out with the cool people. I was made fun of, and generally put down upon.

    Ten years later, I’ve come into my own. If absolutely nothing else has changed, I’ve learned to dress better, and I’ve developed confidence.

    So when I went to my high school reunion, it went about as well as it could possibly have gone. One girl told me that she’d been waiting ten years to tell me that she thought I was awesome. Another that used to make fun of me ended up… <coughs> ahem. Let’s just say that I feel vindicated and revitalized about my past in that respect.

    Meanwhile, the jock guys had grown up and matured as well (to some degree, at least) and not only were they like, “Man, Austin, you’re really cool,” but they were actually in awe of me for some of the stuff I’ve done.

    To go from being the nerd to being something like the life of the party is quite a long way, but man, it felt great. In that single weekend, I expunged any of the remaining grudges or anxieties that were left over from high school, and I emerged a new man.

  2. clodfobble

    What a timely post. My reunion is this Saturday. (And to think, all this time I thought you were in AD’s graduating class…)

    I am moderately wary of it. I am pretty sure that I’m going to end up with one of those “awards” they give out, for having the most kids (if you count the stepkids I’m at 4, tied with one other person and surpassed by no one that I’ve heard of.) While that doesn’t bother me in and of itself, I’m not looking forward to the inevitable conversations where people shake their heads and try to make me justify my choices. While I didn’t rush off to reinvent myself, there were aspects of myself I didn’t share with a lot of people–like, for example, I always knew I wanted to have a big family–so some of them are going to think I have.

    I think it’ll be fine in the end. There are several people I’m looking forward to seeing, and the one person I would really like to avoid is looking like she won’t be there. Honestly, I’m more worried about leaving my husband home alone with all the kids than anything else. 🙂

  3. kendokamel

    My reunion was also hosted at a club. I was a bit bummed, because we’d never gotten to hear our class song at prom, because the DJ had thought it was “lame”, but this club had a house DJ on the first floor, so we were stuck with whatever music they were playing.

    They promised us we’d have the floor to ourselves until midnight, but they kept letting people up, anyway. There was this one drunk guy who clearly had not graduated with us, and he kept trying to paw at our former class VP (who was 8 months pregnant). He also tried to paw at me, and I just pushed his hands away. Looking back, I kind of wish I had pulled some neato martial arts move and pinned him to the ground, but oh well.

    In the end, I went with – and hung out with – the four or five people with whom I’d hung out with, back then. But we had a blast.

    I ended up being the DD on the way home, driving my one friend’s new car. He was in the passenger seat, and our other friend and his boyfriend were in the back seat. They were drunk and loud and kept switching the cds that blared clubby music, and yelling, and asking me to pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease stop at Taco Bell!

    At one point, the one in front put his hand on my knee and said, “Missy [you can tell who knew me before I was 12, because they keep calling me that], you. are. a. GODDESS! I mean, here you are, driving a car that’s not even yours… full of screaming drunken queens, and you haven’t driven us into a pole, yet!”

    In the end, I took them to Taco Bell.

  4. mrissa

    I didn’t go to my reunion. I went to London.

    I’ve heard from a few people from my high school who were just sure that I was totally different than they’d expected, and that I was supposed to have cured cancer or become a judge by now. Except that I was never interested in biomedical research or the law, so…yah, I think that was not so much me as their idea of smart people.

  5. time_shark

    My best friend from high school talked me into going to our 20th anniversary reunion last year (!!!). It was fine … I pretty much put high school behind me and forgot about it after I graduated. Except for aforementioned friend, I haven’t really bothered to keep up with anyone.

    I had a really pleasant meeting with my 11th grade creative writing teacher, who came specifically to see me and my buddy.

    For the most part, the people who were the upper echelon social clique of jocks and pretties in high school were still that at the reunion, not that I cared. I was mostly struck by how many of the boys from back then are now completely bald.

  6. elizaeffect

    I’m not old enough for a tenth-anniversary-reunion yet, but if I do somehow contract severe brain damage and decide to attend, I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t somehow end with me in jail for assault. I’ve gotten a lot meaner and looser with my backfists in the ensuing years.

  7. diatryma

    I think I would have more fun with an Outrageously Big reunion. My mother’s high school did that, an Outrageously Big Seventies Reunion. If you attended the high school during any portion of the seventies, you were invited. It meant whole families came, people connected with friends who were older, and if nothing else there were many more people there.

    I’m not sure if I’ll go to mine. On the one hand, people I haven’t seen in years. On the other hand, I didn’t lose people gradually as college went on, but all in one lump, which set off some ickiness in my brain.

  8. Anonymous

    I didn’t go to mine last year, too expensive to fly half way across the country. I didn’t really want to go much anyway. Wasn’t really a popular kid in high school, big surprise, and any of my friends from back then weren’t going so there wasn’t really anyone I wanted to see. I will admit to a certain curiosity though to find out what happened to the “popular” kids after they graduated. Who knows maybe I’ll go to the next one.

    You know, whenever you post stuff like this it reminds me that you’re younger than me, which I always forget. For some reason I always think you’re like one year older than me, when really you’re one year younger than me.


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