My inner tenth grader still pegs her jeans

As twentieth high school reunions go, I'm thinking mine was a little lame.  No major blowups, no tearful confessions, no hookups.

(That I saw anyway.)

My high school's reunion was on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so I'm assuming most of the people attending either have family who still live in the area or they themselves still live in the area.  Fifty some of us milled around our town community center for a somewhat stilted cocktail party.

There were people there I didn't talk to in high school.  And OH LOOK I STILL DIDN'T TALK TO THEM.  But it was so different this time.  When we didn't speak in high school, I was positive it was because there was something wrong with me.  Surely they were passing judgment on my spiral perm or finding me lacking in other major ways, perhaps my inability to correctly peg my jeans.  And while it's totally possible this was happening then, and - WHO KNOWS - now, I find the difference is this:  I don't care.

Like, I REALLY don't care.

I am surprised by how little I care.  I spoke with the people I really wanted to see,  met significant others, and even chatted with a few people who wandered past or joined conversations I was already in.  I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the people I saw and catching up on their lives.  Everyone else was just there.

On the schadenfreude level, there is something refreshing about seeing that the popular kids have aged just like the rest of us.  We're all a little thicker, a little more wrinkled.  Intellectually I knew this, but seeing it person, and realizing on an emotional level that they are just people, feels like a balm on my inner tenth grade soul.  It retroactively changes my perception of high school.  They are people.  They WERE people.  They weren't gods.  They didn't lead perfect lives.

This reunion allowed for an integration that I didn't know I needed. I can integrate who these people were then with who they are now.  I can integrate who I was then with who I am now.  My inner tenth grader is soothed and calmed and feeling a whole lot better about herself.

Have you gone to a high school reunion?  How was it?


Kathi D. said...

My 10th was stressful because I still cared. My 20th was more enjoyable because I didn't care. And the homecoming queen was the one that had gained the most weight and that just made me feel better about the world. And the fact a total partier had the same job I had made everything that put us in pecking orders in high school, including academic achievement seem so much less important. Too bad we can't learn all that in high school, huh?

twisterfish said...

I've only been to one, my 20th. And that was enough. They didn't even plan one for our 25th (or maybe they just didn't tell me about it?). My 30th is coming up in a 2 years and I'm pretty sure I'm busy that weekend. ;)

The best part, other than seeing that everyone was human (as you noted as well!) was that the ladies looked so much better than the guys! Good to know we age better!

Bird said...

I went to a multi year HS reunion. At one point one of the football players came over and said hi and I nearly fell over because (a) he knew my name? and (b) he was talking to me?!?! Many years later and I was still in my 10th grade mindset. After I got over the shock we chatted for a bit. The whole even was kind of nice since I was more willing talk to a lot of people that I wasn't close to in high school.

grammalouie said...

I think the farther away from the high school years you get, the more interesting and, yes, even fun reunions can be. I say can be. They won't necessarily be fun - there are no guarantees!
I have developed lasting and deep friendships with people I knew from high school that I was not particularly close to at the time. But now, since we are all of a certain age, lots of the past just melts away and what's left is some significant common ground. And that has value. And, yes, there are some people I really don't care about but so what. Those I do care about are really special to me. We have a connection that goes back a long, long time. I feel very lucky, actually.

momof3 said...

I went to my 10 year reunion and had a good time but mostly hung out with the same friends I did in high school. I had only been married for 6 months and got to meet another friend's husband as well. It is rumored that there will be a 30 year reunion and I am looking forward to going since I've been reconnected to so many of my high school classmates via facebook. Many of these, I didn't talk to very much while in school but we have maintained friendships via fb. We'll see if I change my mind as we get closer.

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