When we were in high school imagining the future, it was hard to comprehend where we would be in ten years. What kind of jobs would we have? Would we be married with kids? Would we have been sucked back in to our old hometown? All we knew was that graduation was imminent and that we would escape to college and all its freedoms soon. In that strange time of celebrating and saying goodbye to friends we had seen every day, some of my friends flatly stated that they would NEVER attend a high school reunion. Four years was enough, thankyouverymuch, and there was no need to return. But personally, I knew that I would go back, not to brag or boast but to sate my curiosity. I wanted the captions at the end of a high school movie where you learn which high school sweethearts were still together, which classmate became something unexpected or inevitable.
Despite that incredible certainty, that sureness that I would never miss the chance to see old friends (who I surely wouldn’t have gone years and years without seeing) and check up on old classmates, I’m doing homework and writing to you from my couch in Texas instead of going to a Homecoming parade right now. I’ll probably be doing more homework and watching football instead of attending the reunion tomorrow. It’s been four years since I’ve seen any of my high school friends, and before that it was another two or three years. My parents moved away from that town, and even when I have been in the area I haven’t seen anyone because they spread across the country much like I did. The people I want to see the most aren’t making it back for the reunion either, but even though they’re not there without me, I still feel like I’m missing something big. WE should be there, reminiscing and laughing about our 17 year old selves.
I’m sure I could have found a way to be there despite being a busy grad student who’s trying to save money for a big trip next year, but for some reason – for many reasons – I didn’t. So here I am, listening to the Drive-By Truckers sing about Alabama’s problems, and missing it.
Did you / will you go to your reunion? Why?
P.S. The pic is from our senior picnic and includes me, two very good friends, and the casual friend who got us in SO MUCH trouble – anonymized via photoshop)
P.P.S. Why yes, we are wearing flower garlands, thank you for asking.