I recently got added to another Facebook group, but surprisingly, this time it was not for LuLaRoe clothing, Plexus, Nerium or 3-D eyelashes.
It was for my 20-year high school reunion.
I literally cringed. And maybe threw up a little in my mouth.
TWENTY years ago is when I graduated high school?!
I skipped the 10-year reunion, so hot damn! Here was my chance to go this time, right?
Some people had an amazing high school experience. (Those are the people submitting all of their old pictures to the Facebook reunion site.) Anyway, I was not one of those individuals, and I am totally ok with that…now. For me, college was so much more enjoyable.
It was a pretty typical teenage experience in high school; yet, there were many times I was made fun of, or excluded or talked about behind my back (but within earshot).
People knew of me, but most really didn’t know me or want to know me. Maybe it was my fault, or their fault or nobody’s fault. It doesn’t matter now.
High school was not always terrible. It was a lot of awful sprinkled with some positive highlights.
I was really active in the classroom, sports, the newspaper and yearbook. Senior year, in a class of almost 600 students, I was named Principal’s Most Valuable Senior. I worked super hard and enjoyed doing well, but socially, I just never truly fit in. I was shy, uncomfortable in my own skin and not very “girly.” I was fortunate I had some quality friends, but definitely did not have the quantity.
So, I just pushed to excel more and more and more, probably trying to fill the social void.
And oh boy, was that void big at times.
I can laugh about it now, but I will never forget seeing my name on a “friend’s” notebook in the yearbook room.
Sitting completely out in the open, there was a list of various categories for the secret senior class “Underground Awards.”
“Ooooohhh, I won something!” I thought, giddy and eager to read the category next to my name.
And there it was, written in striking, beautiful cursive: “Most likely to still be a virgin in 10 years.”
Awww, hellllll no.
I remember seeing my name on that notebook and kind of just staring at it.
I already knew I wasn’t gorgeous. I already knew I didn’t have guys asking me out (and that I would not even accept if they did, because I was way too shy in that department). I already knew that despite all I had accomplished academically and athletically, that technically I was still a “nerd” who would never truly fit in with any clique.
But, I didn’t know people actually thought or cared about my sex life (or lack thereof), and that they were circulating such thoughts in some super duper primo ultimo secret “awards.”
Luckily, I rebounded pretty fast, and I didn’t end up going on a sex spree adventure to prove them wrong, waving my fist and declaring, “I’ll show them!”
I also never confronted this “friend,” and instead, I viewed it as a sharp lesson about how some people are covered in scales. And, hey, at least I won something with the cool kids, right?! Woo hoo!
I’m ok…now. I obviously survived (and TMI alert, I am no longer a virgin…tee hee). Aaaannnnd, I actually do wish them all well!
It’s unnecessary to have hard feelings; 20 years (vomit) have passed and time truly does heal all, even the teeniest bit of animosity toward backstabbers and teenage virgin haters.
People change and things change. Most of us grow up and wake up after high school. I truly like seeing who some of my former classmates have become; great parents, teachers, doctors, lawyers, CEO’s, restaurant owners and everyday functioning adults. I am also grateful that I blossomed on so many levels after high school, too.
After all, it was just, well, high school. Two decades ago.
That’s why when I see these throwback photos and posts about the reunion, I literally have no desire to go. So much besides hairstyles has changed since then: We as individuals have changed. Relationships have changed. Life has changed.
My wish is not to sound bitter, yet, I am also not going to be fake. I personally just do not carry the fondest memories to propel me to go to any kind of reunion. Plus, I’m an old lady now, and going out on a Saturday night isn’t as easy as it used to be!
I hope it is a blast for those who do go; I bet some people are really excited! It looks like a ton of work to organize, and I think my class is lucky that someone responsible stepped up to handle all the planning and logistics.
I am sure one thing my former classmates and I have in common, even if it’s not pictures from Prom, Homecoming or Winter Formal (because I was too scared to go to dances, of course), is that we all wish our children the best and that they have a positive school experience. It’s heartbreaking to see how many kids are bullied nowadays (both in person AND online); how many kids dread going to school for fear of ridicule or exclusion, how many have to eat lunch by themselves or how many hide, try to skip it altogether and/or feel so alone ALL the time.
It’s reassuring to know that in our lives we constantly evolve and adapt. And it’s ok if some memories are painful. It’s ok if we are so very grateful and feel blessed to leave our past in the past and have our family life as adults take center stage. (Some believe it is trite when people declare on social media how blessed they are; I do not get annoyed because it is absolutely real and comforting.)
Cheers to 20 years ago being a time of growth, awkwardness and enlightenment! I sincerely hope those who attend the big reunion enjoy it to the fullest. I, on the other hand, am perfectly content knowing that I will spend that night with my family; this loving mama wants to play trains with her toddler and hang out with the man who helped me prove the underground awards wrong.