Today the guinea pig to my entire life – my one-year-older cousin (slash former roommate) Geanna – is playing guinea pig for the rest of us with a guest post about her recent 10-year high school reunion.
Trust me, Geanna is as discerning as they come, so this assessment is a real as it gets.
This past holiday weekend, I went home to the Jerz and managed to restrain myself from gorging my stomach with turkey, stuffing, and baked ziti (my family is Italian…) in preparation for one of the most contentious events of the decade: my 10-year high school reunion.
When the first save-the-date news broke over the internet, my friends and I immediately started to list pros and cons by which we would vote on whether or not to attend. It became clear that we were all undecided, as the very existence of Facebook made “reuniting” less of an event. We already knew who was married and what everyone looked like. Was there even a point?
We decided that it would have to be all or nothing. Lindsey made the very practical argument that we would all probably be together that night anyway, so why not enjoy an open bar and the ability to judge people in real time? Even Tim was early on board, which helped to sway the boys.
Finally, the week of our registration deadline, several group texts were sent and it was confirmed:
We were all going, and it was going to be awesome.
And it was. I’m not sure if it was the open bar or the open bar, but I don’t think there was anyone in that room who didn’t have a good night. Were there lessons learned? Bridges gapped? Epiphanies epiph-ed? No. But here are some fun observations:
1. Facebook hasn’t gotten to everyone… yet. While Facebook has kind of ruined the critical moments of a reunion catch-up, there are still some people who have held out and are simply Not. On. Facebook. (?!) Seeing someone for the first time in 10 years looses all effect when you were literally just cyber-stalking them a few hours ago while trying to figure out what to wear, but seeing someone who cannot be cyber-stalked and that you actually want to converse with is well worth the price of admission (in this case, $64).
2. Much to our chagrin, teachers do no attend reunions.
3. When you put 100+ people in a room and give them an open bar, everyone will be friends. I seriously hugged more people than I have ever hugged in a 4 hour time-span. Ever.
4. Girls will bring their “didn’t graduate with us” dates/boyfriends/fiancés/husbands. Most boys will not. This can be for many, many reasons (which have likely all been previously discussed in this blog), but I suspect it has something to do with group dynamics, intended alcohol consumption, and the always scientific “fun meter.”
5. The buddy system is still very real. Stick with your better-known friends so as to remind others of your context-through-friendship. Strategically place yourself next to a famous runner, actor, or teacher. If this does not apply, pretending that you’re someone else may also be of help.
6. Reunions are like adult mini-proms. You dress up, arrive in groups, socialize, dance, and attend an after-party. The addition of (legal) alcohol intake is what makes it so adult.
7. There is going to be some drama. Inevitably, there will be moments when people will act like they are actually still in high school. This cannot be avoided, so just try and be sure that this does not pertain to you.
8. It seems that everyone is married or engaged. And they are, for the most part. If this is something that annoys you, try to focus on the positives: not having unwanted children; not having an unwanted mortgage; not being at your 20-year high school reunion, etc.
9. Everything looks different from an outside perspective. My friend’s husband (hailing from Long Island) observed: “It seems like you and your friends were the most fun, popular kids in high school!” We were (and are) very fun, yes, but this statement cannot be father from the truth. Also, this is why we love Andrew (note: please see #4 of this list).
10. My friends from high school are the TRUTH. While everyone stays in touch with certain people here and there, my core group of friends from high school is still part of my core group of friends today. Say what you will, but my date for reunion was my date for senior prom, and I arrived in a taxi filled with people that have been close friends for over 15 years. It is amazing and abnormal and really kind of unnerving, but walking into a room armed with that kind of history makes anything, even going back to high school, a good time.