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Monday, June 26, 2006

Reunion

"One morning, over at Elizabeth's beach house, she asked me if I'd rather go water-skiing or lay out. And I realized that not only did I not want to answer that question, but I never wanted to answer another water-sports question, or see any of these people again for the rest of my life."

-Anthony Adams, Bottle Rocket

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Seems like every once in a while, I'll look up and see who's listed on my high school's and college's alumni pages on MySpace. I think of this as a virtual reunion; a reunion that doesn't have the in-person awkwardness like the regular ones. Whether virtual or in-person, these looks also serve as a reminder of certain things from the past that I had forgotten about. Some are good to remember while some are matters that I'd like to move past.

Overall, neither high school or college were bad times for me. I had fun, but seeing how my life is now compared to being in school, I get a little ticked off. Did I really have to learn all that complex math? Did I really have to be subjected to my study hall teacher screaming at my chatty classmates? Did I really have to listen to a "sermon" every Friday from my algebra teacher? Did I really have to read all that modernist poetry? Of course the answer is no, but I wonder, why is the school system so focused on piling so much excessive BS into your life?

While I ponder that, I ponder why I even bother to look up and see what my old classmates are up to now. There is some sort of curiosity factor with seeing what some of these people are doing now. Probably the funniest one I've found so far is a guy who was an annoying jerk in band who's now a sheriff. (I'll be staying out of his jurisdiction for the time being.) For so many of the other people, they've gone on with their lives. That's cool, but I wonder, am I really going to bother with going to my high school reunion next year? At the present time, my answer is no.

I argue that the people I really care about from high school and college are the ones that I'm still in touch with. I like hearing about what's up with people like Matt, Tim and Chris and I try and see them whenever I visit Houston. Yet there are plenty of people that just simply moved on that I have lost touch with. I keep thinking there's a reason or two why I have lost touch with these people and trying to reconnect with them probably isn't the best thing.

When I was in high school, which class you were in was a big deal. I had friends in my grade, the grade above me and the grade below me. Yet, no matter what, the seniors ruled the world and the freshmen were the salt of that world. I'm still in the dark as to why, but let me say that I am happy that this is not the way I see life now. I often forget that people like Kyle and Jason are three to five years older than me while Nick is a year younger than me and Joshua is three years younger. I have to wonder: why the divide in the first place?

All these questions with "why" in them are some of the reasons why I'm not so inclined to attend a ten-year reunion or really reconnect with certain old classmates. I'm not so sure that many people actually enjoy waxing nostalgia, especially after only ten years. Ten years are a little too soon to stop and take stock of our lives so far. Many of us are just getting out of college and trying to think about what we want to do for a career. There will be no swapping of pictures of grandchildren, talking about when you retired from your job and so on. Mentally stepping back into the world of tardy bells, seniors-only parking and homework is not something I've had enough time away from to have a full perspective on.

3 comments:

swirly girl said...

"Everybody's coming back to take stock of their lives. You know what I say? Leave your livestock alone."

-Debi
Grosse Pointe Blank

This is exactly what I think of everytime the subject of high school and reunion talk comes up. the way I think of it is...if I really was interested in these people, I would have kept up with them the entire ten years. But I didn't and other than the odd piece of info that would trickle through the alumni-PTA-Stepford Wives-groups, I probably wouldn't know anything about anyone from my past. And I'm ok with that.

And then there's my sister, who is the exact opposite and doesn't seem to have any friends she didn't know either as a Brownie or from school. It's just weird.

Treblephone said...

In a way, it's fascinating, if only to see how differently some people turned out----as opposed to how you THOUGHT they would. Kind of like going back and looking at a forgotten petri dish.

Funny you would be posting this, as I just got contacted by someone from high school that I haven't talked to in twenty years.

Kev said...

I went to my reunion and actually had a much better time than I thought I would. People were truly impressed that I had stuck with music (I'd gotten a decent amount of publicity for that in high school, having written several pieces for the band) and was doing something I actually loved. Sure, the big jock won "most popular," but by and large, the caste system had broken down considerably in the ten years since graduation.

But the one thing that blew me away was how many people had become attorneys. The president of the drama club? Attorney. The three-time all-state clarinetist? Attorney. I bet they've made a ton of money, but I wonder if they're fulfilled...