I heard through the grapevine that some people from my high school graduating class may be planning a fifteen year reunion. When I heard about it, my initial reaction was, Jeez, I'm getting old. And then I ran to my bathroom mirror to see if I needed to get Botox yet. (I don't need to, but I kind of don't want to anyway; I'm afraid I'll look like the female version of Bruce Jenner.)
I have mixed feelings about going to the reunion. I don't really keep in touch with anyone from high school anymore. On the one hand, it might be nice to see everyone again, and I am curious to see how everyone is doing. I did Google a few of them years ago, and I found out that at least two classmates married each other, one of them became a farmer, and another person may or may not have gotten arrested (though that may just be someone who has the exact same name as my former classmate and happens to live in the same town).
I'm not on Facebook, which would probably be a more reliable source of information. I have little interest in joining Facebook, partly because I'm not photogenic; I would probably just post pictures of food, my favorite books or authors, and stuff like Buckingham Fountain, the lake, and independent bookstores. I'd also post pictures of my loud neighbors (with their faces blurred) when they're drunk and passed out in the hallway (I have found more than one of them using the hallway as a bed and/or as a place to throw up) and captions that say stuff like, "This is your brain on drugs." (Incidentally, the last time I saw my classmates was at a wedding several years ago, where several of them got very drunk AND loud.)
I don't know if I want to go back though. There were at least one or two other reunions before this upcoming one, and I didn't go to those either. I figure that at a reunion, everyone will be reminiscing and saying, "Do you remember when..." I also figure that everyone will remember all the embarrassing things that I did. Then they'll have a lot of laughs at my expense, just like they did all the time when we were teenagers.
If I did go back, I think I'd probably engage in what some people call "lying" but what I call "selective truth telling". Here are a few examples:
I live in a really great apartment in Chicago. There's a lot of space and I get along really well with my neighbors.
The truth: I live in a tiny studio in a building with neighbors who may or may not have sold their souls for beer.
I'm not married, but I am dating. I've dated several amazing guys that I'm still friends with.
The truth: I'm married to my work. I've dated a guy who flirted with the waitress right in front of me, a guy who turned out to be at least thirty or forty pounds heavier than he looked in his profile pictures, a guy who insulted me for working in retail, and a guy who told me that I reminded him of his ex-girlfriend, the one who he still had nightmares about. And those are just SOME of the guys who are on my NEVER DATE AGAIN list. If I ever saw any of those guys on the street, I'd buy a Chicago hot dog (or better yet, a nice, big, greasy piece of Chicago-style pizza) that I could then throw at them.
It's so great to see you! We should totally keep in touch from now on.
The truth: I'm still mad at you for making me cry/mocking me/excluding me/believing the lies your manipulative boyfriend told you about me back in high school, and you'd better run fast before I start throwing pizza and hot dogs.
My career is going really well. I make a lot of money, and I'm like those teachers in those inspirational teacher movies.
Truth: I have to work additional jobs just to make ends meet, like retail jobs where I get bossed around by twenty-two-year-old supervisors on power trips. I also have finally inspired my students to stop texting during class, partly because I turn into the neurotic, female version of Mr. Hyde when I catch them taking out their cell phones.
I've changed a lot since high school, and I live a different life now. But there's a part of me that's afraid that if I go back I'll become the person I was before. I'm afraid that they'll judge me for still being in school, even though it is graduate school. I'm also afraid that I might head butt one or more of the people who bullied me, especially if they start up again. I really wish I could be like this girl in what I think is the coolest film preview ever. Then no one would DARE mess with me at the reunion:
Maybe they've changed too, at least some of them. Maybe it wouldn't be like when we were teenagers. Or maybe not.
I don't really want to go. Like I said, I don't keep in touch with anyone from high school anymore, so I'm not really motivated to go back. And anyway, it hasn't quite been fifteen years yet, so I still have time to make up my mind.
What about you? Did you go to your high school reunion? If there hasn't been a reunion for your class yet, do you think that you will go if there is one?
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