It’s Like High School All Over Again

Hey, there all you Scribes fans. Sugar here. This past Saturday was my ten year high school reunion.

I didn’t go.

It wasn’t as if I had anything pressing to do. Or that distance kept me away. I just had no desire to go. I didn’t really like high school and I never want to go back. It’s probably why I can’t connect with YA. I don’t particularly like teenagers and could remember wanting to be an adult so bad that it hurt. It wasn’t as if high school was bad for me like it is for some other kids. I wasn’t bullied. I wasn’t a misfit. I was just in the middle. Not the smartest. Not the dumbest. Not the prettiest. Not anything really outstanding.

Some kids thrive in high school. For some people high school was the best time of their lives. The star athletes. The prom queens. The valedictorians. I knew back then that my shinning moment was yet to come. I’m from a very small, a very non diverse town. A town that people don’t ever leave. I knew I had to leave . I knew that once I left there I wasn’t going back.

And I didn’t, except to see my family. And I won’t go back unless catastrophe  strikes.  There were some people I really liked in high school. But I guess not enough to keep in contact with over the years, because sadly I don’t have a single friend that I had when I was in high school. Yes, there are Facebook friends, but other than seeing what they are up to in my news feed we don’t have any contact.

College was where I met the friends I will have for a lifetime. The people who get me . The people I can send RIDICULOUS text messages to and they don’t even blink. The people who will help me hide a body if I needed it. I don’t need a reunion with them because I know we will never allow ourselves to need one.  And then there are the writer friends I have made over the past three years, who have been so supportive and caring. The people I can talk to about the weirdest things with no judgement.

Last night as I started to see the pictures that were posted on Facebook of the event I was glad I didn’t go. It was held in a bar. Less than fifty people attended. Out of our class of 246 students only 110 were invited through a hasty Facebook invite. My very good friend from high school didn’t make the cut and wondered why she didn’t know about it. It just made me kind of sad that she wasn’t memorable enough by our class president to make the cut. She was memorable to me and kind and sweet and odd and interesting. But she wasn’t noticeable. She didn’t make a big impact on anybody back then unless you knew her. And not enough people had the chance to know her.

Almost all the pictures I saw only had the so call popular kids in them. The same ten or so kids that always made homecoming court, who were always on the student council, who always won the superlatives in the year book. Where was everybody else? All the kids I sang with in chorus. The band geeks. The kids who spent so much time in the art room.

There were no pictures of them. None of them were there.

Why not?

Were they like me? Did they just not want to go because high school was really nothing special for them. Or did they not make the cut?

One reunion goer who was probably in the middle like me in school said, “It’s nice to see how some people matured so much in ten years and sad to see how some didn’t change at all.”

I really like how that statement summed up the event. That reunion was like high school all over again. The popular kids ruled the day. The non popular ones didn’t even get invited to the party.

I know not everybody’s reunions are like that. I’ve seen some that were so organized and inclusive and welcoming. I was just an outsider looking in. It could have been different though. Those people who were mean in school could have been wonderful, those people who were vapid could have evolved but from what I saw, from what I know from experience I knew that probably wasn’t the case.

I hope things change and while I fully recognize that planning an event isn’t easy my suggestion would be to never let a twenty-eight year old questionably mature guy plan a big event. There are just some things women are better at.

So enough of my trip down memory lane. How was high school for you? How do you feel about reunions? Any and all comments are welcome.

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6 thoughts on “It’s Like High School All Over Again”

  1. I haven’t been to any of mine, either — and it’s been a lot more years than ten. Sounds like you didn’t miss anything.
    I’m just reading a fun book that starts out at a high school reunion. Ugly Duckling (I think that’s the title) by Stacy Gail (I know that’s the author)

  2. I was one of those kids who was nice to everyone in school, had my own little “average” girl posse, and made it a point to fit in with every crowd but didn’t really hang out with any of them. I was pregnant in my junior year so that set me apart in a big way, but surprisingly everyone was pretty nice/cool about it–more curious than anything else. Oddly, I was single and pregnant again for my fifth year reunion and the decided it was bad luck to go to those things, LOL, so I missed the next few. I did go to my 20th and then just last year went to my 30th. I’ll admit that it felt kind of cool to be a bit of a celebrity. Because so many folks are on FB, they all knew I was published and it made for some fun conversation. All in all, I was really glad that I went. It was nice seeing how after so many years, the playing field gets leveled by time, age, and life experience. The jocks had the paunch and bald heads, and the beauty queens had lost some of their shine, but everyone talked to everyone else. There were no more loners sitting in the corner. That was nice!

  3. I didn’t go to my early reunions but then went to numbers 15-25. Missed #30 this summer because I was at a wedding in Alaska. Like PJ, I find time has changed a lot of the relationships. People who wouldn’t have given me the time of day in high school are oddly nice to me now.

  4. Sugar, thanks for the wonderful post. I can’t even find anyone from my high school. And that’s okay. I did have two girl friends, but we did not stay in touch. Oh well. That’s that.

  5. I think I must have had some sort of magical high school experience, which I attribute completely to the school I went to, which dedicated itself to being completely noncompetitive. And pulled it off. I was not a cheerleader or a prom queen, but was never ever made to feel less-than about that. The friends I made then are still my best friends. I went to my fifth reunion, then my thirtieth, and just loved every single one. I think the best story about my high school is this one: I did not want to go to boarding school. So I completely avoided writing the applications. My mother wrote them for me, and did her best to make her one-sided daughter sound well-rounded. But she forgot to clue me in, so I’d get to the school and they’d look at the application and say “So, tell me about your tennis achievements” and I’d say “Huh?” The high school I eventually wound up at was the only one where the admissions counselor threw down the paper after a few minutes and said “This clearly isn’t you. Who are you really?”

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