The Reunion

Ten years have passed, as years often will, and I got an invitation to my high school reunion. It was a message in a bottle, sent to the wrong address, crushed in the mail, appropriate. It took a corkscrew to open the bottle, and inside was sand and shells and the invitation.

Ten years have passed, and I have just experienced a most bizarre weekend. Old memories dredged back to the surface, names and faces I can just barely recall. Ten years ago I was a different person, as were many of my classmates with whom, this weekend, I have had Relationship Take-2.

The guys had mostly become wider and balder, the girls more or less the same. I surely offended more than one person by completely forgetting their name, further evidence, I suppose, of a life left far behind. Two comments followed me throughout the evening - one, "This is more than I've ever heard you talk before! You were really shy in high school." Can you believe there are still people in the world who think I'm a quiet person? And two, "Dang, Kt's a hottie. If you had looked like that in high school, I would have totally hit on you. Is there an award for most improved?" What does one say to such a compliment? Yes, a dorky appearance is the natural defense God gives His beloved to protect them from inadvisable high school relationships (with jerks), thank you very much. People grow up. Oh, the things I would have changed ten years ago!

The corkscrew for the invitation was a good indicator for the weekend, because both main events involved unchecked drinking. Very strange to see former high schoolers get drunk, especially with ex-cops and ex-teachers mixing into the crowd. By the end of the first night, the drunkest of nights, the crowd was conveniently thinned into people who have changed impressively - who were still sober enough for conversation - and the people spilling drinks on the carpet. I caught up with the latter the next day, when they were much more subdued.

Saturday night was our grand luau, not bad for a party of haoles. (Drinks in coconuts. Mine a virgin and extra large, since "No one else wants a virgin," quoth the bartender. DD's forever!) I couldn't make much ground on our class questionnaire - Do you have kids? How many kids? Are you pregnant? Are you married? Are you engaged? ("How about a prize for Least Attached?" I shouted.) But I did take home the prize for Travelled Farthest From Home, which was good and well deserved, since no one in our class is an astronaut yet.

I shall always remember our reunion as shouting at each other over the top of music, random hugging and high-fiving and dancing. My voice was raw from the shouting and the smoke, and I slept poorly in the aftermath, mulling over familiar faces saying such unfamiliar things. The camaraderie, the stunned frozen moments, like our class had been thrown in the middle of the highway all at once with a blinding semi-truck of Change bearing down on us.

I love the changes. I love being able to look through my yearbook now and add on those final memories. The jerks have disappeared. My high school persona is laid to rest. Words that have been left unspoken for ten years, confessions and new revelations, and above all, that elusive sense of finality to a turbulent time. I close the book and move on, smiling.

4 comments:

TSOldtimer said...

Whew! Glad I'm NOT doing that for a while! I don't even know if I'd go back for my ten year reunion. Being home for Houtzdale Days was weird enough. To be in a place where people can't help but recognize you wouldn't be something I'd like to do right now.

Monster Library Student said...

Kt, ignore what tsoldtimer said, he is not as old and mature as us. :) My quasi 10th was last summer...though it was actually only years after I graduated, they decided to tie 3 years together-the two years that my brothers graduated in and my class. All three of us got the invitations and laughed as they were thrown away.
Part of me wished I could go, but it is too close still. I see enough of those people when I go out to my parents for a weekend and go to the damn grocery store. Maybe my 25th? Yours sounded cool...ours was at some skeezy bar in town...God bless small town America...where half the girls were pregnant within 2 years after graduation...ok, maybe not that many, maybe only a third. :)

Erin said...

Kt, you almost make me wish I had gone to mine...almost. I can't remember most of the people in my class. I would have had quite a few embarassing moments of "who are you again?" Although apparently there were people asking where I was... Our class decided to try and have a 15th year reunion, so maybe I'll go to that. Or not.

Mummy Dearest said...

Sounds like a good thing to do. Interesting, if nothing else. I technically didn;t graduate with my class, but I bet I could go with my Hubby. I lost touch with so many people, I think it would be interesting, not weird. But I'm the type of person that likes running into random people at the grocery store anyways, so eh...