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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.Β  He was definitely talking about high school.

41 Responses to was it as good for you?

  • tracey says:

    I love reunions. It’s amazing to me to see how people change and yet are exactly the same…

    I also love running into old friends. Happens all the time (just tonight, in fact!) as I live in the same general area I grew up in!

    You looked beautiful. Very well preserved. (What a dork.)

  • calikim says:

    The funniest thing about this entry is the picture of your senior prom. I looked at it and said…seniors??? NO WAY!!! They look 12!! I then scroll down and see you make the SAME statement and have to laugh hysterically out loud. YOU DO LOOK 12…which is why at 38, you look 25!! Yes….definitely much more gorgeous now than then. Its a good thing. Don’t waste the good looks on youth when you don’t know how to use them anyway.

    Glad you had a GREAT time!!!

  • MN Mama says:

    My reunion is two weeks and reading this entry literally gave me butterflies in my stomach. I am so far removed from the whole NY/NJ. Ugh! I am glad that my girlfriends and I are going and we will have fun but I am a bit nervous.

  • Abby Siegel says:

    So not cool to post the prom pic-I don’t care about my face looking all fatty and shiny but that top! UGH!!! Good thing I learned how to dress since then. We do look really young! Even so, despite the outfits, we were more put together than Scrunchy Guy (I will protect his identity although of course I know him). What was he thinking????

  • Robyn says:

    Well preserved? How about HOT!!!!

    I wish my HS would put out a newsletter saying what everyone does, if they’re married, divorced, whatever and have kids. That would negate the need for an actual reunion and give me all the info I care about, anyway!

  • lilith says:

    Kelcey and Abby, you look great. Abby is fierce. About scrunchy guy, well, he may not have the best hair in town, but he obviously has some good sense of humour. LOL. My 20th reunion is a few years ahead. Don\\\’t know if I\\\’m looking forward to it or not.

  • sam says:

    you are a braver girl than i! i refuse to go to any reunions. i do not want to go back there! although i think the idea of it is probably worse than the execution, right? you did well girl. oh and you look so pretty in your prom dress (sorry, you do!), looking really good i have to say! i was wearing black velvet strapless with rinestones and my bangs were much higher! and you are one of the lucky ones (pickled in a jar for 20 years!) who looks even better now!! unlike your friend steven segal rocking the male bun, oh dear!

  • JoLynn says:

    I dated a guy from Staple’s High School………..but he graduated in 1980, when you were a baby!! Anyway, you blow away your classmate’s with beauty!!

  • Robin says:

    It was great fun. And just for the readers’ sake, that scrunchie guy was pretty good looking back in the day. Maybe he needs a pickle jar all his own. πŸ™‚

  • Cathy says:

    Your mention of cliff notes made me laugh out loud. Life got a little easier after I discovered those in high school. So true that reunions are about how you look. You want to look good, but not “well preserved.” You look great, btw. πŸ™‚

  • Rene says:

    I have to agree with everyone else — you look fab!! I went to a hick high school so at my class reunion my old dates initiated my hubby with rocky mountain oysters while telling him all the horror stories about my antics in school. Don’t know what RMO’s are? Google it — but make sure you’re not eating first!

  • Allison T. says:

    So, since you might still be in Staples-mode…did you go to Counties? My friend went to Staples and graduated in ’90 and talked all about this phenomenon. Ridgefield HS kept it local, with the exception of dates who went to Fairfield Prep.

  • Nap Warden says:

    OK, I went to high school in Tiny Town USA. Truth be told, they have never found me…I might go to a reunion if they found me. I wonder if my class is having reunions? It’s not like I’m hiding…I just think I’m the only one who ever left Tiny Town…

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    The only people who show up at Reunions; are the ones who are ‘well preserved’ and on the path to success (whatever they think that is). The ‘losers’ stay home…they don’t want to explain why they gained 100 lbs. and are unemployed and still living at home. Glad you all enjoyed the reunion; I’ve only heard how boring they were. But since you were in the “A” In Crowd…..you set the pace.

  • Robyn says:

    I never ever never plan on going to a high school reunion. I really don’t have the desire to pay to go to event full of people that I haven’t had any contact with since high school.

    BTW… I think I had those exact bangs in high school.

  • Elizabeth says:

    You were ridiculously cute in high school and now you are the woman I would NOT want to run into at my reunion–no matter how well preserved I am. (Which I am not but there is hope that Ron will barter with a plastic surgeon and score some youthful for his wife.)

  • Oz says:

    You do look well preserved, considering you spend all that time wrangling trout in the Hudson River.

    Kidding, of course. Seriously, you do look gorgeous.

  • Oh, you both look completely fabulous. You were little girls at prom. You are now hot brilliant, women, on the move. GO YOU. I just went to my 20th a few weeks ago. It was much more fun than I’d anticipated. I’m giggling at your Ponytail Guy. At my reunion we all agreed, even the men, that the women all aged MUCH better than did the men. It was the hair thing, I think. They either didn’t have it anymore or…didn’t know what to do with what they had.

  • Abby Siegel says:

    Thanks Lilith! Aunt Marcia-trust me when I say that not everyone there was looking so great and that’s why they showed up. One guy who used to be hot (and who I made out with a few times at the end of senior year) could lose about 50 lbs. I’m not naming names but that’s just one example. You should see the guy who made the well-preserved comment in the first place-he TOTALLY was not! Kelc you should have responded with “Well, thanks, but what happened to you?”

    Oy..reunions..the fun just does not ever end!

  • Damselfly says:

    Our motto was “We’re the best, we’re so great, we’re the class of 88.” But yours is more fun.

    I didn’t go to my reunion this year.

    And those pictures! You and your friend are so cute.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Abby Siegel; the men will show up old and bald; as long as they’re ‘successful’ in business. Men measure their worth in $$$, it’s the women who won’t show up 100 lbs. fatter and looking like something the cat dragged in. Anyway, glad Kelcey and her posse….had an ass-kicking good time.

  • Jessica says:

    I didn’t know you went to Staples? It’s like Trading Places… I went to The Hewitt School (75th btw. Park and Mad.)and Staples is practically in my back yard!

kelcey kintner