My high schools Class of 1992’s 20 Year reunion has come to a close. I thought I would have a beautiful post to share with you about how I was so happy I went to my reunion and had the time of my life, but I don’t. Now that it’s over, I am feeling rather numb. I enjoyed myself, yes, but there was something missing. Was it because I was holding back somehow, not letting myself dive right in? I have a feeling I know why, maybe.
The reunion fun started for me on Saturday night, meeting up with two classmates and their spouses at a local bar. I loved sitting there catching up with them and hearing about their lives. Because it was just us, we were able to talk and listen to one another. I adored seeing them as adults and hearing their own trials and tribulations as parents. I wasn’t close to these ladies in high school, but I knew them, one more than the other, but that didn’t matter. We were all alumni of our high school’s class of 1992.
The next day brought a slightly larger group of people who met for breakfast and then moved on to a tour of our high school. The school has changed so much in these past 20 years, it was nice to see all those changes with fellow alumni. I have seen these changes since I moved back to my hometown 15 years ago, and my daughter now attends the school herself, but it’s nice to reminisce with others who remember the way it once was.
The next part of my day is rather a blur. I got home from the tour of the high school and relaxed for a bit before my brain started flooding with thoughts of hair, makeup, and uh oh…I need nylons! I rushed to CVS and grabbed a pair of nylons, some new make-up and rushed home to jump in the shower. I washed and rapidly dried my hair and then threw on my make-up. I have no skills in the make-up arena, so I had to let my daughter fix my mess ups. I nearly walked out of my house in uneven eye make-up! I fluffed up my hair and got into my dress. The dress I had fret over from the moment I decided to attend the reunion.
The finished product. All dolled up and ready to hit the dance floor.
Once we arrived at the reunion we were immediately greeted by someone in the parking lot who had arrived just as we had. It was such a warm and happy moment, and she looked stunning! I felt at ease walking to the entrance there with her. Funny, apparently we were the last two couples to arrive and my friend who was checking in people at the door said he was about to message me to get my ass over to the reunion. What happened to being fashionably late? As we entered the hall where the reunion was being held I felt a little uneasy. I didn’t know who to talk to first or if there was assigned seating. I found Valerie, who was one of the classmates I had met with the night before and the morning of, and asked where she was sitting. I felt like I was right back in school again, seeking acceptance and a lunch break friend. 🙂
I spotted a few people I immediately had to talk to and when I walked up to them I suddenly had verbal diarrhea. Words were coming out of nowhere and I couldn’t stop them. I was making no sense, and I had to get away. So I wandered. I found a good friend who is married to a fellow alumni (she is an alumni as well, just not in our class) and and stuck with her. She has a similar sense of humor, so I knew I was safe with her. I would wander off and say hello to people here and there, but it was painful. I don’t know what to say to people. I am not good at small talk. The next thing I knew it was time to eat so we ate. Actually I went to sit and talk with my friend who was helping out. I was able to chat a bit and get my neurosis under control without letting on that I was feeling totally out of place. Charles and Regina, you two were there for me to lean on when I needed support. You may not have realized it at the time, but I am grateful. Thank you.
Dinner ended, I hardly ate, and the music started. I immediately hit the dance floor. On the dance floor and I can be myself and feel at ease. I don’t have to make conversation, I can just be there, and still be part of the party. At one point I realized I was seriously going to be alone on the dance floor and grabbed my classmates wife (the friend I have known for years) and told her not to leave me alone out there. She came into the hall and said “You weren’t kidding, you really are alone out there!” but she didn’t hesitate and put on her boogie shoes.
Dancing, dancing, dancing. That’s all I did for the rest of the evening. I made friends with another wife of a classmate (who I had no recollection of…how is that possible in our small class, I mean I thought I remembered everyone!) who was my other dance floor partner. She was soooo sweet and I adored her. Anyway, what I mean to say here is I didn’t take any photos with my camera. My husband snapped a couple of me dancing at the end of the night, but I didn’t get pictures with anyone. Not my childhood best friend who I hadn’t seen in 20 years, not my campaign manager who helped me win ASB Vice President, no one. But wait, I did get one picture with someone. He may not have been in my class, but he’s totally a friend for life.
So what did I learn? I learned that I have made a new friend in Valerie, who I have known since junior high, but have only now molded a friendship by spending time getting to know her again. I have rekindled an old friendship with Elsa, who I plan to meet up with to let our children play and just hang out. I learned I am not the only one who had a hard time attending the reunion because of heavy baggage that everyone seems to carry. I learned that I will go to my next reunion, no matter what, because the people who show up are people I have a bond with for life. No matter who we were in high school, we are all a part of each others life no matter how small or big it may be.