Who is looking forward to their high school reunion? Have you lost a lot of weight, gained a lot of financial stability, and learned how to tie a tie? Do you have a beautiful wife/handsome husband to walk in with? I, for one, cannot imagine anyone approaching an event like a reunion without feeling like they were heading towards their own execution. We were all so messed up in high school that it’s hard to imagine anyone who is truly, actually, genuinely excited to see all of those people that we were once forced to roam the halls with, five days a week, eight hours a day.
The last time most of us saw each other, the soon-to-be-college group was bragging about which colleges found them worthy of stealing their money for the next four, five, six, seven years. The non-college group was defensively slinking away from the post-ed conversations and discussing their own futures; the amputation between the two began.
Divisions increased with those that decided to marry, live together, or reproduce. Some moved away, some found eating disorders, alcoholism, or their true sexual orientation. Others have experienced tragedy beyond belief, turned to or away from religion, and made up their minds about how their reality will pan out.
I’m still waiting for my ten-year reunion. I’ve always thought that the dread I already feel at attending such an event would be because the people there would only see me for the person I used to be. I’ve changed so much, and they’ll never be able to perceive that in one night. I’ll be shrouded in defensiveness the entire time, knowing that they only remember the insecure, semi-popular, half-assed academic that I was in my late teens.
But maybe it isn’t that we dread being perceived in the same way by others: maybe it’s actually realizing that we haven’t changed at all, and experiencing the past will do nothing but cement that fear in our hearts. No matter how far we’ve come, that lonely, confused, insecure teenager is still somewhere inside us.
And BM rocks, by the way. And he knows why.