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!