I think there are three categories of people when it comes to high school reunions:
1. I would rather get a root canal 2. I wouldn't miss it for the world 3. I want to go, but ...
I'm #2. That's just me and I'm comfortable with that. I completely get #1 and #3 though.
The #1s - the people who don't have any interest in going to their reunion and won't think twice about their decision. They have no desire to revisit that part of their life and I think that's completely normal. Seeing that I married someone from my graduating class, that doesn't really work for me.
I also get the #3s. The "I think I would have a good time, but there's something holding me back" crowd. And there are a lot of "somethings" you can choose from - status, appearance, shyness. I get those people too. I can relate to them. Social situations, like a reunion, don't come easy to me. It takes work for me attend these events, but the majority of the time I'm always glad I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and end up having a great time.
As I was explaining to some friends recently, when I get nervous I do research to calm my nerves. So for the past couple of weeks I've been reading other blogger's posts on attending their 20th high school reunion.
I can tell you two common themes I read in those posts. First, they all start off with a joke about how their readers couldn't fathom how the blogger could be old enough to be attending their 20th reunion. People - we are old. We've been old for awhile. We're not fooling anyone. Secondly, almost everyone wrote about being nervous on their way to their reunion. Many wrote how they had been looking forward to it the whole year, but as they were driving to their reunion fear and panic set in and many talked about how they considered backing out.
Although that is kind of scary to read, there's also some comfort in knowing most of the people who will be at my reunions will be nervous. There will most likely be an awkward 20 or 30 minutes at the beginning, but then people will loosen up and enjoy catching up.
Jim and me senior year
A couple of other observations I made while reading those blog posts were a.) people worry that Facebook has ruined the high school reunion - most disagreed with this theory - there's no comparison to catching up in person b.) yes, the conversation can be predictable - are you married?, kids?, where do you work? But I think if you put the effort in to the conversations you can go deeper than that. c.) most of the reunions end up with a bunch of drunk people that are really bad dancers - yeah, that's probably going to happen at mine too and I may be one of them ;)
I do have an advantage though I think. There are a couple of things that will make it easier to make conversation for me - for one, I have the comfort of having another classmate on my arm since Jim and I graduated in the same class, I helped plan the reunion with a great group of classmates so I have those established relationships and inside jokes with them from our months of planning and I also have this blog, which I cross promote on Facebook so several of my FB friends may have read it and they can say "Hey, don't you write that blog ..." and we will have 90 seconds of additional material to add to our conversation.
Jim and me at graduation. My mom is smiling in the background.
But the main reason I want to attend my 20th reunion is I know I will have a great time. For the most part I enjoyed my high school years and the parts I didn't enjoy were pushed out of my memory years ago. When I have dreams set in the past they are of one of two places - high school or summer camp. I think that's saying something, that my subconscious mind goes to those places because I look back on them fondly. (Although I could do without the reoccurring dream of forgetting my locker combination and being late for class). I am sad that some of my closest friends from high school won't be able to attend this reunion. It would have been great to catch up with them. Hopefully they can attend the next one.
My one wish is for those #3s out there. If you think you would have a good time at your high school reunion I would really encourage you to go. Or at least go to the pre-parties that often are planned the night before at a local bar. Yes, you may have less hair, a larger dress size, or not be where you want to be professional, but we all have those kind of hang ups and they really aren't important when it comes to getting together and reminiscing about a time in your life that was influential in how you grew into the person you are today.
So here is to the class of 1993 - I look forward to celebrating with you very soon!
Freshman homecoming float - I'm third from the left.