Reunions are a trippy, time travel experience. Suddenly your face to face with your past, just with a few more wrinkles, and far less bangs.
Our Staples High School Class of 1988 motto, “Was It As Good for You?”, along with, “Fornicate with ’88” (yes, really) held the promise of a rocking 20th reunion. But I didn’t really know what to expect.
The culture of high school thrives on a hierarchy – who’s cool, who’s pretty, who’s stoned and of course, who’s not cool, pretty or stoned.
But 20 years later, you don’t get extra points for smoking cigarettes in the school courtyard or throwing the best parties when your parents are away. It’s about how you view your own life. Are you happy? Is this who you wanted to be? Are you proud of the person you’ve become?
Oh ok, it’s also about how you look.
Well, maybe ALL about how you look.
So here’s me and high school gal pal Abby before our senior prom…
We kind of look 12. Are you mad I’m not showing you our hunky prom dates?
And here we are this past weekend (minus the taffeta)…
And here is me with other members of my girl posse at the reunion…
If you look closely, you’ll see contributing mama Jordana Bales.
One of the first guys I ran into at the reunion gushed over me like this…
“You look the same,” he said. “Very well preserved,” he joked.
Like I just left a botox session? Like I’m an Egyptian mummy? Like I live in a jar of pickles? Really, that is the lamest compliment ever.
I recommended that he instead use phrases like, “Wow. You look gorgeous.” and the equally popular, “How did you manage to stay so unbelievably beautiful?”
There were some strange choices – like this former classmate who put his hair into some kind of 80s inspired ponytail.
No, that wasn’t my prom date.
But mostly the reunion was about repeating this phrase, “I live in New York City, I’m married with two kids and I write a blog. So what’s going on with you?” over and over again.
Then I would head to the bar for another glass of sauvignon blanc and repeat life summary to familiar looking girl from 9th grade algebra class who’s also standing at the bar.
Once in awhile to mix it up, I’d mention that I do a tremendous amount of fly fishing in the Hudson River. My exact phrase, “You fly fish? Me too. In fact, I fly fish the sh-t out of Manhattan.”
But mostly, I tried to stick to things that were actually true.
So how do I feel now that it’s over?
I think I’m just sort of relieved that I’m no longer in high school. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”
No, I never read the book. Just the cliff notes. Did anyone really read the book?
But I think Charles Dickens got it right. He was definitely talking about high school.