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August 3, 2005

The Wall

My high school reunion is actually going to happen in the fall. The word got out via email earlier this week and, after a flurry of electronic exchanges, it became apparent that our old high school group had mixed emotions about the reunion, ranging from Screw that to Hmm, might be intriguing. I lean toward the latter, purely out of curiosity with some hesitance mixed in.

2005-08-01 BNY_servestair3.jpg

I am not the only one. As I sat at the computer with this post ruminating in my brain, I came across Jay�s (who I believe goes by "Jason" now, but I cannot, after years of calling him the former, ever remember to address his so formerly) beautiful illustration of anxiety and compulsion regarding our reunion. What resonated most with me was "What do you say to catch up on ten years?"

My guess is that you do not catch up. Perhaps that is why people go to reunions�there is a safety in the fact that there is no way that you can summarize ten years effectively, at least not without several dozen shots down your gullet and a really eager audience.

Over coffee one afternoon, a friend of mine asked me what I meant by writing, "I�ve wasted so much of my life being unhappy." I opened my mouth to respond and found no words. Until recently, I found it very easy to recap my adult life; in the last few years, however, I have built a wall somewhere around the age of twenty-three. My life before that is hard to articulate, and what I realized over coffee was that I no longer want to communicate all of it (except, perhaps here, were writing at times is therapeutic in a confessionalist kind of way). My past definitely defines how I came to be, however it no longer dictates who I am today.

So, when I think about sitting at the Meadow Club, listening to some awful prom DJ and draining weak drinks from an open bar (it better be open bar), and that moment occurs where someone says "So, what have you been up to for ten years?," I can�t help but think that my mouth will open and I will say something incredibly generic.

Won�t we all?

Posted by callalillie at August 3, 2005 7:17 AM | Introspect


my response always seems to be, "oh, you know. not much." it's hard to summarize what you've been up to.

Posted by: tien at August 3, 2005 9:06 AM

My 10-year is this Saturday, and it's a cash bar (lame) on top of a $45 ticket. Why am I going again? Probably for the 1% of my class that I really would like to talk to. I just hope that at least one of them shows up. As it's gotten closer I've gone from thinking it will be interesting to being terrified and feeling all the old insecurities creeping back. There's some comfort in knowing that I can leave at any moment (at least after I've eaten my $45 chicken with artichokes)!

Posted by: Meghan at August 3, 2005 9:32 AM

I'm in the process of helping to plan and organize my 15 year reunion (we never had a 10 year reunion). If you had known me in high school, then you'd probably be dumbfounded that I'd even attend a reunion, forget help plan one. I've had to hear a good bit of hand-wringing and lamenting from classmates in the process. I've learned that the vast majority of it is just self-important nonsense and foolishness. Former cheerleaders' anxiety over not looking like cheerleaders anymore. Members of the "popular clique" wanting to apologize for how they were. The n'er-do-wells wanting to show everybody how well they are doing. It is both sad and laughable.

Posted by: ccs178 (Chris) at August 3, 2005 10:07 AM

I tell people "I discovered the elixir of life in a Tibetan Village but lost it in Rio when a CIA agent drugged my pina colada and toughs beat me with socks full of pennies. Due to the injuries, I became amnesiac and wandered into becoming a high-stakes gambler in Vegas. After losing everything but my lucky cowboy hat, I decided to trace my past and find out who I was. I hired a detective to track down my past, who pointed me to my home town. I arrived just in time for the reunion, jogging my memory which came flooding back in an incredible Proustian rush. So, what have you been up to?"

That pretty much wraps things up for the evening.

Posted by: ChrisG at August 3, 2005 10:50 AM

I attended a 30-year reunion of my HS class in May...no sturm, no drang, just finding out that those guys are a lot more successful than me!

I wish I could use Dr. Evil's description of his childhood from the first Austin Powers...


Posted by: Kevin Walsh at August 3, 2005 12:37 PM

'ho crap-- i would surely not attend my reunion if it was going to cost me $45. maybe my 20th, but certainly not my 10th.

