Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Who the Heck Are You, Anyway?


Reluctantly, I will admit it...on July 1st Steve and I attended my (cough, cough25th high school reunion.  I think that makes me officially middle aged.  I have absolutely no idea how that many years could have possibly passed by so quickly without me noticing, but I'm relatively certain that I have not been comatose all this time and the grey hair hasn't just miraculously (malevolently) appeared overnight, so I think it's all legit.  No Dallas moments here (okay, I think I have just proven it, because nobody under the age of 40 living in a dream world could have come up with that reference...). 

Way back when, we had attended my 10 year reunion.  There was no 15, and I couldn't attend the 20th because I had just given birth 3 weeks before.  I was really looking forward to this, but knew that because it was combining 1985, 1986 (yeah, that's me) and 1987, there was a pretty strong liklihood that I wouldn't know more than a small handful of people, even though there were 618 graduating Seniors in 1986 alone.  It's just the nature of a "small" town, once people graduate, they leave and never look back, so getting a strong turnout becomes quite a challenge. 

As Steve had predicted, the DJ played horribly cheesy 80s pop, completely unlike the alternative selection I and my friends listened to, and also as predicted, there were the expected silicone and Clostridium botulinum (that's Botox to you) adjustments.  What I did not expect was what was completely missing from the event.  Nametags.

It should have been a no-brainer, right?  I mean, think about it...25 years have passed.  Not only have we all changed physically, but our memories tend to stink as we get older.  For the very few people I did remember, I couldn't think of what context I knew them in - did we have classes together?  did we sit together at lunch?  did we hang out socially?  what?  what?  WHAT?  And I sure as heck couldn't risk being a jerk by asking (Heaven forbid!), so I did the usual playing it off (is that a strictly 80s term, or do we still use it today?) and hoping against hope that after the cursory "Hi!!!  How are you?!" I could eke some additional details out of the conversation.  But those were the ones whose names I did remember.  There were so many I didn't, and who I completely did not recognize at all.  And there were no class pictures around, no nametags, no nothing.  And the only things to distinguish the classes of 85, 86 or 87 were 3 different color wristbands (nearly impossible to tell apart in the dim light).  Wristbands that did not discriminate between classmate and spouse/significant other/friend of classmate.  So who were the classmates, who were the spouses, who were 85/86/87? 

I was pretty disappointed.  Yes, yes, I understand there's that little detail of the crap economy, but we did pay for tickets, and I really don't know what they spent it all on, to be quite honest.  What's a trip to Kinko's cost these days?  Wow, even computers exist now!  At the 10 year reunion we had nametags with our high school yearbook photos affixed.  Simple, helpful, not really all that necessary after only 10 years, but greatly appreciated all the same (if for no other reason than to get a giggle from the pictures).

Steve and I had met up beforehand with some of my friends that I've stayed in pretty constant contact with over the years, so we all went together, thankfully.  And amongst the group of us, we were able to help jolt each other's failing memories to identify more of the crowd than we'd be able to do on our own.

At the 10 year, I remember seeing a group of jock-types passing a liquor flask under the table, and I thought, "Dude, you're 28...seriously??"  This time, upon viewing the Facebook group photos posted by some of the attendees, I'm willing to bet that the recurring images of someone flipping the camera the bird while making a pathetic attempt at looking fierce and cool was one of that same group..."Dude, you're 42/43/44...seriously?"  I guess some things just don't change.


Chromosomally Enhanced said...

this is funny!! I missed my 10th and my 20th is fast approaching...if there is no name tags I will not know anyone...people will friend me on facebook and I cannot remember who they are but we graduated together...I look at there pictures and still nothing...funny how in high school things/people were so important and now they are just amusing! smiles

Alicia said...

a friend scanned some pictures of the private school we went to. and the picture we have comment more, is from 1st grade, when we were 6-7yrs old. we have been having a good laugh (at least i have) remembering or trying to remember things from that year. hehe its been 20 yrs since then, and let me tell you i dont have the best memories of the group. lol

its fun to go back and see people, its not fun when i have gained so much weight and everyone are skinnier than they were before lol.

doozee said...

hahahahaha!!! that's funny.

Cathy said...

Class of '85 for me. And my guess is the people from my class who were sitting on the bar stools in the local bar when I moved away after college are probably still sitting on the same bar stools.

Cathy said...

oh...and probably still cruisin' the local Dairy Queen!

Anonymous said...

Everyone remembered me at my 25 year reunion but I couldn't remember anyone! I guess I don't change much!