“Should I Stay or Should I Go?”

LevinOver the past few weeks I’ve been debating whether or not to attend my 20th high school reunion, which is scheduled for November.  I really have no idea as to what to do.  My memories of high school are overall positive and the occasion would give me an opportunity to catch up with a few close friends that I haven’t seen in years.  On the other hand I have no urge to take part in a reunion; nor is there any curiosity as to how people’s lives have turned out.  Finally – and this is my worst fear in considering attending – I have no interest in conversations that take the form of "pissing contests."  Perhaps I’ve seen too many Hollywood movies that take place around reunions. 

Still, I am willing to leave open the possibility that my attendance would be worthwhile for some other reason.  So are there any reasons to attend?  By the way, how about that mug shot?  It looks like something you might find on the Post Office wall.

8 responses... add one

I once saw Chicago columnist and Friend-of-Oprah Bob Green say that you are always the person you were in high school. This immediately struck me as the most pathetic thing I had ever heard.

I have never bothered to go to any of my reunions. I am not opposed to the concept, but there was always something more interesting to do. Friends tell me that they were more pleasant and low-key than anticipated. If there is nothing good on the History Channel I would go.

Kevin,

I went to my my 20th and had one of the best times of my life.

My high school was extremely small and extremely cliquey. I hovered around the fringes of the popular/jock crowd. I wasn’t a geek, and I definitely wasn’t a stoner. The geeks and stoners kept to themselves, and as a member of a sports team, it was inappropriate for us to have any contact with them.

The nifty thing about my 20th was seeing these people as adults without the cliques. I sat and had an absolutely delightful conversation with one of the biggest stoners of all. He was stoned pretty much all the time when we were in high school, but today, he’s a real, honest-to-goodness mountain man. He owns a bed and breakfast in the mountains of Colorado and makes his living as a wilderness guide. I never would have given him the time of day in high school, but it was one of the best conversations I’d had in years.

The other thing that was interesting was seeing how folks you didn’t necessarily expect to succeed had, and how for some of the really popular kids, it’s all been downhill since graduation.

Our two class celebrities didn’t show. Our class president was married to Rick Mears, the Indy car champ, for about ten years, and she hasn’t been heard of since. Another of our classmates has been a regular in four or five TV series, and was once engaged to Aaron Sorkin. When Sorkin wrote A Few Good Men, he wrote the role of Jo Gallaway for her. She was filming and couldn’t come.

We have about half of our class come, and it was one of the best weekends of my life. I recommend it highly.

Eric

Go…..

My tenth reunion was the pissing context you describe, but by the 20th the pretenses had disappeared. The whole thing was great fun…very interesting…and even a little refreshing. It restored my faith in people–they were MUCH nicer than they ever dreamed of being in High School….

Go… at worst it will be a wasted night but you still have stuff to talk about for weeks on end. I went with my wife to her 20th and after, she pretty much just shrugged her shoulders about the whole affair.

I’ve never been to one of mine. Absolutley no desire coupled with the fact that there was never anyone that I stayed in touch with. For me, college was a much more interesting time…

I guess you could say I was one of the “great unwashed” in high school. I played varsity baseball but was never considered part of the jocks or part of any other clique. Nor did I identify with any. I had a handful of friends and pretty much came and went.

Personally, I subscribe to the Stephen King school of thought re such matters. To paraphrase, King once said, “I don’t trust people for whom high school was the greatest part of their lives. Chances are it’s those very people who made life such a living hell for the rest of us.” :-)

Paul

Like John, my parents reported that by their 20th reunions the showing off had disappeared. By the age of 38 it seems that people have gotten that out of their system. You may not have a great time, but I don’t believe it’ll be a b-a-d experience. – TL

Kevin,

I’ve been to most of my high school reunions, and I’ve enjoyed each of them immensely. It’s great to catch up with people to see what they’re doing and how they’ve been, especially if some of your old teachers show up. At the last reunion I attended, my classmates and I had the opportunity to thank some of our teachers for their work and for their dedication. It was rewarding for them and rewarding for me as well.

Plus, you’ll also have an extra excuse for visiting some family.

Regards,
Cash

You guys have some good points about the pros and cons of these shindigs. I’m tempted to go when mine comes up in 2010 (or my wife’s – same school 2009) as we have been together since we were 14. I think we’d win the “longest couple together prize” and maybe “most kids.” We went to our 10 and I ended up bugging the hell out of the graduates that work for the Steelers. Seems they don’t ‘talk football’ everywhere they go.

Go-but make sure you bring a friend! That’s how I survived by tenth high school reunion.

actually, I kinda enjoyed it. Look at it this way: it can’t be any *worse* than high school.

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