|A group of smart, intelligent people who graduated 20 years ago. And me, I'm in there too.|
Ok, that is vastly overselling my 20-year high school reunion, but in a sense, it's true. There's only a little more than 200 people who can say they graduated in 1997 from the high school I went to. Some of us grew up here, going from kindergarten through high school here. Others moved here at some point during elementary, middle or even high school. We all had different hobbies, interests, cliques and clubs we were a part of. But at the end of the day, we all share the fact that for whatever else we've had in life, we all had she shared experience of finishing high school together.
The ubiquity of Facebook makes reunions a lot less mysterious than they used to be. Not only did I have a general idea of who all was coming, but I knew, more or less, what was going on with almost everyone there.
But social media is no substitute for actually getting together. Being able to hear the voices of the guy you played soccer with or finding out the pretty girl who sat behind you used to cheat off of your paper when she could. (I hope I got those answers right for both of us, Brandy. And I'm glad I could help.)
Then there's finding out what, exactly people are doing, not just where the live or where they work.
It's finding out the girl who you were on the Math Team with in elementary school now works in analytics for Delta. Or that one of the sweetest girls in school is a kindergarten teacher where she seems like a perfect fit.
It's being able to solve the mystery of what happened to that quiet, but really funny guy I sat next to in Biology my senior year and who seemed to have left no trace of himself online. (He didn't make it, but someone at the reunion says he now lives in New York and works for Google. The fact that he works for Google and can't be found online makes me wonder if he knows something we don't.)
But it's also hanging out with the guy who lives three doors down and the guy who has a kid in my kid's class. It's doing more than just a polite hello to that classmate you see at the athletic fields as you're going to your kid's game and she's leaving her kid's game.
It's finding out one of your former classmates lives in the same town as your in-laws and hitting it off with her husband (though we both had a lot to drink at that point so it's quite possible he doesn't actually like me that much.)
And then there's running in to that girl who, every time she sees me she tells me how much she enjoys my blog and that I should write more. And she is just so sweet that I can't help but try to write more.
It's the random coincidence of talking to a guy whose mom was your wife's Pre-Cal teacher in college (and your wife confessing that she failed the class and him feeling bad about it.)
But more than anything, reunions are about nostalgia. Yeah, high school wasn't the greatest. I think even the people who really enjoyed it wouldn't necessarily go through it again.
But we all lived that experience together. We all freaked out about the tests and dealt with the stupid drama that comes with being 14 to 18 years old. We went to football games and parties and did whatever extracurricular activities we did that seemed important at the time. Whatever cliques existed 20 years ago have long since disappeared. It was just fun to talk, catch up, share stories and enjoy each other's company.
But then we all had to go our separate ways. For some of us it was just across town. Other's had flights to catch including one girl who had to get a flight back to Dallas before leaving tomorrow for London. I have no problem saying she's a better person than I am. Still others had to drive a few hours home where we'll go about our lives.
I realized as I was writing this that I kept writing "guys and girls" instead of "men and women." That's the power of nostalgia. For everything that's happened in the 20 years since we graduated, my strongest memories of just about everyone there is from when we were kids. We were guys and girls, and in my mind's eye, we still are.
Now if I can just run in to the girl who always wants me to write, maybe I can actually write more regularly.