Next month is my first high school reunion. I was lot of things in high school, but social wasn’t one of them. A couple years ago we were all excited for reunion because we thought we were going to do something extravagant, but who knows what happened because we are all to return to the 518 where we went to school for the festivity. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to it. I’ve gone to 518 for an overnight visit once in the last 7 years, so I’m sure you can imagine the level of enthusiasm I have toward sacrificing a weekend in the summer to attend. I can’t really say that there are people whom I’m looking forward to seeing because the people I look forward to seeing, I see. I was only friends with a few people and they probably won’t even make it since they’re all spread out over the country.
I know that I sound like some sort of spoil sport, but think of this like a job you hated. You didn’t like what you were doing or your coworkers. One day you get offered a new position someplace awesome. Are you going to go back to visit the old job you hated? Probably not. This is how I feel about attending this reunion.
I never fit in upstate NY and I didn’t want to. When I moved up there all of the other kids were so much different than my NYC friends. My brother and I left the NYC Gifted & Talented program to attend an elementary school up there that didn’t offer the same educational opportunity. Thankfully this reversed once I started middle school and I’m actually grateful that I received the rest of my public school education there. But the high school? Going there was like pulling teeth. I was a quiet, dramatic teenager and was often the object of rumors, but I expected it. It was just something the women in my family had to deal with. Certain people were always so interested in what I was up to because I would never just tell my business to anyone outside of my immediate circle. By the time the second half of senior year rolled around I wasn’t even in attendance. I did my classwork at home and had a job. I didn’t go to prom and I don’t regret it either, especially not after that pasta primavera food poisoning fiasco.
My circle was a small one. I’m still best friends with my best friends from high school. It isn’t going to be the same without both of them in attendance. I have lightweight ADHD so trying to politely listen to the conversation of some strangers is a difficulty. I’m not looking forward to that awkward moment when someone remembers me but I don’t remember them. I really hope that doesn’t happen. Interesting enough, despite my reluctance to see old high school classmates, I actually look forward to seeing old middle school classmates. Middle school was a completely different animal than high school. There was more bonding and we were all going through awkward changes. Many of us went off into various cliques and groups related to our personal interests in high school and soon we barely spoke to one another anymore.
There were definitely some moments in high school but 10 years later it all just seems so faded. The best thing I took away from the whole experience were my friendships, my education and my interest in activism. I could have done without everything and everyone else. It may be evil, but satisfaction comes with seeing people who tried to make your life a living hell currently looking a hot mess. I think I’m going to go just for that and to tell everyone they look GREAT with my best straight face.