Monday, November 27, 2006

20 years older

You can't wait for the 5th year reunion because you want to see how everyone is out of college. The 10th year you wonder who got married and who has kids. The 20th, you are just hoping you look as good or better than everyone else. And, you hope that people remember you! And, that you can remember a few, too!

Turns out, we all look pretty darn good and we all pretty much remembered each other, if not right away, after a few minutes or so! The name tags came in handy a few times!

My 20th high school class reunion was this past Saturday. I was wondering to myself earlier that day how I was going to be able to spend 5 hours on a Saturday night hanging out with people I hadn't seen in 20 years since, well, I hadn't seen them in 20 years and, well, my bed time is a lot earlier on Saturday nights than it used to be! The idea that I might be up later than 10pm was daunting enough, but the reunion was scheduled to go until midnight, so I was wondering how I was gonna stay up 2 extra hours!!

Turns out, I really like the people I graduated high school with. Not a bad bunch of people at all. And hanging out with all of those who came out on Saturday night (about 85-90 graduates altogether) was so much fun that I actually didn't notice it was 12:15am when we left! (My feet, on the other hand, did notice the time! And, they noticed how I put them in high heels they haven't worn in years and THEN danced (how dare I!) And, well, the feet, they revolted! My blisters have blisters!)

There was dancing, there was drinking, there was catching up, there was showing of pictures of children, there was lots of fun. I caught up with people I hadn't seen since graduation. Remembered things I probably haven't remembered since graduation. Saw some people I didn't expect to see and hopefully will keep better touch with in the future.

When some people look back on high school experiences, sometimes they don't remember the time so fondly as others might. I tend to look back at high school with mixed feelings - sometimes it was the worst 4 years of my life, teenage angst and all, and sometimes I remember that it really wasn't that bad, that even though I wasn't "popular" or a "jock", didn't mean that I didn't have some pretty great friends who helped make 4 years of high school bearable.

High school reunions are scary because high school was scary. High school was all about fitting in (well, and getting good grades was important, too, Mom) and when it comes right down to it, I guess we all have a fear that we didn't quite fit in. And, well, you think about getting together with all the people you didn't think you fit in with 20 years ago, you kinda get scared. Maybe the reason why some people just don't go to their 20th reunions. Who wants to get rejected by the same people 20 years later?

Saturday night I realized that high school really wasn't as bad as I remember. Or, better yet, I realized that life is a great equalizer. As we got out into the world and experienced life, we all began to "fit in" better. There are no "popular" kids or "jocks" or "band geeks" in the real world. Just people trying to make the best of their lives. Sure the people that hung together in high school spent a good deal of time on Saturday night hanging together again, but there was a lot of mixing and mingling going on and catching up and getting to know one another again, in a different light, without the pressure of trying to "fit in."

I am sure that not all people who attend a high school reunion (even our reunion) experience the same thing, and it wasn't as though a great light shone down on me in the middle of the night and angels sang and I felt all that high school angst go away. I enjoyed myself, and I enjoyed my friends and I had a nice time catching up with the people who I spent 4 years with, whether we "hung out" or just share a class together. And, within minutes of arriving, I didn't feel like I didn't fit in anymore. Better yet, I didn't feel like I HAD to fit in any more. That was nice.

I promised pictures - I took a bunch, but only a few are good enough to share with the rest of the world (something about taking pictures and drinking just doesn't work well!) I am posting a few of my favs here, but you can see the rest (what there are of the rest) here!

Jim Lewis and Joe Nunley
Two of my favorite guys from High School! Jim Lewis and Joe Nunley

Eric Carlson
Another favorite guy from high school! Eric Carlson

And, for even more pictures, check out Karen Reiss's pictures!

All in all, it was a great night. Looking forward to our 30th!

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