Earlier this month I attended my 20 year high school reunion up in Buffalo. For the last year or so, I debated with myself the pros and cons of attending. Even though I recently started a new job and didn't have vacation time, I opted to make a very quick weekend trip and overall, was glad I went.
20 Year High School Reunion: Apprehension
As time grew closer to the event, I was more apprehensive about attending. I hadn't lost 50+ pounds I wanted to, I'm still single (okay, divorced and there's a story that goes with it) and don't feel I've accomplished much in life (I realize there's probably no one else in the class who have met one on one with a Taliban tribe).
Remembering back to the 10-year reunion (in which I only attended the picnic version because I had just gotten married and had other plans that night), any of the girls from high school looked amazing. I mean, they looked incredibly fit. It looked as though they spent at least a year with a personal trainer getting in shape and as the days inched closer to the 20-year reunion, the less I wanted to attend.
"I haven't accomplished anything," a friend from high school told me as her reason for not attending.
20 Year High School Reunion: Preparation
A friend here in Florida helped me find the perfect dress for the "cocktail attire" reception at the town's ritzy country club. The first dress I tried was a bit too tight and not even Spanx would help me out with that dress so I went with dress number two, a black and white sun dress with a black shell. That's ideal "Florida cocktail attire."
When I arrived to the reception in my Dad's monster truck (yes, I felt like I was in high school, having to ask my dad to borrow a car. Was also given instructions on not to drink. And like high school, I didn't replace the gas I used...) and saw the other female classmates dressed in shiny cocktail dresses, I freaked. I agree, I looked good. My sister Lizzy had done my hair and makeup (thank goodness) which gave me added confidence.
After a panicked call to my Mom, I inhaled and walked in, meeting up with some classmates in the parking lot. I immediately recognized the gals despite 20 years of aging.
20 Year High School Reunion: Not So Bad
Inside it was "hellos" and hugs to former classmates. Some I recognized immediately because they looked exactly the same in high school. Other classmates I had no idea who they were. Not because I didn't know them but because they looked extremely different from high school. Some girls who I considered normal size in high school are now incredibly thin. Others looked simply fabulous and must have tapped the Fountain of Youth.
Everyone looked great and I was reminded as to what a 38-year-old woman should look like. I was reminded of what Mr. McCadden said, I believe he was my 11th grade English teacher. He said, "Just wait a few years, all the girls are going to be gorgeous."It was fun catching up with friends and learning more about those who I really didn't know in high school.
Some of the classmates I hung out with in high school were there but many of them weren't. Who else was missing? "Bald, fat guys," as my friend Stu said.
20 Year High School Reunion: Glad I Went
As Stu and I sat at the Harris Hill Inn around 12:15, RB and AC came walking in, two classmates whom I played field hockey with. There was an after party at one of the classmate's house but we chose a low-key option and chatted 'til 3 a.m. It reminded me of how important they were (are) in my lives during the high school days. (Hi girls! Yes, you made the blog!)
Stu was someone whom I didn't speak to much in high school. We used to live a few houses down from each other until I was 5 and moved away. We never really spoke in junior high or high school. I'm not sure why other than I never knew what to say. Stupid, I know. But the modern technology of MySpace has bridged the communication gap (that and 20+ years).
20 Year High School Reunion: Thanks, Spanx!
A big revelation came out that night, I wasn't the only one concerned about how I looked before the reunion (okay, that's not a huge revelation; but nice to know I wasn't alone in my thoughts). Other gal pals confessed to be donning Spanx.
If there was a revelation from the reunion, it was that some people will always be living in the high school vacuum. It's cliche but for some, high school was the peak of their life. For others, high school is just a stepping stone and learning experience for something better.
I'm glad I attended but wish there was more time to chat with classmates and meet up with some more of the people I hung out with. Maybe they just wanted to forget.
As for the next reunion, whether it be the 25 or 30, I have time to get myself in shape, physically and mentally. I'm on it, beginning tomorrow...
[Pictured: Stu, RB, AC and Me]