Monday, May 17, 2010

Should I go to my high school reunion?

So we were minding our own business on our laptop a few weeks ago, working on our second book (we've come into some turbulent writer's block lately, it makes us want to slam our head on the table a few times to jump start our imaginations) when we got an email. Not any email, but the all-too-cheerful "It's been 10 years; it's time for our high school reunion!!!!" mass email.

Ugh.

Not that we didn't have fun in high school. We had many Wonder-Years-meets-Saved-By-The-Bell moments from those four years. But that's just it. They were only four years of our ever-amazing life, where nothing particularly noteworthy happened (if you don't include watching your best friend get hit in the face with a baby carrot that came flying across the quad at lunch one day, courtesy of a varsity baseball player out for blood who apparently had terrible aim in his attempt to hit the surfer near us. Needless to say we don't think the guy ever made it to the pros.) Oh and also high school was where we first met J freshman year through our best friend (the best friend that later got dinged by the flying, killer carrot). We were good friends with J for almost two years until we thought it'd be funny to play a nasty (but funny) prank on him that involved trash in his backpack and well, that was the end of that friendship (until he found me 8 years later. But that's the Story of Us, not this.) Confession: We loved playing mischievous pranks on everyone back then.

Other than that high school was a blip for us. A blip that happened 10 years ago, and that we really have no ties to (we stopped talking to all our friends from high school right around the time we graduated and realized -- while taking college English courses at night our senior year -- that people in college were so much more open-minded, intelligent, and cooler. People who actually cared about the classes they took? Oh, the novelty of such an idea.)

We suppose the best way to make a decision about this alleged reunion looming ever larger on the horizon would be doing the mature thing. We're going to make a list of reasons for and against, like adults do. (Adults do this ... right? *crickets.*) Pressing forward...

Reasons to attend reunion:

Hrm. Nothing comes to mind at the moment. Drawing a blank.

...

Still blank...

Oh yes, J wants to go. Don't ask us why.

Reasons to not attend reunion:
  • Tickets are $65. Yup, $65, which means for the two of us it would be a 130 bones. Not that we couldn't afford it, but personally when I see $65 I don't automatically think "Oooh, oooh! I can't wait to run out and buy my reunion ticket!" which, now that I think about it, probably doesn't include anything more than a two-drink ticket minimum and regret. Yes, regret. Why? Because when I see $65, I think 10th-row seats at a Rush concert, not "high school reunion".
  • No offense to anyone attending, but they're basically strangers to us. Why pay $65-$85 (depending on when tickets are purchased) to hang out with a bunch of people we didn't care about 10 years ago, much less now?
  • With the advent of Facebook there is no point for reunions anymore. We can all see what we're up to and how many babies and husbands and affairs each of us has had, so there's no element of surprise in guessing who might have invented Post-Its, or what that nerdy Sandy Frink-esque guy in computer class ended up doing with his life. All that info's online.
If there's one thing we've learned since high school, it's that we had much too brash and saucy of a personality to have ever gotten through those four years without being misunderstood more than once. And we feel at any reunion we'd be misunderstood once again. Like some fascinating hybrid of Daria and Quinn Morgendorffer (it is possible to be both, we were living proof), we strutted through our four years under many guises:

The "Clueless" phase: We remember the very first time we saw Clueless, kind of like when people remember where they were when Kennedy was shot. It was 8th grade, we went with one of our (then) best friends and her mom to Cinema 9 in downtown Santa Cruz. It took mere minutes until I was completely, utterly hooked. A revolving closet! The ability to manipulate teachers' love lives for higher grades! And the plaid, oh the plaid! We were just coming off our "My So-Called Life" phase so the pleated plaid mini-skirts were an excellent transition from our Kurt Cobain-esque flannels to something more prim and ladylike. We stocked up on these and short babydoll tees with plaid hearts embroidered on the chest. Fashionable things like that. Oh and this phase is what also kicked off our love for chunky disco-style platforms that we'd wear with our skirts and tees to school for some God-awful reason, as though we were attending a rave at 8:40am on a Tuesday, tottering across the parking lot from the school buses in the coastal fog. We were so cool.

