Monday, June 21, 2010

A Tale of 20 Year Reunions

It was neither the best of times nor was it the worst of times, it was definitely not the age of wisdom though the age of foolishness seems apropos. It was the epoch of Pegged Pants, the season of Eyebrows, the spring of wine coolers, the winter of doobies pinched and spittled at the end. We had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to graduation, we were all going in a direction that turned out not to be direct whatsoever. We were the class of 1990, a year that once sounded so forward yet now reminds me of baby doll dresses, Bush Sr., dried roses and Bust a Move.
My 20 year high school reunion is coming up, further evidence of a gaping hole in the space/time continuum. Somewhere I am still 17, drawing bad southwestern geckos on my binder during chemistry class while wearing a men's vest, my lips dark with Wet-n-Wild lipliner #666. At the same time I am here, my jeans boot cut, my mouth all cherry flavored Chapstick. I am afraid if I go to my reunion the coordinate system of physics will fold upon itself and my eyebrows will explode into a thousand furry caterpillars of what they once were. Perhaps this loose grasp on science and the gecko is why I got a D in chemistry.

I was talking to a friend of mine this weekend who made the very valid point that Facebook has ruined reunions. Why pay for a bad dinner and suck in my gut for the night when I can just go online in my bathrobe and view Memorial Day bbq photos of that guy who was in my ceramics class?

And yet--I want to go. I think, you know, maybe. Like if I don't get any good movies from Netflix that weekend. I don't know. (There might be people I graduated with reading this post since I cross-publish on Facebook, so, um, hi there. You going?) The thing is we are 37 now, 38. We are not supposed to think about being cool and yet there it is--20 years later and we're still wondering who's going to be at the party and saying that we don't care.

I don't care. It was 4 years, 20 years ago. A few hundred people who knew me back when I tucked in my shirt. Some of them I have stayed close friends with, most I have not. But this time I don't care in the sense that yes, I want to go. Now I just need to convince Bryan.

I cannot for the life of me remember the name of my English teacher freshman year, but I do remember he always excused the redheads first because he said his wife had red hair and he loved her. He also assigned us Dickens. "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." There was a boy in that class who told me I had a face as round as a pancake and I cried. One day a girl farted in class and I laughed. I got a B and the comment that I did not work to my potential. It was a story about Resurrection, that much I know, though I don't expect much more from my reunion than just a night out drinking with people I once knew who knew me at 17.

14 comments:

Sherry said...

just went to my 25th last summer and actually had the time of my life. our 'group' went with no spouses and partied like rockstars together like no time had passed. funny thing was how easily we all fell right back into our high school roles..i was the spacey, wild blonde, my friend was the cheerleader, one guy always drove us everywhere, one guy new all the scoop, the other girl was the level-headed one. we all fell right back into those roles so easily. i think we could have easily even tp'd someone's house that night---instead we went to the casinos. age gets us every time. have fun!!

benson said...

I LOVED going to my reunions. Could it be that I was SUCH a dweeb in high school (a late bloomer)and just wanted to say "hello" to the "cool kids"?? The funny thing is that once I was there...the other kids said I was the "cool kid" in high school...isn't it funny how we perceive ourselves in that time? The 20th and thereafter are the best ones...most people are "what you see is what you get" and not trying too hard (um...some people maybe SHOULD try a little harder but I digress...) Have a great time!

mosey said...

I've missed all my reunions, partially because I live 3000 miles away from where I went to high school, partially because I probably wouldn't have gone anyway. My name is hidden on Facebook specifically so high school friends can't find me.

I couldn't get out of high school fast enough, and thankfully don't feel a need to revisit.

Have fun though! It's not that I don't wish I had fond memories of that time....

Cindy said...

I just went to my 25th last summer too. It was fine. A little boring. FaceBook actually helped me ease into it before making the trip back.

I am a lot fatter (a lot) than I was in high school, however: 1. I only weighed 100 then, and 2. Most every woman was even bigger than I am. So there was that.

I also cried about being compared to pancakes in school, but it had nothing to do with my face, and everything to do with my tiny boobies.

xo

Dan said...

I have a 40th coming up in a couple of years now. It is fun to see how people have changed every 5 years. I've enjoyed the re-unions immensely: it is always amazing to see how some people bloomed into amazingly different people after high school and others went didn't.

Enjoy the experience.

AppleTree said...

I too am part of the class of 1990. Where did the time go? I too am torn about going to the reunion. I mean if I am going to get a sitter, and a hotel room, I want to do something more fun than drink beer in the Legion Hall with people I don't remember very well. But still, I am skinnier now than I was in high school so I sort of want to. Stupid.

Robin said...

I agree that facebook has ruined reunions to a degree. But I still went to my 10 and will probably go to future ones too. Looking forward to your stories about it...

Erin said...

Ach. so, we didn't seal the deal with Bryan at dinner the other night? Or, did we actually make things worse by allowing him to sit next to Adam? That husband of mine was the one to say that Facebook has made reunions obsolete, right? Hmm, new plan, new plan. How about just buying the tickets and then he'll have to go?

Chree said...

Maybe we can buy Bryan's ticket for his birthday? :)

Jules said...

I'm another class of 90 girl, and I am actually putting together the reunion with my friend from high school. It's a total pain in the ass, but we're hoping it will be worth it in the end.

Richie Designs said...

my 20th was a nightmare. I just could not be the adult I've become but instead rushed back into feeling like the not good enough 17 year old.

It took me a month to recover from the trauma.

All I can say is drink a lot before arriving it will make it better.

Rosalie said...

Mr. James?
Xo
Ro

Petunia Face said...

Rosalie--Oh god, no, it wasn't Mr. James--I would NEVER forget that hot side of British silver fox English teacher. No, this was some small guy that might have retired by the time you got there.

Erin/Chree--Bryan is definitely not in yet. And while I have come to terms with the fact that I want to go, I don't know if I will go without him. Still accepting ideas on how to change his mind.

Everyone else--keep the reunion stories coming!

xo,
S

Dawn said...

20th reunion next week. The nice thing about Facebook is I know who will be there and who won't "the ex-boyfriend". I will report back.