Don’t Remind Me

Posted On April 10, 2008

Filed under Ramblings
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Comments Dropped 16 responses

The inevitable barrage of emails has begun. Scarcely a week goes by that I don’t get some notification that I’m getting that much older.

My 20th high school reunion is this year

I’m really kind of struggling to understand the appeal of a high school reunion. I don’t keep in touch with these people. Haven’t seen 99 percent of them in 20 years. What’s the point? Remembering the good ol’ days?

Let me be totally honest here. I do not consider high school “the best days of my life.” If anything, high school was a special kind of torture that violated the rules of the Geneva Convention.

I grew up in a small town in Alabama. One high school. I was most assuredly not one of the “popular” crowd. My hair was too frizzy. I had virtually no social skills whatsoever. My family was barely middle class. I didn’t have the “right” clothes or shoes or fashion sense. No car. No drivers license. Most of what sticks out in my mind about high school were all the times I was made fun of for wearing Wal-mart clothes and bobo tennis shoes. Of never having a date to Homecoming and getting dumped two weeks before my one and only prom.

And I want to relive those glory days why?

I went to the 10th, although I’m still not sure why. Maybe I had something to prove, that I wasn’t that dork any more. For two days, I felt like I was back in high school, wearing the wrong clothes and sporting bad hair. I was miserable. A friend of mine who is a few years older told me that first reunion is a bit like high school still; however, the 20th is much better. People are less about who they were, she says, and have moved out of those old cliques.

I had a little taste of my reunion when I went home for Christmas. I met two girls for lunch one day, to catch up. Although I have known both of them for more than 20 years, I can’t really say we were friends back in the day. They were both part of the “in crowd,” with active social lives that were a stark contrast to mine. And while we sat at that restaurant, and I listened to them talk about the people in their circle of friends — folks with whom we went to high school — I realized how different my life has been. The people to whom I am the closest are friends I have known no more than 10 years, and none are from my hometown. I have moved forward and happily embraced a different life.

It may be true that a 20th reunion breaks down all those old high school walls. But I’m still the first person in my class to Rsvp “no.”

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16 Responses to “Don’t Remind Me”

  1. mikawendy

    Bizarre question for you: Did you go to the same high school in Alabama as Courteney Cox (as in the actress who played Monica on Friends)? I had two co-workers at different points in my life who went to that high school. (No obligation to answer. But if you want to answer but not on the blog, you can e-mail me.)

    My 15th HS reunion is coming up this year. I’m not sure if I’m going to go. I went to the 10th and wound up talking mostly to the people I’ve kept in touch with anyways, in addition to a few folks whom I wish I had known more back in HS and college. But there was a whole slew of folks that I didn’t socialize with back then and didn’t at the 10th reunion, either.

    If there were middle school reunions, I would NEVER go to those. That was the social crucible for me, more than HS. Two awkward years, and the teachers that year were “working to rule” over some contract disputes, so there were very few actual afterschool activities.

  2. Stacey

    I went to my 20th last year and enjoyed it very much–however only because I avoided the super-b*^%$ like the plague (she’s still the same). The rest of us, we grew up. Very sad for her, though.

    I’m very sorry your last one was terrible, I didn’t do my 10. I was pregnant and not feeling it! This time, nothing a few three or ten beers wouldn’t help get me through!

  3. Jessi

    Ugggh – I feel the same way about high school. Good for you!

  4. Kuky

    I’ve never had an interest in going to my high school reunion, never been. Everyone I’m interested in keeping in touch with, I do. I don’t really care about anybody else. Our last one which I guess had to be our 10th (I don’t know, I’m not on the mailing list) my friend begged me to go but I was a big meany and said nope.

    And I don’t know if there was a popular crowd in my school. You know, there probably was. I was just oblivious. 🙂

  5. nichol

    Thanks for this post. I never understood how the high school years were suppose to be the glory days. I never went to prom either. But, I am only sad about that because I can’t show my future kids the prom picture. They always look so hilarious a decade later for some reason. I’m glad you aren’t going! Good riddance.