The hippie phase: We foolishly thought our freshman year that we were, in fact, a direct reincarnation of John Lennon himself. (Don't ask, we have no idea. All we know is there were many birkenstocks, flower head wreaths and coke-bottle sunglasses to be had.) We felt grossly misunderstood by the general public.

The Aaliyah phase: Herein we dropped our hippie duds for more BET-style garb. It was sophomore year, when Missy Elliot in her inflated trash bag outfit was so cool and it was totally normal for WASPy kids to act like they knew exactly what kind of hardships Tupac rapped about in "All Eyez On Me". In a foolish attempt to be as amazing as Aaliyah, we too donned baggy, ill-fitting cargo pants kept up by drawstring, tiny tank tops, silver wire armbands, and lots of glitter makeup on our eyelids (that clear goop from Claire's with the overstated glitter flecks, don't pretend you don't know exactly what we're talking about.) In this phase we listened to lots and lots of rap, hip hop, soul, and pretty much anything that was considered "hood", was featured on "Yo! Mtv Raps", or had ties to either Keith Sweat or 112. (Note: We still listen to hip hop, but back then we didn't yet have the refined palate for music that we have today. Back then owning "Mtv's Party to Go" cds made us very, very cool in our book.)

The rockabilly/punk phase: Following our love affair with black and white camo, we decided that rockabilly everything was amazing after checking out a punk show downtown with friends. So we tossed our baggy cargo pants for tight, straight-legged, dark denim jeans (cuffed at the bottom, of course), bought faux "nerd" glasses and a pair of black leather shoes with red leather flames on the toes, only listened to punk and ska, and swore by anything affiliated with James Dean, "Rebel Without a Cause", and leopard print. Our favorite thing to do was go downtown with friends every weekend to check out punk and ska shows and now that we think about it these formative years were what shaped much of our musical tastes today.

And somehow, after all those extremes, we ended up finding ourselves our first year of college and never looked back. Now we are (seemingly) normal at first glance. But for us, that was high school in a nutshell.

What were you all like in high school? Was I an anomaly or was it also a time for you to dabble in different identities, trying to find the best one? Bottom line: Would you go to your 10-year reunion?

21 comments:

Patience said...

I didn't go to mine simply for the reason you stated, why would I pay to hang out with a bunch of folks I don't know and could care less about. It was an easy decision for me.

Little Miss Moneybags said...

I skipped my ten year reunion last year. Frankly, I didn't like high school or most of the people there, and the few I care to keep in touch with, I do. And with Facebook, I can get updates on those I don't care about so...yeah. There was no point. (And nope, I don't regret it.)

Maritza said...

Wow, if I didn't know better, I'd have guessed we went to the same high school. =) It's a little embarrassing looking back at the trends, but hey, it was fun! I'm still debating whether to attend my HS Reunion this year, but I'm leaning to no. The only lean to "yes" is that a friend who's in England will be in town - but she's the only reason. Do you have anyone that you don't have a chance to see often attending the reunion? Let us know if you end up going and if you do, how it is!

Linda said...

No I wouldn't go. Simply because I don't care and I don't feel like having to explain to 150 people exactly what I do, and where I do it. It's exhausting if you think about it really...

colfin said...

In high school I was totally goth/punker. And I had my haircut super short and sported the Pat Benatar look (leg warmers and all... sorry I'm a bit older than you and most of your readers!). My hair was dozens of different colors and my dress of choice was anything black. (Still is as I write it off as being slimming!)

I went to my 5-year but only because my friends tricked me into it. We were going to a bar for some drinks and ironically that's where the reunion was. I had gone to college out of state had really had no desire to hang with people who didn't associate with me in HS.

I skipped to 10 year and we didn't have a 20 year. I'd go to one now if they had it ... I have to say I'm looking pretty good for 41 (112 lbs) and have a great career (all the things you want to show off to those who treated us less-than-nicely). Although I wouldn't have a hunky hunk to take with me, I could rent (or at least call in a favor) someone for the evening if need be.

