In the last few days I have been on an internet date and gone to my twenty-year high school reunion. Prior to these events, I thought the former would be a fantastic success and the latter would be a depressing blow to my self esteem. Surprise! I got that backwards. The man I thought was perfect for me...um...didn't like me. So, back to the drawing board on that. Again. However, the reunion? The reunion was great.
First of all, let me just say that Tam High Class of 88 is looking good. Seriously. I kind of can't get over it. Yes, we look like adults. We are adults. But in no way do we look like scary, haggard, obese versions of our 18-year-old selves. There was no need for anxious nametag scanning. We are instantly recognizable. And frankly, pretty hot. Many of the people I graduated with were also my elementary school classmates and I found it truly moving to be there looking at the beautiful grownup versions of girls who were in my Girl Scout troop.
I feared that it would be Parade of Spouses and a veritable photo exhibit of offspring. I feared it would be all long-winded recounting of glamorous careers and recent large-scale propertry purchases. And that I would be all, "blah, blah single. Blah, blah secretary. Blah, blah rent control." Largely because that is my nearly constant inner monologue even when I'm alone. (Yeah. I know. I'm working on it: one resume update and one internet date at a time.) But you know what? It wasn't like that at all. Most people love their spouses so much that they spared them from the reunion altogether. Those who were there seemed to be happily in the spirit of things. And as for children? Maybe people were just happy to have a night off. Maybe it was enough to say their names and ages and then have another glass of wine and dance to another 80s cover.
I ended up wearing the thing that actually fits me, rather than the thing that only sort of fits me with the aid of miserable undergarments. No one hurt my feelings. No one was boastful and tiresome. Instead, I got some really high-quality hugs and was told by a dozen people that I was unchanged. We laughed a lot and sang along to every song and no one wanted it to be over, so we descended en masse on the town dive bar at about 12:45am. And it dawned on me that reunions are actually meant to be joyful. That's why the tradition lingers on. Not because every adult relishes being plagued by her high school insecurities. Oh. Well, that makes more sense. I wish someone would have told me sooner.
The only reunion stereotype that played out was that one guy who was a high school nerd is now a rocket scientist who is married to a stunningly beautiful woman who is? Yep. Also a rocket scientist. And you know what? That's my favorite reunion sterotype. I'm glad we didn't miss out on it.
Also, now that it's over and I am no longer determined to stuff myself into an ill-fitting dress, I hailed yesterday with a large plate of pancakes. Aahhh. The death of pretense is pretty tasty. Especially with maple syrup.