Saturday, August 13, 2005



Just received an invitation for my 20-year High School Reunion.

Conveniently, I will be out of town that weekend, so I don't have to decide whether to attend.

I'd be leaning towards "no" anyway.  Conventional wisdom seems to be that your 20th reunion isn't any fun, as everyone is still trying to impress everyone else with whatever it is that they've accomplished -- and the damn things don't get any fun until at least your 30th.

I also just happen to carry around some "reunion baggage."

See, it all dates back to Elementary School.  I didn't have the best experience in 5th and 6th grade.  I wasn't what you'd call really into the whole "playground" side of things.  I lacked hand-eye coordination, and didn't have the strength to serve a volleyball over the net.  I was behind the curve when compared with other students my age -- but since I'd skipped a grade (due to academics), I was even farther behind my classmates physically.  So, playground time for my class generally involved me losing every game of handball we played (unless I happened to be lucky enough to play against Yi-Jin, a girl who was even less adept than I was), the rest of the class laughing at me and making me cry, which of course led to them mocking me for crying, which led to me crying even more.

It was around this time that I started keeping a list of people who I planned to ruin financially when I got older.  Or, alternatively, I had visions of meeting the class bullies again some twenty years down the road, when I'd get to say those five magic words:  "Will the defendant please rise...."

Anyway, fifth and six grades were something of a daily cry-fest for me, even though I did have several friends in my class, and was even voted "Most Intelligent" by my fifth grade classmates.  (Kids are weird.  "Uh, yeah, we hate her and we love making her cry, but we gotta admit she's smart.")

A few years later ... we were probably in Junior High, although I don't recall exactly ... one of my friends from Elementary School called and told me that our sixth grade class was having a reunion.  She told me about it; she didn't invite me.  Because, y'know, I wasn't invited.  (Me and Yi-Jin were the only ones omitted from the guest list.)  And my friend said, "I told them you'd changed, and you were cool now, but they wouldn't listen."

And I was really hurt by that.  And I cried because these kids weren't even willing to give me a freakin' chance.  And then I cried again out of frustration because these kids still had the power to make me cry.  (And then my daydreams turned to me dressing up like a tough biker chick--I'm not even sure I knew what a tough biker chick looked like--and crashing the reunion.)

And I thought about it.  And I thought about it some more.  And I thought about my friend who'd said, "I told them you'd changed, and you were cool now."  And then I realized, I don't want to have anything to do with these people until you're telling me that they've changed.  And that if my so-called friend couldn't see that, I needed some new friends.

So, no, I don't want to go to my High School reunion where it's all about everyone showing everyone else that they're cool now.  I'll wait until the reunion when everyone actually is.


swibirun said...

My 20 year reunion was this past June.  I went on a cruise instead and had a much better time.


andreakingme said...

Seems like the perfect plan to me.

I made the mistake of going to my 5th year reunion. It was awful. Bright lights, music too loud to make conversation, a wall full of photos of JUST the popular kids ... and a guy's beer down the front of my new dress. Not to mention being ignored by the two guys I'd hoped WOULDN'T ignore me.