I must have been a freshman in high school when I first decided I would never, ever attend my high school reunion. Actually, it may have been a little before that…right around the time I first saw Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion and decided it would be way too much work to become the falsely overly-impressive version of myself I never really wanted to be in the first place.
Whereas Romy & Michele embark on this crazy adventure to try and “wow” all the bitches they encountered when they were younger, I don’t really feel a need to do that (anymore). See, ten years is a long time. A long, long time. It’s enough time to make you realize a few things. For example, ten years is enough time to make you realize you don’t give a shit about the vast majority of the people you went to high school with. Ten years is also long enough that you’ve kind of forgotten most people’s names, or what classes you had them for, or who a lot of your teachers were, or who the cunt was that didn’t let you sit at her table Freshman year because more popular people might be coming around to sit at that table and they didn’t want you there. Okay, maybe I remember her, but I digress.
It’s been a long, long time. I recall watching Romy & Michele when I was in middle school and totally realizing that I wasn’t a Romy or a Michele or any of the dumb cunts they were trying to impress. I was kind of more like the Janeane Garofalo character, except without all the chain smoking (which I would eventually pick up as a bad habit at around age 21 and then again at around age 25 and for a few months at age 27, respectively. PS. I no longer smoke-yay!) And then, fortunately for me, I found a new kindred spirit in high school, one whose name would later become a moniker for me among many of those in my class. A girl I could really relate to.
Yeah, that was me more or less in high school. Sure, Daria seemed like a downer, but I believe there’s an episode where even she attempts to let others know she’s not just a “misery chick,” she’s just not “like them.” I thought about fitting in when I was in middle school, but by the time I was 15, I figured why the fuck am I trying to do this? It’s not making me happy at all to change who I am. I didn’t like going to pep rallys. I wasn’t outgoing. I didn’t participate in much. I liked to read and hang out with my weirdo friends. All the signs were there that I wouldn’t be going to my reunion.
The movies make it seem like you’ll be getting a fancy letter in the mail and maybe a personal phone call announcing your reunion is coming up. They also make it seem like it’s a completely free event. Maybe it’s like that in movies, but that’s not the case in real life. Not these days. These days, you get tagged in a Facebook post by someone who knows someone who’s still reliving their days as a “Bulldog” (our old mascot). It’ll be the most informal invite to anything you’ve ever been to. On top of that, they’ll tag 500 other people to the same thing so you get all sorts of obnoxious notifications about people attending, not attending, reminiscing, and then other people who moved on a long, long time ago and don’t have time for this sort of thing. And then, the fun part. They’ll let you know it’s going to cost you nearly $100 to go and sit in some tacky ballroom or something similar and surround yourself with all those people who you don’t remember and probably don’t remember you. And I’m assuming that’s not including whoever you may happen to want to bring along. I mean, I’ve only been married a year. I don’t want my husband to divorce me yet.
But seriously…I don’t hate on the people that wanted to go or that went. Maybe a little. At least the ones who wouldn’t shut their faces (or the modern equivalent-their Facebook walls) about it. Maybe I’m just not understanding the appeal of going to see random people from my past and find out which ones got fat, skinny, divorced, married, turned out to be gay, turned out NOT to be gay after all, had kids, adopted kids, adopted pets, became cat ladies or whatever the male equivalent to that is, started a business, burned down a building, went to jail, lost an arm in ‘Nam, etc, etc. In this day and age of Facebook, why would anyone want to go to such lengths? Why not just hang out any other time…for free?
In the end, maybe I just skipped out because it would give me something to write about. Or maybe I just like to spend my money on seeing people I actually like and doing things I actually enjoy. At least for me, the past is past. High school was no picnic. Why would I ever delude myself in to thinking it was anything more than four very hormonal years composed of crappy short term relationships, misunderstandings with teachers, pain in the ass projects and exams, too much running in the sun, awkward lunches and even more awkward friendships? Not to mention all the weird stuff that happened with high school people after high school (for example: The people whose infidelities I knew of-potentially first hand-who might show up with their respective significant others and whom I’d have to smile and nod to and pretend like it’s all good? Or any awkward run-ins with exes who wished me dead or vice versa? Or people who I knew couldn’t stand me back then who would then come up to me and try to pretend like they gave a fuck, or people who I couldn’t stand any more and I’d have to bite my lip and be polite to to keep the peace? Hrm, yeah. No. Too messy.)
Eh, maybe I am the misery chick and that’s why I didn’t go. But at least this chick’s got $100 in her pocket to show for it and a tiny corner of the internet to bitch to.