I went to my 20th high school reunion. I came out completely unaffected either way. I stuck to my rules. I did not try to impress anyone and I don’t think anyone was impressed.
There were 720 people in my graduating class. People walked across the stage at my graduation ceremony that I had never seen before let alone talked to. I’d say a few hundred of them were at the reunion. Thank God for nametags.
About fifteen minutes into the affair I gave up trying to pretend I remembered everybody. I decided I’d use “How did we know each other? I barely remember *going* to High School in the first place.” as my line to laugh off the awkwardness. Faces looked familiar, but, except for the few that were in my direct crowd back then, that’s where it ended for me.
As for people being older, fatter, balder, and wrinklier — no dice. The beautiful popular people back then are still beautiful and popular today. The difference was that I had less of a problem with not being one of them. Good for them. They’ve managed to hold onto their looks. I just hope it doesn’t cost them too much over time.
The whole thing reminded me of one of those big courtly dances where everyone is out on the floor doing the same steps and switching off with other dancers. You’d catch someone’s eye and do a litlle “Catching Up” promenade:
“How are you doing?”
“Where are you located now?”
“What do you do nowadays?”
“Do you have any kids?”
“Is there a Mr./Mrs. Doe?
Then time to switch for another dosi-do with another old face from your past.
The event was rather cheesy. One of those package things organized by a service. Union DJ, overpriced cash bar, noisy crowded location, not enough of the reheated canapes to go around. I guess that wasn’t the point, but I’d have liked to have had at least a couple of meatballs for my $45.
I did have fun though. It was nice to put on a tie and go out on a dress-up date with my wife. I caught up with some people I liked and talked to some people who I forgot I liked so much.
But mainly I can say I went. I will never in my life have to explain why I wimped out on my 20th High School reunion. Turns out it was nothing to get angsty about after all.
And I am still pretty much that same dork I was back in the day. But I’m okay with him now. He doesn’t get out much anymore.