Ah the high school reunion, a time when grown adults flock to their hometowns in a last ditch effort to relive glory days that weren’t really all that glorious, and reconnect with people they purposely lost touch with during college.
Ten years ago, I walked across a stage and accepted a diploma from the state of New york, slightly perturbed the half-wit at the podium couldn’t pronounce my name, but otherwise pretty jazzed I’d made it through without any form of nervous breakdown, incarceration, pregnancy scare or regrettable piercing. And every day of the last decade has more or less been a celebration of the closure of that chapter of my life. Still, when I got the invite to my ten year reunion, I considered going. Maybe it would be nice to reconnect after all, perhaps I’d forgotten some glory days I was in need of remembering. So, I hopped online to check airfare to good ‘ole hometown USA and, after wondering what one of my kidneys would fetch on the black market, decided it just wasn’t worth the holiday weekend airfare. I did my due diligence though, and came up with as many reasons not to go, as there are years since I graduated. Without further ado, I give you:
10 Reasons I Didn’t Go to My Ten Year Reunion
1. I wasn’t really popular. I didn’t run track or organize school dances or run for student body president. There weren’t an overwhelming number of people to reminisce with.
2. I wasn’t really unpopular: I don’t have anything to prove. I can’t recall a single person in whose face I’d like to rub my general success. They’re probably out there, but I’ve long since forgotten them. Which brings me to my next point.
3. I don’t remember people: Of my entire graduating class I think I can list 20 people. Even if you put my yearbook in front of me I think I might be able to string a memory to a face with another 10. Dear people I’ve forgotten: It’s not that you’re forgettable per se, I have just forgotten you. I doubt this fact impacts you in any meaningful way.
4. I hate pretending I do remember people. There are only so many times I can call people “hun” and glance at their nametag before someone catches on. Which doesn’t matter anyway because after cocktail four I’d just start telling people I had no idea who they were. That’s not a good look for me.
5. I don’t care about your kids: This one is going to sting a little, but I don’t. Please don’t misunderstand, If we are currently friends, I care about your kids. I’m not completely heartless, but if we were lab partners 12 years ago, I don’t care that little Johnny just took his first steps, I just don’t. 8 photos in I am not suddenly going to realize what a miracle he has been in your life.
6. I”m not a raging success: I won't lie to you, if I actually had invented Post-Its, hell yes I would be at that reunion because who doesn’t love a moment of celebrity? As it stands I’m doing fairly well for myself. I’ve lost some weight, my credit score is in the pre-qualified-for-lots-of-stuff-I-don’t-need range , and I finally figured out what to do with my hair. But none of these changes really qualifies for a FOX reality tv special. If there aren’t going to be any spotlights or velvet curtains really, what’s the point?
7. There are too many potential drinking games: “I can’t believe it’s been ten years” heard 20 or so times becomes necessarily acknowledged with tequila shots. Strangers become friends, friends become enemies, someone calls the cops, and it’s all my fault for starting the whole damn thing. I have made it 28 years without so much as a parking ticket. I’d like to keep that streak going.
8. There’s no long lost love I was hoping to rekindle: No high school sweetheart, no unspoken crush, no “special friend” I was looking to go all Dawson’s Creek on. Kids, if you’re reading this, the CW has been lying to you. You have a better chance of getting hit by lightening than experiencing any of these scenarios.
9. I’m still a little afraid of being a grown up: I don’t have a mortgage, or a husband, or children siphoning off the lion’s share of my shoe fund, and out here in sunny California that’s pretty normal for someone my age, but at my reunion there would be, lying in waiting, a concentrated group of people my EXACT AGE who have all of these things, and I am terrified of facing them.
10. There wasn’t any dancing The modern sitcom has taught us that reunions include a Saturday night dance ala high school standard procedure but it turns out almost no one does this anymore and this point just put me over the edge. Reasons 1-9 I could maybe get over, but If I couldn’t spend too much money on a cocktail dress I may never wear again for the sole purpose of looking good in front of people I couldn’t even remember, while dancing to music I most likely now hate, then I just couldn’t justify going to a reunion.
For all my fellow 2003 graduates, congratulations on making it through a decade of the real world. With any luck, I’ll find 20 reasons I should go to our 20 year reunion, and I’ll see ya then.