On Saturday, I attended my 20-year high school class reunion. After the last one, I had sworn I wasn't going to any more of them, mainly because I'd barely recognized anyone and vice versa. On the other hand, the previous reunion had been held in a big, bonfire-lit field, so that could have made things a little more difficult.
This one was in the basement of a suburban, Irish-themed pub. Note to potential bar owners: carpeting does not belong on any bar floor, even in the "party room." Every time I stood still, my sandals stuck lightly in place. Fortunately there was adequate lighting, a buffet, and the occasional yearbook scattered around for reference.
I was heartened to see that everyone was having as difficult a time recognizing people as I was. My husband and I sat at a table with two of my classmates I'd recognized more or less immediately. Everyone who had any idea who I was seemed to think I looked "exactly the same," which didn't make much sense to me considering that I'd changed my hair color and lost 15 pounds since the last reunion.
Two of the "popular" girls from my class (and let's keep in mind that everyone was popular compared to me) came over to say hello. "You look great!" they said.
If any of my current friends had said that to me, I'd have said "thank you" and moved on. In this case, High School Jane was lurking in the back of my psyche thinking, "What does that mean? Do I look fat? Does my hair look weird? This outfit is all wrong, isn't it?" Aaagh! I'd never go back to being a teenager!
I did a minimal amount of mingling (once a wallflower, always a wallflower), but managed to at least say "hi" to everyone I'd been friendly with in high school. My husband passed out more business cards than I did because two of my friends happened to mention needing a recording studio and computer help, both of which he can provide.
After all this time, two-and-a-half hours of high school reunion struck me as no different than any other social activity with strangers. I don't have any high school glory days to relive. I could barely fill out the questionnaire they gave us asking things like, "What were your three favorite songs in high school?"
Maybe by the 25-year reunion I'll have more time for reflection...