The More Things Change…

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, I’m tired. I’ve been leading the planning efforts (shouts to my lovely committee!) to pull this darn thing together. It’s been a loooong year of conference calls and haggling with vendors, and I’m ready for it to be over. Then, I’m hopeful that it will go well. It would suck if we worked this hard and cats didn’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 I’m feeling a bit of what most of my classmates are probably feeling: A bit anxious. Will it be awkward? Will the people I wasn’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 I’ve actually asked myself all these questions before—in high school. (Except the hubby one; I’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 don’t really like, doing stuff you don’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 they’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!

—Kenrya

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