I recently passed up my high school reunion. I had a couple of good reasons as well as maybe some questionable ones. I honestly had some mixed feelings. Who isn't a little curious what people look like and what they're doing with their lives? And I don't mean curious like you want to catch up over appetizers and beer, I mean curious like you wouldn't mind peeking at them from afar and hearing a brief update through the grapevine. However, we all know that the class reunion is not intended for just observing from afar.
I feel like class reunions, in a way, are a thing of the past. For example, my mom has always gone to hers. It's a big fancy event that everyone attends. They have a nice dinner and there's dancing and formalwear. My mom goes because she knows and (generally) likes all the people she graduated with and they will, for the most part, all be there. She has a great time catching up with all of them and reminiscing about their old times as well as talking about everyone's children and grandchildren. Ok, so I can understand the desire to attend such an event.
People and society in America has changed since my mom was in high school. I feel like class reunions are essentially designed for my mom's era of folks. Think about the 1950s for a minute. I get images of unlocked doors, tons of kids in every neighborhood who all play together and are in and out of each other's homes daily. All the parents of all the kids know each other. Crime takes place only in the worst neighborhoods of the worst cities. Small town suburban America is safe and friendly. I didn't live in the '50s, but I'm in the middle of a book written by a guy who was a kid then, and this is pretty close to his description. Now think about today. Kids today are spoiled and mean. You hear stories in the news about children as young as middle school and as old as college who have taken their own lives because their peers were so mean to them. Thinking about high-schoolers in the last decade or two brings up images of cliques and kids with emotional issues.
Well, my high school was no different. It was full of a lot of wealthy kids. I was not one of them. Most kids fell into some kind of clique- band, sports, arts/theater, snobs, super-smart. I was none of those either. I mean, I didn't just sit around by myself, I had friends. I just wasn't in any exclusive group, while most kids in my school were. I went to school, went to class, and then went to work after school. It wasn't miserable, I actually really liked high school. I just wasn't friends with every single kid and honestly didn't care to be.
So in thinking about my high school reunion, you can imagine where I stood. There are a small handful of people I was friends with who I've lost touch with since graduation. I wouldn't mind seeing them or catching up with them. A lot of people I've reconnected with through Facebook. As for everyone else? I really don't care. I might have been remotely enticed if the reunion itself was geared toward people our age. Instead it was planned by the people who had been in the cliques. Is it any wonder they were the ones who wanted to organize the event that would let them revisit the time in their lives when they were king/queen? Gag. It was at night in a bar in the city. Ok, I'm not so old that I can't go to a bar. But really? That's how you're trying to have a high school reunion? Can you even have a conversation in a bar? Nevermind catch up on all the things that have transpired in your life since high school. But then I guess if not much has changed... I digress. It was something like $50 for crappy bar food and beer. I'm also not too much of a snob for bar food and beer, but I'm not spending that kind of money on it. Oh and my husband also graduated with me making that a $100 night for us... to hang out with people who probably don't even know my name. On top of that, my baby was too little to leave with a sitter and I wasn't taking her to the bar. That was the excuse I didn't even need :]
I sound like a Scrooge, I know. But unlike Christmas, there was nothing redeeming about this party. Believe me, I saw the pictures. The only people pictured were the same people I mentioned earlier- the kids who were popular, that only associated with each other, and may not have even known that I went to their school. Interestingly, they were all either exactly the same or 50 pounds heavier. A lot of the girls were still unmarried (which is fine) and the boys had less hair. But there they were, still doing the same crap with the same people. It was like they never moved on. No thanks.
The funniest part of the whole thing is that these people who were too cool for me in high school are suddenly sending Facebook friend requests and asking me to come to their party. Am I honestly to believe that all the sudden you care if I'm there or not? They don't, and that's ok with me. As it turns out, the people I want to stay in touch with from high school, I'm still in touch with!
I'll probably never go to a high school reunion. Part of me wonders if that's lame. The other part of me is pretty sure that the reunion is lame. What do you think? Ever been to your reunion? I kind of hope not all high school classes are the way mine was ;]