26 May 2009

20th Reunion Scoop

Okay, so my 20th high school reunion was last Saturday night. Prior to the event I did have some trepidation:

Would I recognize everyone?
Would I remember names?
Would I look better or worse than all of my friends?
Would the jerk that I dated in grade 11 show up and say something stupid?*

Well, I needn't have given all these concerns much thought. After chatting with a few people, I quickly came to realize that everyone there felt pretty much the same way.

Many of the girls from high school looked just like I remembered them - in many cases right down to their hairstyles. I have to admit, it always amuses me when I see women that can't seem to let go of their glory days, the time in their lives when they perceived themselves to be the most attractive. Especially when that time is the 80s. Do they seriously think that huge, permed hair or (heaven help me) feathered hair is still attractive after all these years? Ladies, it is way past time to move on and embrace a new aesthetic. Way, way, way past time. Seriously.

The men on the other hand were a more diverse lot. Many looked similar to how they looked in high school, but most were quite different. The biggest differences were in those that had lost major amounts of hair, had gained major amounts of weight or had a growth spurt after high school. I think because boys hit puberty later, they are more likely than girls to still be changing after graduation, so they are less recognizable.

The overwhelming thing I noticed though, was that the basic personality that each person had at age 18 is still the same personality they have today. Some traits, like being the loud, obnoxious rich kid, had intensified to an almost comical level. Other traits, like shyness, was tempered a bit, but not gone. Those with a good sense of humour are still funny and the airheads are still flakes. For the most part, who you are in your late teens seems to be who you will be for the rest of your life. Even to the point, that most people still use the same hand gestures and facial expressions when speaking.

Over the course of the evening, I was asked several questions over and over again: Isn't it weird teaching with the teachers that taught you? Will you and the other play people get up and sing a song? Will you and the rest of the cheerleaders get up and do a cheer? My answers were simple: 'It was at first, but not any more', 'no' and 'hell no'.

In terms of how I measured up against the other women there, I think I fared pretty well. I was in better shape than some and had less wrinkles than many. I was better dressed than most. I was told that I get an award for looking the most like I did in high school, while not looking like I was stuck in a style time warp. I think cutting off 18" of permed hair and becoming a red head was what put me over the edge. The picture to the left was taken just after graduation and you can see me in all my teenage glory (sorry for the blurriness of the picture, it's a photo of a photo - no digital back then you know). Also, I was the only one there who doesn't have children (except for one other gal that when asked about her family status, responded that she couldn't afford kids because she was too busy supporting a string of ex-husbands - as you can imagine, I was rendered speechless and then changed the subject).

All in all, it was a pleasant evening of catching up, sharing a few laughs and reminiscing. Some of these people I hope to never see again in my life (hello, rich annoying guy) and others I will try to stay in touch with more so than in the past (all my close high school girlfriends).


ETA: I was asked what I wore to the reunion. Oops! I meant to post that. I pulled out a dress from a couple of years back. I was a bit more dressy than most, but not glaringly so. I actually got a bunch of compliments on the dress and inquiries as to where I bought it. Of course I proudly announced that I made it. The picture is of me with a few friends.



*The ex-boyfriend didn't show up, so I dodged a bullet on that front. Whew!

16 comments:

sisidaboom said...

Excellent insight, Shannon. Many people get caught in time warps. My neice has hair like your high school picture and my aunt could be in a 30's movie. True for personalities as well (ie.rich boy). Reunions are all about validation of one another and oneself. And one should feel for those who do not show up. You are a shining example inside and outside, and certainly motivated change and growth by being present. Sounds like a lofty order but you do it naturally.

lsaspacey said...

Hey! What did you wear?!

Carolyn (cmarie12) said...

*LOL* What a great assessment of your high school reunion! I've always wondered who came up with the idea of hs reunions anyway?!?! And me too on the what did you wear?!

peacockchic said...

Love the story! It makes me want to go to my reunion. Then I remember that I am not THAT curious...LOL!! But I loved living vicariously through yours. Glad you had a great time!

Christina said...

I noticed the same thing at my 10 year reunion - the people who were loud are still loud, the people who were quiet are still quiet, etc. But fortunately everyone was nicer in general. I found it incredibly interesting. I'm glad you had a good time.

cidell said...

That sounds like my 10 year reunion. I even hooked up with and dated my senior crush for six months after.

cidell said...

I forgot to say thanks for posting your high school photo! Are you watching 'Being Erica'? It airs on cable here and I kind of love it.

gwensews said...

You were adorable then, and are adorable now. Isn't is scary that some people cannot move forward? I graduated in the 60s when the "hippie" movement was in full tilt. I still see people my age with the same hippie look they wore back then. Somehow, it has a different asthetic on gray-haired, wrinkled oldsters, still wanting to stage a "sit in"!

Dana said...

Great choice on the dress. Only been to one class reunion (I think one is all you really need, lol) and agree about the personalities - eveyone acted like the same goofies they were back then!

Summerset said...

LOL! Your hair reminds me of mine at the same point in time, minus the perm, I could get that big hair look just by blowdrying.

Thanks for the review of this sort of event - it's about what I thought it would be. Maybe I'll go to mine purely for the entertainment factor. I agree - one should keep up with the times and update one's look. I found it pretty easy to do so working as a HS teacher - the students can be brutally honest if you ask about your look.

angie.a said...

Love love love the picture!! That is basically a picture of me, right down to the long permed hair & keds!

MaryPat R said...

You look cute in both pictures. In the fist you look like half of my high school did. I love looking back at the eighties.

Nancy K said...

Aren't you glad you have all those gorgeous dresses to choose from? It also says how comfortable you are with yourself that you didn't have to have a new dress for the event.
When you get to be my age and the women still have the same hair, that's bad!

Maggie said...

I told you that you would be looking great! I remember that dress from a SWAP you made a couple of years ago. I've been looking for the pattern since. And some wise women in the couture business....maybe Edith Head, well whoever, said that one should never worry about being slightly overdressed for an affair. Instead, be wary of the reverse happening. But thanks for the write up. So the men might not be in a time warp, but time takes a bigger toll eh? Why are we afraid/curious/anxious about these reunion things? I wonder. Portrait of Dorian Gray musings?
Marguerite

Tany said...

I've never been to a reunion like this... It would be funny though. I have to mention that I was the only girl in my class until I finished Highschool... At the university I was one of the 10 girls in a class of 120 students!! That's the beauty of studying Electronics, LOL!!

Sharon said...

Oh you look lovely! The dress you choose was perfect. I've attended most of my high school reunions, but the 20th was the best. Not only because most people had moved away from "hey! look at me and how wonderful I am" but I re-hooked up with my 9th grade beau ... and married him :-)