That aside, as you and the others have said, with FB, I see a lot of people from HS there. What's funny to me are the ones who say things like, "OMG! So good to see you on FB! It's been FOREVER! I remember when we {insert anything here}" And honestly, my first thoughts are 1. Who are you? Wait, let me get my yearbook and 2. No, I don't remember doing that...

I'm not old enough to be forgetful and honestly do not remember a lot of things they mention and honestly don't remember being friends with some of them! (Okay... so most of them were blonde in HS thanks to the overuse of Sun-In). But that's okay.. the FB friendships are fine for now as no one wants the friendships to be anything more than electronic.

As far as the $65... I'd rather spend that on a nice evening out with people I like and remember! ;)

PS: Sorry to turn this into a blog post of my own!

Jessica @ Acting Adult said...

I didn't really want to hang out with those people in high school, so why am I going back? I probably won't pay the $ to attend my ten year reunion.

lawschoolwife said...

I'm not there yet, but LSH and I talk about this surprisingly often, since we dated in high school. On the one hand, Facebook really does make it pointless. And $65?! Times two! Wow. That's a lot. The only reason I could think of to go would be to brag. Sigh. I'd want people to know that we were still together, that we were successful (pretty sure we will be some of the more successful people of our graduating class, not because we're so awesome, but because our class was not!), that I still looked good, etc. None of those reasons are "good" reasons to go. And you're right, they're all people I could care less about. So, I still have no idea what we will do, or whether or not you should go! Sorry! But I feel your pain!

dors said...

nah...i've met my good real friends in university, and high school seems like another life to me. also, i don't like how i was in high school, and didn't like almost anyone else. i would go to primary school reunion though. there were some 8 year old bitches who bullied me and i'd love to show i do not take any shit anymore. yes, i still think about that. bitches.
(pardon my french).
ps - 65 dollars? they are taking the piss!

No One Reads The Copy said...

My sister didn't go to hers for all the reasons you just said. Facebook makes reunions pointless. Unless you have some Romy/Michelle type vendetta. And in fact, her friends were telling her that hardly anyone showed up.

Mine is coming up this year and I'm waffling. It just depends on if enough people I know are going. Have no desire to hear, oh my god, I barely recognize you!/what are you up to/are you married/etc. etc.

That's what FB is for!

Crystal said...

Patience, Little Miss Moneybags, Jesse: Exactly. This is what I keep telling J but for some reason he really does want to go. Maybe it's because he has better memories of the people, etc. I don't know.

Maritza: I have a feeling if we'd gone to hs together we would have been good friends. :) It'd be fun to see your friend from England; there are a couple girls from hs I wouldn't mind running into but they're on my FB list so I could always set up coffee-time with them privately. Anyway, I'll definitely make it known on here if I decide to go. ;)

Linda: That's the worst part for me. Having to explain to everyone where I'm at in my career and why I made certain decisions. Thinking about it makes me exhausted. Plus you know that everyone only wants to know what you're doing so they can measure themselves and their successes against yours. It's ridiculous.

Colfin: Loves!! I would have loved to hang out with you in hs, legwarmers and all! :D I hear you on the FB thing, I get these friend requests from people who swore we had some memory together and all I can think is "I don't recall these alleged memories...and who are you, again?"

Law school wife: I totally understand. Part of me wants to go to show off how great I still look, how happy I am with my career, our successes, etc. but those are terrible reasons to go. And if people wanted to know all they'd have to do is click on my FB page. P.S.: Can I just say I think it's beyond adorable how you and LSH met, how long you two have been together, and how much you still love each other? It's very inspiring. :)

Dors: LOL. I love you. Yeah I found all my lifelong friends in college and on. If it was up to me I would have already rsvp-ed no.

NoOneReadsTheCopy: You know, the first thing I thought of when I got the email was that scene from Romy and Michelle when they walk into the banquet room with that Bananarama song playing in the background. I agree -- people will only be asking you those tedious questions all night not because they actually care, but because they're comparing themselves to you. Let me know if you decide to go to yours!

