How times have changed . . .1990 Prom, 2010 Class Reunion.
I had great ideas about this entry on Saturday night . . . of course I don't know how many of them would have actually been coherent had I sat down to write then. Not that I overindulged to the point of non-coherity, more that I had so much running through my mind that I don't think I could have followed a made it all flow smoothly.
I thought about starting several ways:
My name is Suzanne and I am a chubby. I've been thin for four years.
There is a sixth dimension beyond which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the sunlight of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area that might be called the Reunion Zone.
It's something unpredictable but in the end it's right. I hope you had the time of your life.
Digging up my senior yearbook and looking at the superlatives and see how accurate our naive predictions were.
In the light of Monday, none of those seem quite right though. I didn't know if I could hold the theme of any of them through the entire post. And my level of snarkiness has definitely receded. What I do know though, was that Saturday night we brought together over a third of the class of 1990, something that hasn't been done in 20 years. There were lots of laughs, lot of memories shared, and lots of missing those who didn't attend.
We had a five year reunion in the city park. I didn't attend. At the time, high school was too fresh, too close. While I had great times in high school, I won't ever tell you those were the best years of my life. Like I've said before, I was a big girl. I believe my prom dress was a 12 or 14. I was 20-25lbs heavier than I am now. And I was probably an inch shorter. My freshman year was horrific because I had a crush on a senior boy. His girlfriend and her friends bullied and terrorized me. My sophomore, junior, and senior years each got better, but I didn't enjoy life then nearly as much as I do now.
Since 1995, to my knowledge, no one has tried to put a reunion together for whatever reason. Last fall we went to Klucker's 20th reunion and it spurred me into action. I wasn't letting another year go by. I emailed, Facebooked, called, surveyed and tried to spur my class into action. I struggled to get people on board. All in all, I think we had six people, including me, attend our planning meetings. In the end, it was three of us who did the work. We graduated around 64, and had about 69 total in our class including those who dropped out or stayed an extra semester. We found all but four of them.
My prediction early on was that we would have 20 classmates attend, with guests, so a total of 40 people. I got worried when our RSVPs were slow to trickle in. The Friday before our deadline, we had four people attending. A few emails and Facebook posts spurred people to action. By Friday night, we knew there should be 24 alumnus attending.
Saturday night arrived and as I got to Tiny's, Kerri, Shelly, and Rob were walking up. I haven't seen Shelly and Rob since graduation. Shelly was glowing, she's in such a better spirit than I ever remembered seeing her. We got settled and set up and other started to arrive.
By evening's end, I believe there were 27 members of the class of 1990 in the room. I recognized most of them at first site, but for a few I needed to hear their voices. Time (and expensive skin creams, gyms and plastic surgery) has been kind to some of my classmates, and others have fought it tooth and nail. Regardless, the people in the room had, at one time, played a major role in my life.
The CHS Class of 1990. My how we've conquered the world!
It was interesting to see, as we sat down for dinner, how quickly old cliques reformed. Columbia has always been a cliquish community and even 20 years later, that had not changed. That being said, throughout the evening I think everyone spoke to everyone. Old grudges were pushed aside as we got reacquainted.
I was amazed as reminsced. There were so many memories I had forgotten and perceptions of events that were very different from mine. I realized many things to which I had apparently been oblivious. I pondered the effect time has on our minds.
This morning we sent out a feedback form to see what others though of the event. I am interested to see if my perception of the evening matches other's. The question that most intrigues me is why people chose to attend or not to attend. Twenty years out from high schoo, things have changed for many of us. We've started and ended relationships and carrers, have families and lives outside of what consumed us at CHS. One of my co-conspirators for the event remarked that he thought a good number of people would attend to "show-off" what they had become, and others would not attend because of where they are in the lives. He's probably on track there. I think there is a bit of curiousity involved as well--like eavesdropping on a conversation. People came to see what happened to their classmates. Is his life still a train wreck? Did she gain weight? I'm surprised he graduated, much less got a job. Ah, human nature.
I can say there were no huge surprises for me. It was fascinating to see how time had cemented personality traits. Those quirks that were there at 16 because full blown qualities at 26 (ok, 37 you caught my math). In high school, the circumstances of being stuck together in a small school forced friendships. Many of them developed because of the situation, I was amazed to see how many of those relationships had withstood the test of time.
I don't miss high school. I don't want to go back and do it all over again knowing what I know now. I don't regret high school either. High school and all of the fun, traumatic, goofy, gory, amazing things that went with it gave me a set of experiences and skills that set events in motion that got me where I am now. High school gave me some amazing friends who are still vital parts of my life. As S.E. Hinton (one of my favorite authors from that era in my life) said, "If you have two friends in your lifetime, you're lucky. If you have one good friend, you're more than lucky." Saturday night reminded me I'm much more than lucky.