To be honest, my head is kind of jumbled about the entire experience so you'll have to forgive if this post is a little all over the place.
So last night I arrived fashionably late to my high school reunion, which was held at a "Chinese-American sports bar" near the ballpark and a cemetery. What makes a sports bar "Chinese-American?" Apparently it's if the bar serves Chinese food, along with traditional bar food. We had a fine feast of cheese, veggies and crackers, along with egg rolls, mozzarella marinara and meatballs. Random much?
When I arrived at the reunion, I must have looked nervous because the greeter girls from my 1998 class were very fake-sweet to me and the first thought running through my head as they looked me up and down was, "damn you guys got fat." Awful I know.
This may be a surprise to some, but I get very shy in social situations like this. Normally I'm very assured and talkative, but last night I felt like it was the first day of school...again.
Since high school, about 90 percent of my class moved back to my hometown so they all see each other on occasion and those of us who moved out of state kind of fit in where we can. I moved past a lot of my old high school drama and issues but being around these people again brought all of the insecurities back up. I was awkward and uncomfortable and somewhat hesitant to talk to some of my classmates because after 10 years, what was there to really say?
I was fortunate to catch up with a few friends, and one of them now lives in Chicago, so if nothing else, I realized last night who I should make a bigger effort to keep in touch with now that I've seen them in person.
Sadly, I did not get as many "Jess you look amazing" comments I kind of hoped for, but a few people said that so something is better than nothing :)
And another guy told me I was "brave" for living in Chicago. Apparently he wouldn't let his woman go off and live in the big city, so despite his hotness, we will not be dating.
Here are some other notable things about the evening:
- Most of the "popular, pretty" women are still popular (with each other) and pretty, bummer
- All of the women who had big careers plans, such as medicine, law or business are now all stay-at-home-moms and the women who just wanted to be married and moms are now in great jobs and are unmarried (me included)
- Just about everyone in my class smokes now, which made me smell like an ashtray by the time I left
- The obnoxious women from high school are still a pain and tried to hold on to their "high school glory," which just makes them look like an ass 10 years later. Last night there was a lot of "wooing" and one woman tried to put the mascot uniform on while her catty friends hovered around with cameras. That was cue to start gathering up my stuff
Finally, I wanted to share the best quote I heard all night, courtesy of a girl I was pretty good friends with in high school. With her husband standing next to her, she comments, "yeah I think about divorcing him [her husband] all the time, but why should I settle for part of the paycheck when I can get the whole thing?"
I had zero idea what to say in response, especially when she proceeded to tell me how much of his current wages she would garnish in child support. That's when I excused myself for another drink. But around midnight, people who had to engage in on-the-surface small talk were growing tired of straining for conversation topics (myself included) so I called it a night.
So as I walked back to my car about midnight with a belly full of MGD and a serious desire to go to sleep, I'm still glad I went and got to see a lot of the people I went to high school with. It's an experience I highly recommend to anyone, even if it's just to say you went once.
In the end, I wasn't sure what to expect in going and my thought that I would have some kind of epiphany or revelation while there didn't happen either. I'm still happier and better off than I was in high school, so if nothing else, I got to show them that and find that many of the "misguided" choices I thought I made in the last 10 years, put me in a better place than some others who made them as well.
Trust me, when you've been the butt of teasing and bullying, there is nothing more satisfying than being asked by your torturer what you do and seeing the look of defeat on their face when you tell them and they nicely say back, "wow that's great, good for you." And they mean it because they know they peaked at 18.
Woo hoo, class of 1998!!