Jenna said...

Is $65 standard for reunions? That is more than the cost of two prom tickets!

Valerie said...

I felt the exact same way when my 10 year came around a couple years ago. I loved high school WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. But I don't see any need to go back and socialize with strangers that I barely knew back then. The real friends I had in high school I either kept in touch with or have reconnected with over facebook (haha). It ended up that a friend of my husband was getting married in another state on the same day, so that made the decision easy and I went to the wedding. Maybe I'll make it to the 20 year. ;)

xo
Valerie

me in millions said...

I have no desire to go to a reunion. I keep in touch with the 2-3 people from HS that I care about and then facebook or my mom (Oh! I ran into so-and-so's mother at the grocery store and do you know that....) keeps me updated on everything else. I'm looking forward and not backwards.

Anonymous said...

I'm a few years younger than you, so this post made me crack up because I remembered how my friends and I went through the exact same phases while we were in MIDDLE SCHOOL! Can you imagine that, 12 year olds wearing those same outfits and thinking they were the coolest thing since sliced bread.

I went to my high school's 5 year reunion and it was a great time - it was only $20 per person though. Even though we arent all best friends, we still have a nice time hanging out together - but we also for the most part have known each other since kindergarten, not just in high school, and we know each other's families. So even if we dont have anything in common anymore, there is still more of a connection between us.

If you really don't have any desire to talk to these people and don't think it would be any fun, then there isnt really a point in going.

Natalie | The Bobby Pin said...

I skipped mine for all the reasons you listed. If I'm going to spend money, I don't want to feel like I might regret it! Especially when it is equateable to something I do want!

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Good luck making your decision although it sounds to me like you've already decided.... if you have to convince yourself to do an optional event, then is it worth it?

I didn't attend mine. Thankfully. I was living in Ohio, over 8,000 miles away from my small Louisiana school so I had a good excuse. But even if I was only ten miles away, I don't think I could've done it. When I left H.S., I left...ya know! I just didn't want to go back there and rehash those years.

I was a combo of a nerd and a semi-popular girl in H.S. I was on the dance team and in honors English classes so I had the best of both worlds. But there was drama, boyfriend troubles and lots of female backstabbing. I know we all grow up but it doesn't mean we have to be friends now....

Carolyn said...

I've been totally wondering about the same thing! Mine's next year, and I'm like... REALLY? The only reason I'd want to go is to make certain exboyfriends of mine tres uncomfortable. :)

Tania Asnes said...

If it feels like a chore - and it's expensive to boot - then skip. It totally depends on your high school experience. I really enjoyed my 5 year and am looking forward to the 10, coming from a small graduating class (167) in a small town. For me it's fun to see where everyone is going with their lives.

Btw one good trick for explaining yourself to other people is just coming up with a tag line (like "I'm a ___ and I'm working on ___ at the moment" and using it and leaving it at that. :)

Amber said...

I went to mine -- well, the bar night the Friday before -- and had a surprisingly great time!

I also went to my 15th, which was basically just a casual bar night. Even more fun!!

I had always said I wasn't going to go because I wasn't interested, but I am glad I did!

Anonymous said...

I planned on skipping mine. But made a few email searches to a few people that I really wanted to see and pretty much also convinced them to go.
It was the best night. It was 5 years ago. I still think of it fondly.

Go.

Roxygirl93 said...

Sooo, as Chairman of my 20 year HS Reunion Planning Committee, I must say...you all are pretty disheartening!

I had a really great time at my 10 year (even though it was not well-planned...which is why I stepped into "planner" role!) Interestingly, I wasn't really in a great place in my life at that time, but it was still nice to see everyone in person!

Besides, isn't there something to be said for tradition anymore? Maybe I am deluding myself. If the opinions posted here are any indication, we will be hard-pressed to get enough attendees to pay for the venue!

So, I ask of you....is there ANYTHING that would pique your interest enough to make that $65 price tag a little more enticing? You've certainly gotten my attention...I am very open to hearing whatever suggestions you may have; and actually, I welcome the opportunity to hear them!!

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