30 November 2009

It Has Been Ten Years... And You're Still the Same!

I got to go back to high school for the evening last Saturday. It was my 10 year reunion and I thought it would be an interesting experience. Interesting to see how people have changed, what they are up to, etc. Turns out it was interesting, mainly because that night it didn't seem like anything had changed. At all.

I didn't have a specific clique in high school. I circulated between various groups, had my best friend Katie, my great friends on the track/x-country teams, as well as friends that graduated in different years than myself. I suppose the past is always seen through rose colored glasses when you're looking at it in the rearview mirror. I actually remember telling people in college/post-college that high school at Alvirne was pretty cool - everyone was nice, people were friendly, and it wasn't too "clique-y." Well, that rosy notion was trout-slapped from my mind soon after my arrival at the reunion! I blame it on unwittingly seating ourselves next to the people from high school who thought they were better than everyone else back then and, despite the fact that they STILL live in the same town and are STILL hanging out with the same people, they continue to look down on everyone else. You would think that being ten years older might make people grow up, leave their "high school superiority" attitudes behind, and be nice. Not the case. Again, let's blame it on the "big fish in a rapidly shrinking pond" syndrome. Socially, they have never actually graduated from high school. Who can blame them for reverting back to their familiar roles when surrounded by former high school classmates. But seriously, giving the stinkeye, pointing, laughing, and hushed whispering are soooo 1999. I hope for their sakes that they outgrow it by the 20 year reunion. And this begs the question, is this how they act when out at work and/or hanging out with non-high school friends? Or is that an answer we'll never get BECAUSE they have no friends outside of their high school peers? Oh the mysteries!

Contrary to what you're read so far, the reunion wasn't all bad. Facebook has made it easy to know what people have been up to. The phrase, "Well, I was sort of Facebook-stalking you..." was heard alot. I did enjoy talking to old acquaintances in person and catching up on details not captured via Facebook. And I got to sit with the people I wanted to see the most anyways - my friends Katie, Kim, Kathy, and Kristin (I only hang out with people whose names begin with Kuh) and their significant others. I keep in touch and see them fairly regularly. If nothing else, we'll ditch the 20 year and just treat ourselves to a nice dinner.

Funny note: Katie, my best friend from high school, and I accidentally wore almost identical dresses to the prom our junior year. They were the exact same gowns, save the fact that hers had a faint floral pattern while mine did not. It was only appropriate, then, that our better halves showed up to the reunion in matching outfits - eerily similar sport coats, pink shirts (same shade), no tie, and top button unbuttoned. Unplanned, I swear! See Exhibit A below. The only difference - Mark had brown pants and Kevin was sporting black. The twins bonded over their similar outfits and shared enjoyment of watching a plethora of awkward conversations.

Speaking of awkward conversations, here's one!

Old Classmate: So, what have you been up to, have any kids?
Me: I've been doing well, no, definitely no kids (uncomfortable chuckle).
Old Classmate: (steps closer, invading personal space) Why not, I have kids, don't you want to have kids?
Me: (stepping back defensively) I'm actively trying NOT to have kids at the moment.
Old Classmate: (Looks extremely puzzled, walks away) [end conversation].

On another note, alot of people knew about my triathlon habit and were really encouraging and impressed by it. I was flattered. And being part of a triathlon club where so many people have done Ironman, I forget that those types of athletic endeavors are not really the norm.

And finally, a self-pep talk. I like the way I turned out. So, despite the fact that I felt old feelings of shyness, social inadequacy and insecurity creep in as people reverted back to their clique-ish high school ways, I did feel content and confident talking to people. Swimming, biking, and running 140.6 miles, going to grad school, having a career, and living a life that you are proud of will give you confidence in any social situation, even a high school reunion.

So, that was the reunion in a nutshell. Will I go to my 20 year reunion? Right now, I'm inclined to say no. But I suppose I could change my mind over the next ten years. I mean, people will have outgrown their "high school superiority" complexes by then, right? :)


Baby Love said...

SOOOO TRUE! I couldn't have summed it up better than that.

Jennifer Harrison said...

Great post! I just went to my 20th in October and it was one of the best nights EVER! We all had really grown up a ton. HUGE difference between 28 and 38-39. WE did not talk about kids or anything, haha....JUST all the fun stuff we all did, much different and MUCH more fun!

Caroline said...

Jen - it's good to know that people (hopefully) grow up by the time the 20th reunion rolls around. Maybe I'll go to that one as well, I have ten years to decide! HOpe all is well with you!