A few months ago I came across something intimidating on Facebook. Scrolling through my newsfeed I saw that a few of my friends “liked” my high school class 10-year reunion page. My stages of thought went a little something like this…
DENIAL: “What?! I am NOT that old. I am NOT!!! I am a beautiful, young spring chicken. A SPRING CHICKEN, I TELL YOU!!!”
ANGER: “How dare they remind me of my age! Do they think I don’t realize that in less than two years I’ll be 30? Those smug mother fuckers. I hate them. I hate them all.”
BARGAINING: “Maybe I exaggerated a bit. Maybe planning a 10-year reunion is actually a nice way to get everyone together, and not to pour pigs blood on me.”
DEPRESSION: “WHY DO I HAVE TO AGE?!!! It’s all downhill from here. Might as well start wearing crocs and not giving a shit because that’s the direction my life will ultimately go in the end. Anyone have a vat of heroine for me to drown my sorrows in?”
ACCEPTANCE: “Maybe I’ll go. Who knows? Could be good to get out of my comfort zone. Maybe 28 years old is nothing to freak out about. I can run, and jump, and still have perky boobs. Life is good.”
Like most people, I had reservations about going to a high school reunion. As soon as I left for college I vowed to never live in my hometown again, and I’ve stuck to my word. I had bad memories associated with that area and couldn’t wait to start fresh somewhere else.
It wasn’t that my high school experience was horrible. I had a few close friends, was involved in a couple extracurricular activities, and always kept my sarcastic attitude. I wasn’t part of the popular crowd but I never had any desire to be. Most seemed like idiots with limited vocabulary. I’d be astounded if any of the words coming out of their mouths didn’t involve sports, cars, or tits. Speaking of cars… that’s another thing that disturbed me about my hometown. The locals would buy old Honda Civics, slap a plastic spoiler and rims on them, and race up and down Dual Highway. When they weren’t racing their busted lemons they’d be hanging out in the Food Lion parking lot talking about their CD players they most likely purchased off of EBAY.
I’d like to say these are the reasons I despised my hometown for so many years but it wasn’t. Though I did want so much more than the little town had to offer my bitterness really came from a lousy home life. Alcoholic mother, abusive almost-step-father, making sure my younger brother was safe, all while trying to plan how I was going to make it to college with no help from anyone. I hated my situation and therefore blamed the entire town and all of it’s population.
As the years passed on I realized the people I assumed were assholes were still assholes but maybe less than what I thought. My best friends still lived there and became pretty responsible, amazing women so why was I thinking this town turned everyone into hillbilly gear heads? Though hillbilly gear heads definitely populate the area, there are also some pretty cool people who love the town and take pride in raising families there.
So to try to make amends with my past and out of plain curiosity I decided to go to to the reunion. I had a prior engagement that evening so I couldn’t get there until 3 hours after it began. There weren’t many in attendance which is understandable. Maybe 12% of our class showed which is incidentally the same percentage as the failure rate of a condom. I like when people can learn something from my blog so there ya go. Go tell your teen that condoms don’t always work and scare them into abstinence. I just prevented you from becoming a grandparent… you’re welcome.
My hopes for the reunion were that the people who attended would small-talk one another even if they were in different social groups in high school. I was optimistic that maybe the cliques no longer existed and that we could now all talk like adults, regardless of past hierarchies. I wanted to know that my old assumptions about my classmates were really clouded by my own ill will.
To my surprise, the few in attendance did talk and socialize like mature adults. It was actually an okay time. Maybe the alcohol helped but I’m not complaining. I spoke with a few people who I never spoke to in high school either because we were in different groups or I assumed they were a complete moron.
Being almost 30 is a conversation starter all in itself. A group of us girls talked about the beginnings of hellish eye wrinkles. Depressing as it sounds its comforting to know there are others who have the same erratic thoughts about approaching 30.
SIDE NOTE: +10 cool points to the person who smuggles me botox. It’s too expensive. I’ll do anything including becoming a drug mule, washing your grandmother’s crotch, or telling you daily that you resemble Brad Pitt.
To the people of my hometown, I am sorry I thought I was better than you for all these years. I assumed everyone was garbage and that was wrong. Some of you still are… and you’ll have to live with that. But to everyone I spoke with last night, keep doing what you’re doing. We’re all cut from the same cloth whether we like it or not.
When someone disses your home and makes fun of your pride, repeat to them the following quote. Show them you’re a rebel and you just don’t give a fuck.