My 20th High School Reunion
So, the high school reunion came and went. I got to see tons of people that I remembered and then tons more that I did not. am I the only one that this happens to? I don’t think it is because I wasn’t the only one with this problem at the reunion.
But, I digress. Friday night found us at a bar downtown and chatting it up with old friends and new. Â Saturday we were hanging out at a dinner where pictures were taken and catching up with some that did not make it Friday night.
I felt like I was going to prom (sans the prom date). I decided on a long pink gown because let’s face it, when exactly do I get to dress up nice these days, eh?
But enough about me (psych!). I transferred to this school in the middle of my sophomore year and was none too happy to be taken from my east Manhattan high school that had me on 3 trains around 6 am every morning to what felt like the countryside known as Orlando. Yeah, they had Mickey but, I had the Museum of Natural History, the New York Public Library, Central Park and the subway. You can’t top that. I sulked for. Ever. My teen angst rooted itself deep in the knowledge that my life had forever been changed for the worse by this most traumatic and unreasonable move.
At this new school, they had an ROTC like dad promised but, did he not realize they were Air Force and not Navy? Did he understand that I would not be able to join because I refused to wear skirts and do girl push ups after being in an all-girl drill team and trick drill team? That, as the youngest officer in my school I wasn’t about to start from scratch? That was just the beginning of things.
Slowly but surely I got used to an open campus and school buses. Â The change in culture and the fact that I had nowhere to stop for a good bagel on my way to first period. And I met people. Of course, I met up with upper classmen which sucked a little because then they were gone.
But, I did get to meet some pretty cool kids in my class. I don’t know if I belonged to any group. I don’t know if I classified as cool with my big glasses senior year and my acne. My sarcasm and my feistiness. I just remember being me. And I think I was pretty awesome.
This weekend, I missed some folks. Connie wasn’t around. Mami would always ask me about Connie with the red jeep (she as never just Connie). Â I also missed seeing Judy W. I saw her before the 10 year reunion at the hospital when I was admitting grandma and cheerfully asked her if she was going. She told me in no uncertain terms that she thought high school was horrible. I felt bad because she always seemed like such a cool person to me and I never once spoke ill to her. But, I guess everyone deals with high school differently. I hope she was able to find some good times to think back to.
I certainly have. I was able to get over my parents betrayal and enjoy my senior year. On Saturday I thought, more than once, how cool it was to be hanging out with these people. Even the ones I couldn’t remember. They all make up stitches in the quilt of my life and for that I am grateful. I don’t remember horrible things that happened to me, specifically. But I do know that I suffered the same angst as so many have during their teens.
I choose to remember the laughter, though. Dancing with Vince (my lockermate) in the festival. Getting my dancing on during homecoming (I went stag). Â Having my BBD dance group banned from the school video because, well, we kinda crawled on the floor to “Do Me” (for the record, my mom still mentioned it and said it was totally unfair and completely anal retentive of them! If my mama was okay with me crawling on the floor then dammit, you should’ve been too, administrators). Somehow I sense a dance thing here, don’t you?
I remember hanging out with Christina and Jody. Carey, Janelle and the host of kids that would join us for our physics study groups. I remember the sarcasm we experienced thanks to Ty in English class (thankfully, he has yet to outgrow that). Hanging out with Tondie and Herman in my pretend part-time job. Giggling with Chandra. The boys in Anatomy and Physiology class. Â What diverse group of people I was privileged to have met!
I could go on and on and on. You know what’s funny? Some of these people I’ve reconnected with on Facebook and we have better relationships now than we did back then. Ah, the beauty of social media. People like Kimberly B. who is so supportive of my blog, Cindy who never fails to send a kind word right when I need it and a host of others.
This weekend I chose to only remember the smiles, the words written in my year book wishing me success and good fortune. I look back at all of those people fondly because to not do so would mean to harbor bitterness and/or sadness over the past and we can’t do that. Some people I’ll keep in touch with and others I might not see til 10 years from now. But for each and every one of them, I am grateful.
It seems more like 10 years to me. So I’m selecting this Paul Simon song as the weekend’s theme:
The Grace of God is nigh
TenÂ Twenty years come and gone
And that flash has never been forgotten
Sunny days have burned a path
Across another season
How do the powerless survive?
TenÂ Twenty years come and gone so fast
I might as well have been dreaming
Did you go or are you planning on going to your reunion?