Tuesday, July 14, 2009

20 years of memories...

If you are anything like me you are probably very skeptical of High School Reunions. I have always thought that they were kind of cheesy and not worth going to. I went to my 10 year reunion with my best friend and our husbands and I thought that it sucked monkey butts! My friend and I decided never to go to another reunion again. The people hadn’t really matured much and the clicks were still clicks. It was like reliving high school all over again and I didn’t really think high school was all that great.

Flash forward another 10 years to present day…I am now single and have a total different outlook on life. I love being social and love any excuse to go out and party with my friends. So when I was asked to join the planning committee for my 20 year reunion I jumped at the chance. We started planning a year in advance and worked hard to make it a successful event. And I am so glad, not only that I was on the planning committee, but also that I gave reunions a second chance. I didn’t think the people would have changed much, but I had changed and was determined to have a blast. By the time the reunion weekend was here I was so ready for it to be over but now that it is done and gone, I’m actually sad that it is over.

My high school had a very large senior class. I don’t remember the exact number but it was somewhere around 750 students. Towards the end of our senior year we all had to put on our graduation caps and gowns and pose for a group picture. I was looking at that picture the other day reminiscing and familiarizing myself with faces. Looking at the clicks of people brought back so many memories. It got me pumped about the weekend. Woot Woot! Eaaaaast Siiiiiiide!

It is funny how times have changed but the people really haven’t. The only difference is that we have all gotten a little older and most of us have put on a little more weight, though not everyone. There were those bi-otches that look better than they did in high school. And to them I say kudos! I wish I looked that good and if I did I would flaunt what I had too. I loved seeing everyone so grown up, mature and responsible. But one thing is for sure…the clicks haven’t changed.

The Jocks
This is probably the group that I fell into but only because I was a gymnast. I kind of felt like I had friends from all clicks, and never really felt like I fit into one particular group, but this is where I felt most at home. Most of the people in this group are the ones that would say they were “athletic” if they were filling out a profile on Match.com. Even if they hadn’t thrown a football or played one minute of basketball in 20 years, they would still consider themselves athletic because of their high school accomplishments. Most of the guys that fell into this category back in high school still have big egos to this day. They were still friendly and funny, but can’t seem to get rid of that “tough as shit” attitude.

The “In” crowd
These were the people in high school that weren’t very friendly to people outside of their own little click. They had been friends for most of their lives and were comfortable with each other and not very open to letting more people in their group. Most of the people that fit into this category were the ones that thought they were better than everyone else. I had some friends that fit into this category, therefore, I was kind of on the outside ring of this group. I tried so hard in high school to fit in with these people 100%, but I was never good enough. Looking back now…I can’t believe how important that was to me. Twenty years later these are the people that congregated in the back of the reunion and again didn’t really socialize outside of their click. A few did, but it seemed like every time I turned around they were hanging with each other.

The nerds/band geeks
This was the group in high school that I was afraid of being seen with. There, I said it...and it was hard for me to say! But as an adult I now realize that these are the people I should have focused my friendships on. These are the people now (especially the guys) who are very good looking, successful, and happy in their lives. They are friendly and love everyone. But I was to shallow back in high school to realize that this group of people included good people too. My twin brother kind of fell into this category but I always thought he was better than most of the people in this group. Turns out he was in the right group! It just breaks my heart to even put that on paper. No one ever wants to admit that they were shallow back in the day! It is for this reason that I am raising my kids to love everyone equally…whether it is cool or not.

The ones that didn’t get away from the east side
This is an interesting category. Most of you that read my blog know that I am from the east side. My high school was one of the biggest high schools in the state and has become a little rough over the past 20 years. My friend and I can spot someone who hasn’t gotten out of the east side within 15 seconds of talking to them. These are the people who still know all of the local hang outs and loooove going to them. They are secretly still living vicariously through who they were in high school. You can spot these people a mile away. It was funny to see them…most of them are still the same!

The ones that scared the crap out of me
This is an interesting group as well. These people are the ones that included the bullies/smokers of the school. They weren’t always necessarily mean, but some of the times they were. They thought they were to cool for school and would let you know it. They got in trouble a lot by their parents and teachers alike. They were always disobeying rules and going against the flow of what everyone else was doing. They were the ones that would sit on the sidelines and make fun of everyone else for doing what they do. Fortunately most of these people have seen the light of their ways and are great people now. There was one girl in particular who used to scare the crap out of me. She recently has become a good friend. We have hung out together a little bit and when we do we laugh our asses off. I look forward to hanging out with her more.

The theater/journalism/photography group
I didn’t realize until after a recent tour of my high school, how much of a part this particular group played in my high school. I was telling my friends that I thought the newspaper and yearbooks must have magically been put together. I knew that the journalism kids did some of it, but I had no idea the extent of what they did. And theater? I am so embarrassed to admit that I didn’t realize that many of my friends participated in this group. I had no idea that the seniors put on a play every year, or that we had a radio station, or that we had show choir, or that we had…well you see where this is going. I was obviously in my own little “Julie world” and thought that athletics was the glue that held the school together. I don’t think I attended one play during my four year career in high school. This realization made me very sad. I obviously didn’t use the high school to my full advantage. Funny, the ones that did are doctors, lawyers, nurses, writers, and actors. Hmmmm…just more experiences I can use to teach my kids…

The Cross Dresser
Does every high school have one of these? I only hope so because our cross dresser added so much color to the group. When he came to the 10 year reunion dressed in drag I think everyone was a little shocked. This year, however, was quite different. There was much buzz early on wondering if he would show up. When he pulled in the parking lot and got out of the car the chatter immediately began. I love it that this is what this guy does. I spoke to him a little bit and he performs as a cross dresser for charity and I think that is just awesome, a little awkward, but awesome. He, however, was one of those that maybe should have chosen a different outfit. The boy had on at least 4 inch heels the entire evening, on a cement floor. I took my shoes off two hours in…and he stood in his dominatrix, CFM boots for 5 hours straight. The boy has more gumption than I.

President/Vice President
My high school had Co-Presidents my senior year. I don’t know why…but that is how we choose to do it. Looking back now, it’s probably because Biff and Skip were so attached at the hip that the school didn’t know how to separate the two. They even came dressed as “one” woman to a senior year event. They were great guys in high school and are still great guys 20 years later. It does crack me up that one of them, Biff or Skip, I don’t know who is who, didn’t really remember who anyone was. I know we had a big class, but of all people, these guys should know who a lot of the students were. FYI…if Biff or Skip are reading this, it is YOUR responsibility to put on the next reunion! No pressure!

So there you have it! The people change, the faces change, but the memories are always there and fun to relive for a weekend! My only regret is that I didn’t nurture some of these friendships more than I did. I only hope that we can continue to be friends and create more and more memories together.

I know this post hasn’t been particularly funny, but it has been fun to reminisce. So many memories…so little time! Here’s to the next 20 years!

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