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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  Рanonymized via photoshop)

P.P.S. Why yes, we are wearing flower garlands, thank you for asking.

This past May I didn’t think much about it being 10 years since high school graduation. Sure, it was weird to get the invitation to the reunion that will be this fall, but I didn’t spend time reminiscing about the good old days.

But right now I’m going back to school, and as I get ready for my first class tonight I can’t help but think of when I started college 10 years ago this month. I can’t for the life of me remember anything about my first week of class, but I have vivid memories of packing up my car (with the help of the boyfriend who I thought was THE ONE at the time), driving down with my family, setting up my room, and meeting the friends I had made at freshman orientation, the friends who are still some of my favorite people. That first fall was fun and exciting and traumatic, full of late nights studying at Waffle House, of hiking down 3 flights of stairs into a creepy basement to do laundry, of going to class in pajamas, of sitting on the dorm steps with one of my best friends until all hours, writing and talking and writing some more.¬† I doubt I’ll be able to make it to the 10 year high school reunion thanks to my current classwork, but if there were a leaving for college reunion? If I could spend a weekend sitting on our favorite step and reminiscing with those dear friends? I’d be there in a heartbeat.

This trip to college won’t be the same. My first turn through grad school certainly took me by surprise, as I spent two years focused only on schoolwork while I dealt with a school and a town I couldn’t stand. But this time won’t be like that either because I’m married now and not moving off to start somewhere new. I’ve got my hubs and some pretty awesome cats and dog to come home to, and I have a few more years of school and work and life under my belt. It all feels pretty good this time.

Wish me luck!

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