Let’s jump into it right out of the gate: high school reunions are sort of dumb. Perhaps in the dark ages prior to social media, it was intriguing to find out what people were up to ten or twenty years after you last saw one another. But these days, we just look on Facebook to see who got fat, had kids, got married, divorced, and all of that fun stuff. And let’s face it, all that “fun stuff” is why people show up to high school class reunions. Let’s pretend for a second that I am being overly cynical.
Let’s imagine that you moved away after high school and haven’t returned often to your hometown and also rebuke all forms of social media (but then how did they even find you to invite you?). Maybe it would be a nostalgic adventure to return to your beloved hometown and warmly “catch up” with all of those long-lost acquaintances. If this Pollyanna-esque reunion is what you have in mind, then I hope for your sake that your hometown is not like mine: a sweltering non-tropical opposite-of-an-oasis kind of place. Don’t get me wrong, I live less than an hour from my old high school; I’ve adjusted to the heat, my pool helps tremendously.
But why in god’s name would you decide to host a class reunion in the dead of summer? I’m sure most of those who did move away have never thought, “Gee, you know what would be great? Taking a trip to a place with triple digit weather and a lingering aroma of manure and make small talk with a bunch of people I know vaguely.” People who organize class reunions: maybe try to make it appealing? I just think if I’m going to spend an entire evening going over the same highlight reel I’ve seen on Facebook for the past ten years, I would like to at least not be dripping sweat. Is that really too much to ask?
Needless to say, I skipped my ten year reunion. But to be fair, it was the same weekend I was moving. And I didn’t really want to go. I’m sure no one missed me. Because a) the few people I still talk to weren’t going and b) many of my other classmates see my highlights on social media.
I’m sorry, but if I have to arrange for an all-night babysitter, drive nearly an hour, pay a five-star price tag for a dive bar buffet, spend all night awkwardly introducing my husband to people I only kind of know and repeat the same boring-ish story of the last decade of my life, then I only ask that it not be one hundred and thirteen goddamn degrees outside.No offense. Maybe I’ll see you all at the twenty-year. Don’t hold your breath.
I think there’s a reason we stay connected to some and not to others. I was neither homecoming queen nor a wallflower. I played some sports, I went to some parties. I ditched class with friends from time to time, and even went to those terrible parties with shitty beer out in fields and barns (I grew up in a fairly rural area). I was always kind of an outsider at heart, though. I was technically from the next town over, and most of classmates had known one another since birth.
That wasn’t my scene; to me, small towns are like comfort food: they can be great in small doses, but consumed daily and that shit will kill you, or just make you incredibly miserable. On occasion, I have ran into old classmates and it was fun to say hello for a few minutes. But I feel like if class reunions are to have any relevance moving forward, they have to do more than offer a superficial moment of socializing.
Invite us all to a football game and drinks after. I might go to that. Maybe a costume party with prizes? Now we’re talking. Draw the weird ones like myself back with something of interest. I promise it will make the night a lot more interesting.