  6. Lis Garrett

    I didn’t got to my 10-year reunion, only because it costs and arm and a leg for a family of 5 to fly from New York to Georgia AND because my kids were still in school. In a class of almost 700, I heard that very few people turned out (glad we didn’t waste the money).

    I don’t know if I will go to my 20th. I went with my husband to his a few years back, and it was L-A-M-E. Everyone stood around talking about their kids.

  7. applecyder

    LOVE your comment about the Geneva Convention! This was a great post.

  8. Carrie

    I have had zero desire to go to any of my high school reunions – just missed the 25th two years ago. Same reasons as you – why relive it all? I see who I want to see, and that’s that.

  9. sadira

    I’m going to mine…it’s this summer. Since I live in the same town and have a business here, I feel obligated. I wonder why that is? I mean, most of the people I really want to see I’ve kept in touch with, or they’ve ferreted me out already…

  10. Elizabeth

    High school wasn’t terrible for me but it wasn’t great either. I skipped the 10th and I don’t think they had a 15th. As we creep up on the 20th (how in the world did that happen?!) I’m pretty sure I’ll skip that one too.

  11. Shannon

    I went to my 10th a couple of years ago and, I’m with you, its like we never left the darn place. I have heard that 20 is way better too. I’m not sure that I will feel the need to go. The people that I like I still keep in touch with. As for the rest, there’s probably a reason that I don’t.

  12. Dena

    I could have written this post word for word. Including the small town in Alabama (Walker County!), the not keeping in touch with mates, seeing how different my life is now and saying NO to going this year.

    My town was def not Mountain Brook (Courtney Cox school) That was for rich folks. I was the poorest amongst the poor and that was pretty bad, but to be a band geek, book reading nerd was like a sin!

    I can honestly say, I don’t miss the school days, nor the people who went there. So don’t you fret about not wanting to go either!

  13. Jen

    I’ve never gone to high school reunions. A) Because they are in California and flying there to see people who were so self-centered is not worth it to me and b) really, do I have to go to those things to catch up with people who didn’t care to keep in touch with me. I am with you. I will stay very far away from that weirdness. 😉

  14. susie

    You are so smart to rsvp no. Our stories sound so similar, except for I grew up in a tiny town in Georgia. I am not kidding you, it was so small that we had one flashing light and the elementary school I went to went from Kindergarten to 8th grade. I went to one of the two high schools in my county (Cherokee High) and felt like you. I left there when I graduated and never moved back. I did, however, go to my 20th reunion 4 years ago, and it was amazing the way seeing some of those people made me feel like I was in high school again. Very insecure, and not part of the crowd. I was so mad at myself for for allowing those circumstances to make me feel that way. I am very happy with who I am, where I am, and confident that I am fulfilling my purpose in life. No one said or did anything to make me feel that way, but I realized that I never did really deal with how high school affected me. Like my husband says all the time when he doesn’t want to go some place: “Why would I want to go there, I didn’t lose anything there!” I have wonderful friends now, a wonderful family that I love dearly, and don’t miss one thing about high school!

  15. mbjesq

    I understand the fear and loathing; but here’s the dissenting view.

    Cheers,

    MBJ

  16. Annah

    Gheeze did all of us grow up in a small town in ‘Bama? I went for 10 minutes to my 10th. Everyone had gotten fat and either become preachers or married one! I was a wild child (Artist, rode a bike to school, didn’t attend the Baptist church and Actually filed a complaint against a teacher for touching me sexually) and wasn’t thought of as one of the clique. That was over 35 years ago. Now I look back at some newspaper photos of classmates that have stayed local (like the cow stump breaking classmate who is now a vet and on a bank board of directors) and am so glad that I was above those dorks and “Heathers” and got out of there. I have traveled all over the world, Married someone who lets me be me, instead of working at Wall Mart I sell 4 painting a year for several thousand each and I can still wear my high school prom dress. I consider my “Time spent” as an experience on how not to treat people. I taught my daughter and grandchildren that and hope it sticks. And the sooner they put mandatory punishment in for school bullies in the better. OK I am off my soapbox now.

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