June 28, 2024

High school reunion

by your guest blogger.


This brochure for my high school's reunion arrived over the weekend. Peculiar. For one thing, I never was a member of the Class of '64--I'm old, but I'm not quite that old. For another, I have no idea how they found me. I vaguely remember getting something about a 25th reunion--I'm guessing, oh, about 15 years ago--and they must've gotten my address then, from my mom. That's what I deserve for not moving--I'd definitely prefer to be one of the "lost Dragons" listed in the brochure.

I looked at the list of organizers, and of all the names only one was vaguely familiar; you're probably not going to forget somebody named Melody Swan. It's possible I'm in the early stages of senility, but more likely I've repressed all of them, and most of high school too. Last year I went home for a family funeral, and a woman came up to me and said: "You won't remember me, but we graduated high school together." She was right, at least about the first part.

Is there anybody whose memories of high school aren't awful? OK, I know there are. My mom was a great one for this sort of thing: I got dragged to family reunions for years, and she actually went to her fiftieth high school reunion. When my high school announced its 10th reunion, I told my mom something to the effect of: "I didn't like those people then, why would I want to spend time with them now?" My mom said I was "odd." That was a queer choice of words.

The other group of people whose high school memories aren't awful are the cool kids--the cheerleaders and quarterbacks and Homecoming kings and queens and Student Council presidents. But there have been studies showing that the cool kids often end up miserable for the rest of their lives, because real life isn't like high school. The only reason I could think of to go to a reunion would be to see how pathetic the cool kids have become.

I didn't dislike everybody I went to high school with--it's just that nobody I liked would ever consider organizing a high school reunion, or even going to one. Yet it's true that I haven't kept up with even one of my high school classmates. The only one, who was my first boyfriend, died twenty years ago. My other high school best friend is an architecture professor at a college in the next state; there was a flurry of notes between us years ago, but that was that.

One big reason for my alienation from high school is that in my era NOBODY was 'out' in high school. When you did come out, in college or even after, in those times it meant leaving behind everything that came before. Yes, 'before Stonewall' is more than just a documentary film: it was the world I grew up in.

My high school world is gone, and I'm glad, even though quite a few of my classmates don't seem to have gotten the message. They can celebrate the Class of '64 without me.

Posted by Glenda at June 28, 2024 10:49 AM

We have school reunions but we have Friends Reunited in the UK. A web site formed into message boards for each school and year group in the UK. So far it's been the catalyst for triggering divorces, affairs, blackmail attempts, paying back long held grudges and outing gay teachers. Oh yes and sometimes they connect long lost friends who are usually living somewhere more exotic than you or who are much wealthier than you. Still end up going back though.

Posted by: Lyn at July 3, 2024 07:23 PM
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