Posted by: corie at August 3, 2005 12:54 PM

My 10 year reunion had an unexpected bonus. I met up with a friend (Lisa) that I hadn't talked to in all that time and we hit it off just like no time had past. We have become very close as adults and I can't picture these last years without her. Together we laugh at how sorry the reunion itself was.
I also had a situation at the reunion. A girl that was a cheerleader (and all that goes with that) had been schmoozing a guy I was sleeping with a year after high school. Literally sleeping- no sex- it was a drinking buddy thing...anyway...we were "together". She had been taking him to concerts, paying for his way to do stuff with her... I got sick of it and was a bad girl one day. I smeared a giant hot dog-shit up under the handle of her car door handle. I live in Florida and it was August so the shit was SUPER HOT when she grabbed the handle with her perfectly manicured nails. The next time I saw her was at the 10 year reunion. I was with my gorgeous husband...she was 250 pounds, super short died black hair and a huge mean scowl on her face- alone. EEeek! Now Lisa works with her (Rhoda the cheerleader). Lisa says Rhoda hates me. Lisa keeps telling her how nice and sweet I am NOW but she laughs at that. I was a real evil witch for doing that to her. I should have done it to him too.

Posted by: Bethany at August 3, 2005 1:57 PM

If you think $45 is bad...My husband got an invite to his 10th reunion a few months ago, and it cost $100 per person! It was at a hotel in like Islandia or some place around there, so I can only imagine what Meadow Club would cost.

Posted by: kim at August 3, 2005 1:57 PM

Yeah - I feel pretty stupid about paying so much. This is why the husband isn't going. I would have been perfectly fine with an awful DJ for less money. They went with a live band!

Posted by: Meghan at August 3, 2005 2:01 PM

I think it's more a locational thing then a self enforced moniker thing. People in Chicago just took to calling me "Jason," while everyone back home always called me "Jay." I'm cool with it, in fact, I somewhat prefer it. Whenever I'm referred to as "Jay," I get the warm fuzzies associated with home.

Thanks for the shout out!

Posted by: jay at August 3, 2005 2:31 PM

I think I once posted a long comment here about my own reunion experience. So, I won't do it again.

But, I just met a couple who got hitched after re-meeting at their 20 year reunion. And that's sort of cool.

Posted by: Bill at August 3, 2005 6:04 PM

Just recieved an email for my 10 year reunion forwarded from a friend who actually stays on top of that stuff. All the body of the email said was, "Cancelled, due to lack of interest."

That pretty much well sums up my high school experience.

Posted by: Tiya at August 3, 2005 6:27 PM

Interesting...my 10th year reunion is next year (or should be, but as far as I know there are no plans). There are a few whom I'd like to see again; couldn't care less about the rest. I *should* be concerned that I still don't have a kollidge degree, or a house, or a wife, ETCETERA. In reality, armchair judges can #$&%* themselves.

Posted by: Carlos at August 3, 2005 10:55 PM

I'm with Carlos... my 10th is also next year, and there are a few I'd like to see. It might be amusing to see the rest of them, tho I doubt it. I always think of Joan Cusack's line in "Grosse Pointe Blank", "It was as if everyone had swelled." There are very few of my classmates that I've kept in touch with over the years... and most of them weren't necessarily people I wanted to be in touch with anyway. I've been back MAYBE three times, to Homecoming, and I find it sad that so many of my classmates have "gotten stuck" in our town and are still caught up in the glory days of high school. (32 of us graduated in May 96 from a small Catholic HS in East Texas. Proabaly 20 are still there in some way.) I want to tell them to grow up. let it go, move on... haven't decided if it's worth attending yet. Like I said, could be amusing...

Posted by: Amanda at August 4, 2005 11:26 AM

My ten year H.S. reunion was a lot of fun. I went through the same thing as others.."Hmmm, should I go? Forget it I won't go for a million dollars! Screw those cool kids!" In the end my gf made the decision for me and I have no regrets. You're at the reception place and you're drinking at the bar and you can't help but look over your shoulder fearing that the cops have arrived. Damn, I am not 17 anymore...I am 27. Ha.

Posted by: Gustavo at August 6, 2005 1:26 AM

Well, the $45 reunion ticket was worth it - had a good time. As for conversation, you don't get much past married/kids/where do you live/what do you do. They really should print something up ahead of time with all the vital stats.

Posted by: Meghan at August 7, 2005 3:47 PM

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