Today marks ten years to the day since I gave my high school valedictory speech (yup, I’m patting myself on the back, wanna make something of it?), and this weekend I will hop my tail on a plane to Cleveland to celebrate at my class reunion. I have to say, I have mixed emotions.
What are those emotions, you ask? For one, Iâ€™m tired. Iâ€™ve been leading the planning efforts (shouts to my lovely committee!) to pull this darn thing together. Itâ€™s been a loooong year of conference calls and haggling with vendors, and Iâ€™m ready for it to be over. Then, Iâ€™m hopeful that it will go well. It would suck if we worked this hard and cats didnâ€™t dance or participate in games. Fingers crossed over here. And I’m super-excited to see some old friends I haven’t even spoken to since graduation.
Plus I think Iâ€™m feeling a bit of what most of my classmates are probably feeling: A bit anxious. Will it be awkward? Will the people I wasnâ€™t really friends with act like we were girls? Will I? Is it petty to wonder that? Will my ridiculously perceptive hubby call me on any fake niceties? Have I changed much? Have I not changed at all? Will my stylist get my hair exactly right tomorrow? Why do I ask myself so many questions? What happens if I start to answer myself?
And then it occurred that Iâ€™ve actually asked myself all these questions beforeâ€”in high school. (Except the hubby one; Iâ€™m mature, but not that mature.) All these questions have me thinking that high school is really a microcosm of the real world, just with braces and awful haircuts. Think about it. You spend a ton of time with people you donâ€™t really like, doing stuff you donâ€™t really want to do (read: work). You try super-hard to get the attention of the one cute boy in your class (read: the club). You do everything you can to avoid the arbitrary rules imposed by Big Brother your parents (read: the U.S. government). You even have the same cliques on both sides of the graduation finish line, they just go by different names now:
Fast girls = Mommies
Goths = Investment bankers
Theater kids (girls) = Desperate housewives
Theater kids (guys) = Gays
Class officers = Workaholics
White boys who swear theyâ€™re Black = Hipsters
Young Teachers of America = Young Teachers of America
Assholes = Republicans
My only consolation? I got through it fine the first time around, so this should be a breeze!
How did your high school experience parallel real life? Going to your next reunion? Nervous? Let me know!
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