Friday, June 13, 2008

Overthinking my high school reunion

Yes, I am that old. How did that even happen? I swear I was 16 like 5 minutes ago.

Turns out, I am old enough to have a 20-year high school reunion coming up this July. Mmmm. Nothing like South Florida in the dead heat of summer. Really an appealing place to be. Thanks, high school reunion planners. I suppose they assume that no one has left the state. That reason alone is enough to make me not want to go.

Here's the thing. I went to the 10 year reunion. I wore the shortest dress I could find and ate a really crappy rubber chicken dinner. I remember saying to my friends, "Guys, take a good look at me. Because you won't be seeing me at the 20-year-reunion." Not that it was so painful. But it still felt like we were in high school. Not enough time had gone by or something. Everyone pretty much looked and acted the same. It made me want to hop on the next plane to New York.

But when the 20-year notice came up...I gave some thought. It would be good to see some of my very closest friends who are scattered to the wind. It would be nice to catch up and see what everyone's made of their lives. And then I went on the Classmates website. Big mistake.

There were pictures up from the 20-year reunion from the Cooper City High class of '87. I scanned through them, incredulous. Who were these old people? Why were they wearing frumpy clothes? Could that really be the most popular boy in school? How the hell did everyone get so old? And worse, did that mean I looked like that too?

No no no no no no no no no. I covered my eyes, shutting out the images of the Homecoming Queen looking like somebody's mother. Never mind that I am somebody's mother.

Let's get this straight. I did not love high school. Mediocrity was worshipped. Conformity was king. That being said, I prefer to keep high school—and all the people in it—in this little time warp. Where the hair was big, the music comprised of electronic drum machines and everyone was young and hopeful. I don't want to come face to face with the reality of expanded waistlines, unrealized dreams and inevitable sickness/death.

Does this make me a weak person for not wanting to know the truth? Perhaps. But if I choose to live in my fantasy world, so be it. The friends that I do stay in touch with from high school, I want to know the truth about. But everyone else, well, I want to keep them just how they are in my mind.

I wish everyone well. Just from far, far away.

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