Getting invited to your high school reunion isn’t necessarily exciting. In fact, the idea of reuniting with former classmates can be downright nauseating. Not because you find your old school chums repugnant, it’s the thought of small talk and the notion of maybe not quite measuring up.
I wrote a bit about the awkwardness of being a human, with examples of personal awkward moments. I mean, if you can’t laugh at your own idiotness, what’s the point? Every person, even the super confident ones, are socially awkward at times. It’s a fact.
I didn’t go to my ten year high school reunion. Not because I didn’t want to, but because at 4,386.5 km away, it was a daunting trek. And not one I could easily take having just started a new job.
By all accounts it was fun and there was a good turn out. But only ten years out of school, there were still egos to manage, reputations to overcome, and importance to prove. So, it was fun, but with an edge.
I did make it to our twentieth. With two young children at home, I welcomed a little “mom-cation.” The atmosphere was quite relaxed. Now in our thirties, we had less to prove and more to catch up on. I fretted a bit over what to wear and what to say, but when I got there and saw the faces and felt the hugs, it was easy.
Was it easy for everyone? Probably not. Some people had a tough time in high school while others breezed on through. High school history surely plays a part in the love/hate attitude toward reunions.
I was a floater in school. I had a designated spot in the popular group. My awesome bestie was one of the popular girls in school. She was friendly and vivacious and was voted “best legs” in 10th grade to boot. (Clearly there were no objections to objectifying high school girls back then). I was voted “sunniest smile.” It probably had to do with the braces I wore for a ridiculous number of years.
I migrated between the in crowd and the “band kids” (I played percussion in the school band with this guy… not name dropping but Tal Bachman was a fan of my mad wood block and triangle stylings). I played sports so I also hung out with the jocks. And I loved to write so I felt equally at home with the poets and the creatives. I enjoyed pretty much any group that had fun and friendly people in it.
I was an extroverted introvert during high school. I still am. So though I may appear confident, I’m not always. In fact, some days I’d rather endure a hundred paper cuts while doing my taxes than try to fill uncomfortable silences with small talk.
Know where there’s a lot of small talk? Reunions.
Reuniting is not for the faint of heart. But if you follow that heart, you won’t regret it.
Last weekend I flew from my home in Toronto to my old home in White Rock, B.C. to attend our thirty year high school reunion. I wasn’t nervous this time. At forty-eight years old I have zero shits to give about impressing anyone or appearing more successful than I am. I did worry a little about my outfit, but mostly about the shoes. Shoes are hard. Comfort over fashion plays a dominant role these days.
This reunion was the sweetest yet. No airs. No egos. No drama. Just dancing and laughter and stupidity and tequila shots and ridiculous squat kick dancing to Boney M’s Rasbutin.
I am so glad I went.
So if you get an invitation to your high school reunion, go! Don’t let your brain talk you out of it. Your heart wants to be there. Listen to your heart.
Side note: you might want to skip that last tequila shot. Or at the very least, drink a giant glass of water before bed. Don’t ask me how I know this.
Hey, want to see some Semiamhoo High School Class of 1988 reunion photos and a video of my squat kick dancing? Well you’re in luck…