Monday, November 28, 2011

You can’t go home again. But you can always feel like an awkward, moody teenager.

High school wasn’t bad for me.  It wasn’t great, either.  I had my share of unreasonable teenage angst and questionable fashion decisions.   

I went to a large high school.  While I wasn’t one of the cool kids, it never bothered me because I had friends who were just as uncool as I was.  I was an odd combination of nerd and wannabe arty rebel—think National Honors Society, editor of the literary magazine, a bit of backstage theater work, ska-and-punk music lover, and a horse wrangler for a Girl Scout camp on occasional weekends.  Plus, I was weird and awkward.  I once wore a pair of pants with battery powered Christmas lights decorating the outside seams, and I tended to read novels behind my text books. 

I keep in touch with a couple people from my high school, as we went to college together and remained friends.   When I got the invitation to my ten year high school reunion, I had two simultaneous thoughts. 

1) Ten years?  That can’t be right. I’m fairly certain I’m still like 26.  I know I’ve been 26 for a few years now, but it’s a good age. 

2) Sparkles and I can go together, and we can get drunk and make snarky comments.  And that is what reunions are truly about.

After I bought the ticket to the reunion, I found out that the ever illustrious Sparkles had to work—and she has the type of job that you can never, ever, call in sick unless you are already dead from the plague.  My other friend lives across the country and wasn’t about to spend $500 on a plane ticket just for a reunion.  So I was stuck flying solo. I considered bringing my husband but tickets were $60.  And while I thought that I may be able to have $60 worth of fun, it was unlikely that my introvert husband would have an additional $60 worth of fun with people he had never met.
I was strangely nervous about the whole thing.  Batman pointed out that it was highly unlikely I would be made fun of, as we were all adults now.  I reminded him that with copious amounts of alcohol, anything was possible.  

Low points of the evening:  Two people called me by the wrong name.  Including our guidance counselor.

High points of the evening:  It was actually cool to see everyone all grown up.  Most people seemed about the same (which is a scary thought in itself) except, you know, older.  There was no snobbery going on, and while everyone kind of gravitated towards people they knew, I spoke to almost everyone there.  There was a constant litany of the same three questions:  What do you do?  Where do you live/have you ever left the city?  Do you have a family?

I'm glad I went.  When I got home, Batman asked me how it went.  I told him it was fun--and assured him that none of my high school crushes were remotely attractive anymore. 

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