I’m back home in New York after a whirlwind trip to the West coast that included heading back to my 30-year high school class reunion. Please, stop right now; I’ll save you the trouble of doing the math, I’m 48. Frankly I find that hard to believe; I mean, wasn’t it like five years ago I donned cap and gown and walked across the stage to accept my diploma from Del Campo High School? Um, no it was not.
I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I went to high school with some really cool people and since I don’t live in Sacramento anymore, I was looking forward to reconnecting. Boy was I in for a surprise. There were actually three big things I took away from the night.
1. I AM STILL A GEEK: Yes, although I have partied at the White House, interviewed First Ladies and senators, beautiful actors and breathtaking models and am now utilizing all I have learned to forge my own path, this simple and fundamental fact remains; I am still a geek. Even at 48 I’m loud, awkward and stick out like a sore thumb. In high school, I wanted to be a cute, petite cheerleader who grew into a cute, petite adult. Instead I was a tomboy who eventually struck an uneasy truce with skirts. To this day, I’d much rather be in sweats than a silk dress.
2. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO MY MEMORY?? I was having a chat with one of my classmates and he mentioned something about me at out 20-year class reunion. “No, no, I didn’t go to our 20 year class reunion.” I told him. He proceeded to not only remind me that I WAS there, but he also remembered what I was wearing! Seems I had been complaining about the fact that I’d spotted the long, flowing and expensive pants I was wearing on a drag queen the night before. Why didn’t I remember that? As the night wore on and I saw more old friends, the fog that had a choke-hold on my memory, lifted a tiny bit. Yes, I remember the flowing pants that the drag queen and I had a penchant for. I remember the woman who spearheaded that reunion. But honestly, that’s it. I can only attribute that to the fact that I have lived about three lifetimes since then; cut me some slack.
3. YOU CAN NEVER GO HOME AGAIN: I say this with great melancholy. I love and miss my classmates but the fact remains, the ones who still live in Sacramento are members of a club I am no longer a part of. Even if they see each other once every three months, that’s still way more than the once every ten years that I partake of. I also think it has something to do with how you viewed your high school years. I didn’t really have what could be called a robust high school experience (um, yeah, see number one). High school for this geeky kid was more of a means to an end. I didn’t date, wasn’t part of the “in” crowd and was sort of, just goofy looking (do I need to remind you to see number 1 again?). That said I did make some amazing friends and, because I didn’t blossom until well after high school, I was forced to rely on something more than looks to get people to notice me. That’s a skill that has served me well throughout my life.
In the end I had a great time at my reunion. I thought everyone looked great; a little more gray than the last time but still fantastic. They were pretty much the same as high school, solid citizens only now, without the teenage insecurity. We exchanged information and Facebook accounts and promise to keep in touch. Sadly though, I know we’ll all get busy with our lives, me on the East coast, them out there. But for just a few hours, it was 1981 all over again; it made me realize how much we’d all grown and how much I miss them.
What about you, did you attend your class reunion? How did it make you feel? Do you think you can ever go back? And what did you learn about yourself? Let me hear ya!