Last week I shared these tips on how to survive a high school reunion in anticipation of my upcoming 10 year reunion. I flew home to Bartlesville, Oklahoma over the weekend and the past two days are a blur- reliving old times with high school classmates and making new memories while reconnecting with friends. I am exhausted, but my heart is full.
Classmates travelled from around the country to be present for our first reunion. I've heard stories from other classes and schools just having one small event as their reunion, so I am thankful that we had a dedicated group of people in Bartlesville who wanted to host a weekend to remember. We had events Friday and Saturday, ranging from a school tour, a glow party, to a golf tournament and family picnic, and ending with a dinner and dance party on Saturday night in the Hilton Ballroom - aka Prom 2.0! The reunion committee truly outdid themselves and made this weekend memorable for everyone who was able to attend.
I'll gloss over the things that everyone knew would happen: some people got fat, yes. But nobody seemed to care!! Seriously, I heard zero people talking about anyone's weight. Good job, class of 2005! In fact, quite a few people read my initial blog post (where I mentioned not to comment on weight!), even referenced my post in conversation, and were nothing but complimentary. Also, I am beyond pleased to report that some of the boys in high school who couldn't seem to get it together and turn in homework on time are now esteemed businessmen, lawyers, husbands, and fathers- wow! (Don't act like you didn't think the same thing about some of the people you knew in high school!!) However, I was surprised how many people were drunk. Really drunk.
I'm not sure how many of my conversations from Saturday night are appropriate to share, but as the night went on, compliments and conversations seemed to flow with more ease as people ahem* "loosened up." One girl came up to me and to say hi and then said "I creeped the [crap] out of you." (as in she looked through all of my photos/blog posts I think?) And in my head I was thinking...girl, even though we haven't spoken in 10 years I looked through every. single. one. of your wedding photos... but I responded "Oh, thank you! Girl, I saw your wedding photos- they were beautiful!" We are all guilty of creeping and then having to pretend like we don't know what someone has been up to lately. Asking "where do you live now?" when in reality, you even know where they ate dinner last week thanks to their Facebook location check-in. Ha! For the most part, though, I did have to ask people where they live and what they're doing now. I loved hearing the diversity of careers and locations that we are in!
One of my favorite moments was when the DJ played our fight song and my friend, Anne, who was voted "most school spirited" in high school, got on the dance floor and in her dress, complete with two blue and white poms, performed the fight song dance that she still remembered from her high school cheerleading days! Amazing! Bonus: someone recorded it:)
As I sat down at my airport gate to catch my flight to Dallas, a familiar voice asked if the seat next to me was taken- it was a good friend from the high school reunion (who was flying back to his very important job in Washington DC)! We chatted for a few minutes about the reunion, talking about what some of our biggest takeaways were from the weekend; he said "You know what I realized? Life is hard...for a lot of people. And I have been so fortunate. So blessed." I realize that there are so many qualifying statements and caveats that could be added here, but instead I'm just going to say that he is completely right and I am so #blessed.
It's amazing how easy it is to lose touch with your classmates, even your close friends who were by your side every day of high school before going off to college. Even if there is a desire to stay in touch, as each month and year passes, it becomes more intimidating to reach out to friends via text or even Facebook message. I know that is a common sentiment, as evidenced by the countless messages left on the reunion Facebook group message board; people apologized for not staying in touch, pledged to make more of an effort, and left their well-wishes for classmates. It's nice to know that I'm not alone, but it's a good reminder that part of growing up means that we will spread out, pursue different paths, and new friendships.
If you're on the fence, take it from me: go to your class reunion. Offer to help; volunteer your time, if you live nearby. Everyone's combined efforts made our reunion a memorable event and I can't wait until the next one! Cheers to you, Class of 2005!