Derek and I attended my ten-year high school reunion on Saturday.
There were two parts: a picnic at the local park where kids were welcomed and a casual gathering at the local bar that was adults only.
I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect for either. There are friends from high school that I’ve casually kept in touch with over the years (or stalked via Facebook), but I’m probably the worst person in the world when it comes to keeping in touch with anyone that doesn’t live in the same city as me. The. Worst. For most people in my graduating class, it had been 10 years since I’d seen them, and others I hadn’t seen since college or random weddings here and there.
Still, when we pulled up to the park for the first time, it felt like nothing had changed. In fact, everyone really looked the same, too. We were just older – and in some instances slightly larger/smaller – versions of our high school selves.
I felt out of place not having a kid with me, they were everywhere. I sat at a table with friends I knew better from college than high school (one of them was even my roommate in college) and we joked that we were the kids-free table since it felt like we were the only ones in the reunion who didn’t have munchkins at our sides. Though we all did have dogs, which we all gushed about as if they were our kids. Maybe we should have called our table the crazy dog couple table?
Not only did everyone have kids, but we were all married, too. Some high school classmates had married each other (I think I’ve counted 10 couples that were in our graduating class and are now married), while others brought in new faces and we all tried to figure out which one was a classmate and which one was a married-in spouse. (A friend’s husband who was not part of our graduating class had a 10-minute conversation with someone who was in our class and thought he had graduated with us.)
There weren’t a lot of classmates that came to the picnic. Maybe 30? And it surprised me that none of the “popular” kids were there. I guess they all decided to stay home. There are still one or two former classmates that intimidated me back then and, 10 years later, they still intimidate me today. I guess some of those old high school insecurities never go away, no matter how many times we tell ourselves we’ve moved on from them.
I still had a great time at the picnic reminiscing. Old photos were brought out and we all joked about our horrible fashion choices and cursed the world before hair straighteners came along. The old school newspaper was passed around and we all realized how terribly off we were about where we predicted we would be in ten years.
Umm… yeah. About that full length feature film I’m working on…. Oh, and definitely NOT pregnant. At least I got the happily married part right.
We had a small memorial for classmates who are no longer with us.
It was the first time I’d been in a group of people who also knew Amber since she passed this year. It was hard to hold my emotions in. I believe we all got choked up talking about Amber and the great times we had together in high school. She really was the girl who was everybody’s friend. Such a hugh ball of energy and personality, she’s dearly missed.
The picnic ended around 3:00, with plans of meeting at the local bar later in the evening. I have to tell you, I think I liked the bar setting for the reunion a little more. The alcohol helped remove some of the awkwardness from earlier in the day and conversations just flowed. Though, that’s not always a good thing. Just a heads up, if someone at your future class reunion gains a bunch of weight in college and then loses it, don’t tell that person, “You blew up in college. Don’t get me wrong, you look great now, but you definitely blew up for a few years there.” Asshole.
It was at the bar that I talked to people that I really didn’t talk to in high school. That’s where I felt like a lot of the barriers were removed. We also had a few more people in attendance that weren’t at the park earlier in the day. It was all really casual and fun.
Ten years later and everyone seems like they’re in a really good place. I can’t wait to see where we’ll all be in another ten years!
Did you attend your ten year reunion?