On Saturday night, I went with Chris to his 20th high school reunion. I was dreading it, a little bit, because I usually do dread parties – I’m not a very social person, and I foresaw a long night of standing about with no one to talk to.

I actually had a pretty good time.

The open bar helped.

But seriously – it wasn’t bad. There were, of course, a few people there I already knew; I also spent a chunk of time at the “significant others” table, at which we all talked about the fact that we didn’t know anyone there, that being the nature of such events. I showed people pictures of the girls, and admired the pictures of other kids. I talked with people about work, and children, and movies, and the economy.

Even though I didn’t grow up with these people, I could make guesses about where they stood, twenty years ago, in the high school hierarchy. That woman must’ve been a cheerleader; that one was a jock; that guy over there was the class clown; this one with the bad shirt was the guy no one could stand. But the thing is…it didn’t seem to matter any more. Everyone seemed happy to see everyone. Everyone hugged, and chatted, and laughed, and seemed genuinely glad to see one another.

But maybe I just saw it that way because I was an outsider. I wonder if it would play out the same way if I were to attend my 20th reunion next year. Would I still be intimidated by the “popular” crowd? Would people still ignore me because I was the “smart one”? Or would we just be people now, with jobs and kids and spouses and twenty years between now and the days when that kind of thing mattered?

It might depend on whether or not there’s an open bar.


aimee said...

I know at my 10 year, it still mattered "who was who" (or is it who was whom?) and there were a couple of girls that really seemed bitter. I was sad that it still had to be that way and hope that we all forget in the next 10 years how it was.

Abbey said...

I agree with Aimee. I hope that time passes and all is forgotten after 20 years. And yes, an open bar probably does help a little. :)