We took a couple trips to Washington this summer. The first trip was for my *gulp* 10-year high school reunion. I always knew that I wanted go to my reunion but I decided to do some informal research to see what other people’s experiences where at their reunions. The resounding and slightly shocking answer from most people was that they didn’t go. Either they hated high school so much that they wouldn’t dream of going or they simply didn’t care enough to attend. The few people that I spoke with that actually attended their reunion said it was awkward and they had a terrible time. Thanks to my informal research I was now starting to regret my purchase of a plane ticket.
Was high school really that bad for so many people? I wasn’t the most popular kid. I wasn’t a cheerleader (they were cool at my school) or super trendy. I didn’t have a fancy car and I definitely had my awkward moments. The town I attended high school in was a mostly Dutch community; meaning that I was surrounded by blond-haired-blue-eyed-perfect-skin-long-legged teenagers. If you know me, you know that I’m short, with brown hair and dark eyes. I was always overlooked by the boys because I was surrounded by blond bombshell goddesses. But despite all of that, I had good friends. Friends that were crazy. Friends that were adventuresome. Friends that did what they wanted despite what the world expected of them. A lot of my friends were girls and a handful of them were guys. And we had fun. We would play board games while shoving our faces full of Doritos and Mountain Dew. We’d sneak out to the woods at night, climb trees and repel to the forest floor. If it wasn’t raining, we would drag my friends couch and TV out to the backyard and have outdoor movie nights. We went snowboarding and hung out in coffee shops. We played at the beaches, the parks, the streets of our neighborhoods. And nothing mattered because we were carefree and full of life. And even though the actual time spent in the class rooms and hallways wasn’t always fun, I had good friends.
So I decided to go to my high school reunion. I haven’t kept in touch with hardly anyone but I still wanted to see them and see how their lives had turned out. I tried not to have any expectations but I secretly hoped that it would be wonderful. And I wasn’t disappointed. It was probably the best reunion anyone has ever had. Everyone was amazing and friendly and gave hugs out like they were party favors. People that I hadn’t even spoken with in high school were suddenly dear friends from a long lost life. It was amazing. We enjoyed cocktails and appetizers, laughed about social hierarchy and stayed out late. We all went dancing the first night and were out well past 2:00. The following night was another great evening of meeting spouses and sharing photos. Not wanting the evening to end, we decided to go sing Karaoke. New memories were made. Great memories were made. I feel sorry for the people that didn’t get the experience I did. But it makes me so grateful for my high school and the people that shared those four years with me.