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Are High School Reunions Worth the Effort?
This decision comes sooner or later with some trepidation. The answer may hinge on your HS experience, the clique you hung out with, whether you were popular or not, whether you live close enough to make it cost effective, current domestic situation and your overall value of going to one. Oh, and how many years have passed since the HS graduation.
Still, what is the purpose? if it has been 20 or more years, does one really care what happened to so and so and either be amazed or not, I mean, if the person was that important and close, some contact would have occurred before 20 years. The really true friends you have HS will be kept in contact with, if both parties feel that way. People that were never close friends usually remain that way, yet, even among close friends, time has a way to turn the relationship into one of just casual passing.
What bonded close friends in HS, time has erased except for the memory. Then, when you meet them 20+ years later, after all the greetings and catching up is done, you realize that is it and what else is there to really talk about? You realize that except for the memory, you have nothing really in common and they actually ARE a stranger. Might has well go home.
That is what hit me at my reunion after 20 yrs. While my old girlfriends and I revisited the many juicy moments we had, teasing each other, the time together was actually quite limited when compared to 20 yrs. After we told each other of our history since HS, danced, while attraction was there, we had little in common. Of course, the physical and career thing ranks numero uno at most reunions. Time changes people and the once knock-out, good looking girl or guy after 20 yrs. of life, can shatter whatever images you have of them when you think of them. It was a rude awakening at times, like, "Wow, what happened to them?".
I found that many did not go maybe out of fear of appearing as a failure to other classmates when responding to the notorious, "what kind of work do you do"? These people felt ashamed that they had not accomplished more in 20 yrs, others, had, really had! These people did not want to be contacted by the reunion committee. The other thing I noticed was how easily and concise one's life story is told after so many years, scary. Let's see, "went to college, a degree in whatever, worked, got married had two kids, then divorced, went somewhere on vacation, went back to college got another degree, lived in..."
Our HS was fairly large, I did not know a lot of kids, so it was only a small group I consistently hung out with, depending on what grade. So, except for the people I hung with or knew, it was a small circle and the reunion was a lot of, well, strangers. Nothing really special and after even two hours, I was ready to leave. I had heard and seen from everyone that had meaning to me in HS, we caught up, talked about old times, make false promises to keep in contact. What bonded us then, was gone, replaced by the 20 yrs of not knowing them. It was all rather sad and the only purpose served was it resolved my own curiosity about what happened to them. Now that I know, I don't care. Weird.