Monday, July 16, 2007

My 20 Year High School Reunion

Way back in November-ish of 2006, I received a post card to "Save The Date" of my upcoming 20 Year High School Reunion. I admit, I was intrigued. Shocked even that twenty years has passed. This must be a mistake, certainly twenty years of my life cannot have passed me by without my notice.

Maybe it was the fact that our house was selling and we had three weeks to get out of dodge, maybe the added fact that I had a two month old in addition to my other three children to care for, maybe it was that fact that I was (am) in denial about being old enough to have a twenty year reunion. Maybe it was "whatever", but I tossed the postcard and got on with life. Jump ahead about six months, and I find myself in Texas, knowing five other people outside my immediate family, and trying to adjust to my new life in my new surroundings. Then I remember that post card and look up the info on the internet. And the site is great. I can post a profile, look up old year book photos, read other people's profiles, so I registered with the site, and after much debate posted a profile. A short little blip of info on what my life has been about over the past twenty years. Try to keep it light, emphasize the positives. Can anyone really let people know who they are today in a couple sentences? If anyone bothered to read my profile, would they really care anyway? Would they even remember who I was?

I still cannot believe it's been twenty years. I decided right away not to attend. For a few reasons, but mainly my justification was that I haven't kept in touch with a soul. Not one person can I still call "friend". And I realize that friendship is a two-way street, so I'm not placing blame. I'm just saying. I still have a couple friends from college that I'm in contact with. And had a great handful of friends from California, most of which I owe a e-mail or a phone call. Also, did I really want to shell out a few hundred bucks to go see a bunch of people I haven't had anything to do with for the past twenty years or so? Honestly, when I read the names of people that responded I couldn't for the life of me remember most of them. I thought a face would jog my memory better than a list of names. I've never been good with names, but faces I remember. So looking at the old year book photos, I still found myself unable to remember most people. Was high school so tramatic that I blocked out a great portion of my memory of it? It is early Altzheimer's? So strange to think, I spent at least four years of life with these people and I'm having a hard time even recognizing their faces. And if I'm having this hard of time, why would I expect any of them to remember me. And thinking back to high school, I never was part of the "in" crowd. And our school was so clique-ish. And I don't feel I ever fit into any particular category. I felt so alienated by the fact that I wasn't accepted by so many people because I 1) didn't buy the right brand of clothes, 2) wasn't sporty, 3) wasn't pretty enough, 4) wasn't smart enough, the list goes on and on.

Then, if I'm being honest, maybe I'm just not where I thought I'd be in twenty years. Not that I could picture myself twenty years into the future. I remember in elementary school, the millenium was twenty years away. And our teacher asked us where we thought we'd be in twenty years. I could not even picture myself at the age of thirty. No idea what I'd be doing, what I'd look like, etc. I've never been able to have an idea, a plan, an expectation. But looking up some old classmates I've found out they're lawyers, some own their own businesses, some live in over million dollar homes, and really, I just can't compete. Don't get me wrong, I know I could be doing worse, but I also know I could be doing better. I'm a loyal friend, a great wife, a good cook, and I love my kids ferociously. But part of me always feels that I could have accomplished so much more by this point in my life.

Out of probably morbid curiosity more than anything else, I joined the Yahoo groups site for my reunion. Again, great to see who was linked in. Got to look at the photos people posted of themselves today, with their spouses and children. Yet I cannot sum up the courage to post any myself. I think my children are gorgeous, (if I do say so myself) and I'm proud of my husband. So I have a couple (few) grey hairs, and my pant size is bigger than I'd like it to be, but give me a break. I've had four children and my youngest is less than a year old. I'm working on it. Plus there is the added burden of loving to cook, and loving to eat. But it's not like I'm huge, I'm just not the same size I was in high school. But really, who is? And if you are, I just don't think I want to know. And am I so shallow that even I am judging myself by my physical appearance? And if that is my hang up, why would I expect any better than anyone else? But if I wasn't accepted back then, why would I expect them to accept me now, regardless of my pant size. And if I've grown and matured wouldn't they have too? But I can picture myself, showing up at the reunion, being snubbed by the same people that snubbed me twenty years ago. And really, I just don't have the time or the patience for that crap. And most of all, why do I care? If I can't even be bothered to keep in touch with any of them, why would I care what they thought today?

In another reality I can picture a reunion full of happy and accepting faces. Everyone getting along, everyone having a good time. I think deep down I would really like to go, and have that happy fairy tale of a reunion. But life is not a fairy tale, so why would I expect my reunion to be?

5 comments:

Jessica said...

Wow, that was quite a post! Very thought provoking. Erik's 20 year reunion is this summer too. He has actually kept in touch with a few high school friends, so we might be going. I went to my 10 year and it was such a let down. Perhaps not enough time had passed. But even after 10 years I couldn't remember many of the folks there. I found a few of my old friends and was sad about my old friends who didn't show up. But even after my excitement of "reconnecting", I still don't keep in touch with those people.

P.s. You are certanily more that just a "good cook". I'd say the best I know!

Dawn said...

Thanks for the compliment. And sorry for the insecure, schitzo, teenage angst rant. High school seems to have brought out all my insecurities, and obviously it still does.

Lena said...

Wow, 20 yrs. Where does the time go? That means that mine is coming up to0. I don't have any desire to go but I do share that same morbid curiosity about wanting to know what everyone is doing now.

If it makes you feel any better, I think that you are a beautiful person both inside and out! Those silly people don't know what they missed out on....

Anonymous said...

You probably don't remember me, but I'm sure we had a few classes together back at FHS. Your post was wonderful, and captures the heart of what most of us are thinking. Don't sell yourself short -
4 kids, a passion for prose and exceptional talents in the kitchen, well, that all sounds pretty good to me.

Respectfully,
Liz (Coniglio) Haney

Dawn said...

Thank you for the kind words on my blog. I do remember you in fact. I remember your name mostly, it has a certain ring to it. And I recognize your yearbook picture. I think my main problem is trying to place a name or face in the today. And I blank. My husband will mention something that has happened in the past, "don't you remember blah, blah, blah?" And my standard response is "no, I've had four children, I really don't remember much of anything." The standing joke around here is that pregnancy kills brain cells. But anyway, it was great to hear from an old classmate. I've been keeping up with the posts on the Yahoo groups web site, but haven't submitted any comments of my own. I think that was always my problem, to not put myself "out there", and it continues to this day. But I've enjoyed catching up with everyone from the sidelines, and am actually regretting not attending the reunion. But I am appreciative of your comment, and hope for many more from old classmates.

Thanks, you made my day,
Dawn