Wednesday, October 01, 2008

20th High School Reunion

(Yes, that's me in 1988.)

So I went to the reunion.

I really was pitifully excited about it. I’ve always been a hanger-on, trying to keep people in my life long after they should probably be let go. I don’t know why. Even worse, I try to collect people after the fact—writing notes or letters to people I hardly knew saying that I regret not knowing them better (and I really MEAN it when I say it!). So after last month when hubby dragged me around his wealthy, eastside reunion of his wealthy eastside high school, I had visions of my own reunion and looked forward to it anxiously.

Well, we’re not wealthy or east side. I guess it shows. (You’d think we’d at least have a sweet spirit.)

The first question was whether there would even BE a reunion. I couldn’t remember who my senior class officers were, but whoever they were, they certainly weren’t sending stuff around, asking for addresses, telling us to save dates or anything.

Then one day, on a total fluke, I stumbled across something on the internet about a reunion for my high school. I guess one of the officers decided to push up her sleeves and pull something off all by herself! Good for her! But there’s only so much one person can do, you know?

First, it was very, very poorly attended (probably because it was poorly publicized. I don’t even know whether anyone made any attempt to contact anyone other than by asking people to spread the word. No effort at physical address-contacting, for example).

When I go to a reunion, I go for three reasons: 1) to see my old friends again, 2) to see the people that were friendly acquaintances that I wish now that I had made better friends with, and 3) to see how the rest of the school turned out.

Well, I got some of each of those things, so I guess I shouldn’t gripe too much. But my biggest disappointment was with group #2. THEY’RE the ones I went to see, and they’re the ones I saw least of. Sigh.

I know other schools must be like this but it seems like my school was unnaturally divided into two groups: the boozers and the non. The boozers had a really good turnout at the reunion. We heard that the party went on very late into the night after all of us at the seminary table went home to our kids. So I guess the reunion turned out to be everything that SOMEONE hoped. Just not me. Blah.

Yeah, I admit that it WAS nice to see my friends again (although I keep in touch with most of them anyway) and to remember WHY they were my friends (hey, it was either them or the boozers).
Anyway, I had a pretty good time my senior year in 1988. But I wouldn't go back. For anything. My life is lightyears better now. Here's one of the reasons:

(Taken the night of my 20th high school reunion. Hey, at least I got to go home with the best-looking one there, and he was even sober.)


Christopher Bigelow said...

Huh, you're braver than I am. For me, the squeamishness of dealing with people from high school outweighs the pleasures of seeing how people turned out. I'm still in touch with two high school buddies, and that's plenty for me! I think I attended the 5-year reunion but have skipped all of them since, although I do send in a bio when asked.

Ang said...

Oh, Dar, I love your picture circa 1988. Olan Mills! I do remember.

And I too hail from one of those non-rich, west side schools. We didn't even have a 10 year reunion (an old boyfriend of mine who's fallen COMPLETELY off the map was senior class pres, and yes, he's one of those I'd really like to see. When I'm skinnier. :-)

A good friend of mine who's a real bootstrapper decided to pull together a 15 year reunion to make up for the lack of a 10. She roped me into helping and I made a really cool book full of bios and pictures (if I do say so.) But my experience at the reunion itself was the same. BIG turnout from the boozers, not so much from the non-boozers. It was a weird, weird night.

I'm finding more people I want to keep in touch with on facebook lately. Now THAT"s been fun.

rofoyo said...

Some people just get older, but you just get better and better looking.

Michelle said...

Ooh, I love the current picture! You look fabulous!

Now I'm curious what high school you went to. I'll just add that to my list of questions for you...

As you know, I loved my 20th but we had an amazing turnout and of course, an excellent planning committee. ;)

Marj said...

My reunion was back in August, I think. I had big plans to go but when it came to signing up for it I just couldn't do it and I feel no regret (OK, maybe just a little). From what I've seen of pictures posted on an alumni website, it looked like it was well attended by boozers as well. I like running into people I know from high school once in awhile but it's too weird for me to see them all at once. And I really do have this fear of showing up and having people not remember me.

Michelle said...

here I am FRANTICALLY searching for your email. Can't find it. Mine is

Your husband grew up in the 12th ward? Do I know his parents and his brother and your incredibly perfect(we try not to compare) nephews and nieces?

Granite High. I remembered.

Anonymous said...

I have the instinct to collect people, but it's complicated by fears: I feel like from about age 18 to age 25 or so, I made too many dear friends for a person to keep in touch with (especially counting the six areas where I served on my mission,) and after failing to keep in touch with even people I loved very dearly, I've been skittish about collecting people and then not living up to their expectations. Oh, and then there's the complicating factor of having lived in Jordan, where if you're close to someone you're meant to spend HOURS and HOURS and HOURS with them, not to mention getting them a Visa -- impossible for a busy, working American to live up to -- so I learned to keep a bit of a distance in my friendships with locals. Also I have a duality of really really loving people but also being sometimes very shy and private and wanting lots and lots of alone time. It took my family forever to persuade me to join Facebook (all the rest of my 8 sibs were there long before me) because I just dreaded summoning the emotional energy to contact old friends. But my brother told me just to add people and not even worry about sending them a message, so that's what I've done, and actually I've loved finding people -- especially an old mission companion who I'd lost track of for several years. (She also turned out to be the co-writer of a crafting blog my sister had been sending me links to and raving over.)

I don't think I've been to any of my high school reunions so far -- I was around for the year 5 one, but skipped it, and was then glad because I heard they made all the people who were still single stand in the center of the room (gah!) and then I wasn't able to attend the other reunions. (I've heard they've usually been very pricey dinners at lame locations.) I think I'll probably go to my 20th next year, though. I'll be the one no one remembers since I was a part-time homeschooler (and very shy and private.)

A group of Dean's friends from high school (including his then-girlfriend) have started some informal get-togethers in anticipation of their reunion next year, and we went to one and it was an interesting mix of people (he went to a very west-side high school.) Since it was lunch I'm not sure what proportion were boozers. His Israel-Study-Abroad reunion was a lot more like what I'd an imagine an east-side reunion to be like.

(I guess I need to stop saying that I don't write novels -- it's just that I only write novesl that comments on other people's blogs.)

Oh, and that picture of you and Roger is GREAT. I love your high school one, too. You were such a baby. Now you just look like a young adult.