I had my 20th high school reunion this past Saturday (which makes me 38 years old, I’ll save you the math). Between Facebook and the fact that my high school is local, there wasn’t a great deal of suspense. Nonetheless, emails circulated among a few of my good friends, we pledged solidarity and a “pre-drink” and sent in our RSVP cards. In mid October I received an email from one of these friends asking what we planned to wear. In the midst of a couple of crazy work weeks, the reunion and wardrobe hadn’t crossed my mind. It occurred to me that people care a lot about reunions; I should know this because I help clients slim down for these events. So why was something that’s semi-important for others not on my radar and why do these gatherings hold such significance?
After giving it some thought, a reunion can be a chance at reinvention. Maybe you were an average student but now super successful or you were unattached and now happily married. Or, you have something new: new hair, a new physique or even new ta-tas. A reunion can be a chance to flaunt the improved you and hope others replace the high school image with the updated one (which they really can’t). There’s also the flipside. Reunions can create pressure to weigh what you did in high school or make good on the promise you once showed. Undoubtedly, the stress this creates results in some people skipping the reunion altogether. And let’s not forget the strategy of using a reunion to “reunite”. Some of the single folks at our reunion headed into the room with a younger years’ event for this exact reason.
When I think of these variables, I realize why Saturday night wasn’t that important to me. Flat iron and wrinkles aside, I don’t think I look all that different from 1991. I didn’t get any “who are you again” or gasps when I said hello. Though I had a fondness for bagels (with cream cheese and bacon!) back in the day, I don’t think my career as a nutritionist is all that shocking. And my high school boyfriends didn’t go to my high school, so no butterflies. This description sounds pretty boring it was interesting to take stock. When I think about the others at the reunion, there really weren’t many surprises. Perhaps what you’re like in high school is a good indicator of what you’ll be like later in life. One thing has changed. In high school and in life, I’ve always had clear skin. The morning of the reunion I woke up with an Everest-ian zit. Is it fair to get wrinkles and pimples at the same time?
Have you attended any of your high school or college reunions? Did you diet beforehand? Do you feel people change very much from their high school self?