I suppose that there are “reunion” people just like there are “funeral” people. You know the type… those folks who will always invite themselves (even if it isn’t their class or someone they know). Well, seems like that’s not me since I have a 0 for 5 record on attending class reunions.
A short time ago, I gazed upon the last invite received from some high school classmates. It shared the details of a nice enough sounding event taking place at the adult fun world of Dave and Busters. It also happily announced the year of the reunion. Since I don’t feel a moment over 25 in spirit, the reminder was in direct conflict with my core.
Now don’t go tagging me as an anti-social type or elitist. I have no problem socializing with people I went to school with, just not all together in a collage of history. Plus, for practical purposes, my closest buddies also seem to always opt out of the festivities. Could I go back and wander among folks that faintly remember we sat in French class together? Sure, but it would be much more fun to giggle with my best buds about what we got away with outside of said French class.
I don’t think of high school as my finest hour… as glory days gone by. Some people live in those moments and I don’t. I remember spending a lot of time wishing to be done and out in the real world. Yes, the freedom of time is truly wasted on us as youth. I didn’t “peak” during those years and wasn’t a part of any stereotypical click.
I guess I just was. I belonged to a dance group. Theater and choir were my core elective focuses. I still spent time playing my flute for private recitals since I had to opt out of band to fit in the other electives (plus with me not being a morning or cold-weather person, band’s before school rehearsals on the field were not doable). My schedule each day was packed with honors and AP classes. No study hall for me since my educator parents noted “you study on your own time.” The weekends I wasn’t grounded (for simple offenses I swear) were spent hanging in coffee shops, dance bars or the movies with friends.
High school time blended into college and was a balancing act between the school world and family life. As each year ticked by, I passed through the final meltdown then implosion of my family unit via divorce. I remember feeling that the general angst of one’s growth from adolescence to adulthood seemed so unimportant. The normal woes of “does he like me,” “will he ask me out,” “I don’t like the way I look” or “why didn’t I get invited to that party” didn’t register. Somehow Homecoming doesn’t matter when you are wondering if mom’s going to get to keep the house.
So maybe my aversion to reunions is the reflecting on that particular section of the past? I glance back and can find the deep meaning or even humor in the moments, but also see so much that has changed. My 16 year-old was a pesky little thing and my 18 year-old a vicious truth-teller (not to mention the elementary school me whose favorite phrase was “but why?”). I’m not sure my adult self would want to be left in a room for an extended period of time with either old part of me (though the debate would be wicked). And so, no surprise, I didn’t make that reunion either.
Have you attended any of your class reunions? Why or why not?
Did the event end up being different then you imagined?