Friday, June 16, 2017

The Three Stages Of A High School Reunion.

     It starts the moment you receive an email that your classmates are organizing another high school reunion. Your knee-jerk response is complete and utter denial: THERE'S NO WAY TEN YEARS HAVE ALREADY PASSED SINCE THE LAST REUNION. Once this little fact registers in your brain, panic sets in....and all hell breaks loose as you prepare to spend a weekend with people you probably haven't seen since Boyz II Men were on their first tour and everyone was wearing Hammertime pants.

     There are three stages to every high school reunion that follow the initial days of denial: The Preparation, The Event, and The Party Afterglow (Alas, for some, this is also known as the "Relief Stage"....because it's finally over and they can go back to wearing their comfy stretch pants and arch support sandals).

THE PREPARATION STAGE:

The first thing you do is check out the photos from the LAST reunion to see how much you've changed. This is followed by a close inspection of your reflection in the mirror. HOLY CRAP, WHEN DID I PUT ON ALL OF THIS WEIGHT?? This is when the real panic sets in. You dust off that gym membership and survive on rabbit food for weeks in an earnest attempt to drop two clothes sizes before the big day. When that doesn't work, you buy something in black that will at least make you LOOK ten pounds lighter (or prove that you're in mourning from the loss of your youthful appearance). And then you cry in the parking lot at Dunkin' Donuts while you scarf down two French Crullers and a Boston Kreme donut.

It's not just the weight gain that bothers you. It's the elephant skin around your eyes, the thinning grey hair at your temples, and those pesky age spots along your droopy jawline that disturb you the most. Like a soldier preparing for battle, you line up your defenses. Hair appointment, check. Facial, mani and pedi, check. Teeth whitening, eyebrow shaping, nose hair plucking, leg waxing....check, check, and double check. You've spent a small fortune on all of these things, but desperation kicks in when you notice your pasty white thighs, and you have no problem shelling out an additional $75 for a tanning booth to give your skin that natural, sun-kissed glow.....which will have faded by the time you pay your final bar tab at the reunion.

THE EVENT: 

You wake up the day of the event as jittery as a prepubescent teen embarking on her first date....or a sacrificial virgin preparing to be thrown into a live volcano. The reunion could go either way.

To calm your nerves, you soak in a warm tub and wonder if it's too early to have a cocktail. As the hour of departure draws near, you decide to be bold and wear the pink tunic instead of the black dress.


Once you arrive, you make a beeline to the bar to bolster your courage and suddenly catch a glimpse of yourself in the foyer mirror. It's at that moment you realize that wearing the tunic was a mistake. You look like a lumpy potato wrapped in pink Saran, ready for the microwave. Better make that martini a double.

Three cocktails later, you're on the dance floor with your friends, busting a move from the 1980's and praying that both your knee caps and the Spandex that fits you like a sausage casing will hold up under the strain.

People are hugging and reminiscing about prom and homecoming and bonfires, all of which you were never a part of since you were incredibly awkward in high school. But none of this matters, because the martinis have sufficiently numbed you to the point that you've forgotten that you look like a potato. No one else notices either----they're too busy having fun with you, chowing down on a platter of elf-size quiches and photobombing your selfies.

Even though you were never accepted as a "cool kid" in high school, by the end of the evening you've become one, because at this stage in life, you're all members of the popular clique known as the "Old Farts Club."

THE AFTERGLOW:

The morning after the reunion, you bask in the afterglow of renewed friendships and chuckle over the barrage of tagged photos on social media as you contemplate the best way to cure your martini hangover. You're also incredibly grateful that many of the photos have been doctored to make you look ten years younger.

Once the aspirin kicks in, you realize what a damn good time you had and how proud you are to be part of such an inspiring group of classmates. They've reminded you that even though you've aged on the outside, you're still just as fun and youthful on the inside. And for this, you love them. You've gained a new tribe of friends and you can't wait to see them again at the next reunion in ten years.  Even if you still look like a potato.



18 comments:

  1. Nobody with purple hair can look like a potato! They would have had hair envy if nothing else. Glad you had a fabulous time - I avoid reunions like the plague (that's what FB's for)

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    1. Ha-Ha you crack me up! I do believe I might have been the only one with purple hair.....

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  2. Ha! Just last night I met with two of my highschool friends. The official purpose was to prepare for our reunion that will take place in November. But frankly, we were just three girls out on the town, and I actually showed them the picture of your boat and wondered if one of our classmates may spring for our own class reunion cruise?

    Glad to hear you guys had a wonderful time!

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    1. The reunion cruise was AWESOME! You should definitely suggest it for November!

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  3. Brrr...nothing scares me quite like the thought of a reunion. Our last was 22 years after graduation. And that was 22 years ago. (Yes, you graduated four years after me!) I, too was one of the awkward teens that the cool girls made fun of. The fact that one of them married a 'Jock-From-Hell' and most of them are divorced at least once lost its gloating appeal years ago . . .
    But Yikes!

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    1. Yeah, I was amazed by how many people from my class are now single---but I'll tell you, they all looked GREAT and seemed very content with their lives. I think this holds true for most reunions once you hit the 40 mark---we're all close to retiring and quite happy!

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  4. I'm so sorry I missed all the fun!! You can be guaranteed that I won't miss the next one!

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    1. We missed you, too! Please go to the next one!!

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  5. Loved this!! I'm on the planning group for our upcoming reunion. I was laughing through this whole thing. I didn't realize I had to get my nose hairs plucked and my eye brows shaped but that's a solid idea. Thanks for the tips---LOL. Our last reunion was five years ago. We seem to be on a every five year reunion. I think it's because we all sense how short life is so why not get together more often?

    Your photos are fantastic, Marcia. You look beautiful!! None of the things you were worried about are even remotely true!

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    1. Ha-ha I still feel like a potato. I just didn't post the really bad pics!!

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  6. This sounds like so much fun! Our 10-year reunion was HUGE, but they've gotten smaller as time has progressed. Now they just basically get together in a big room at a local bar, which looks fun, but I never go. I was kind of a misfit in high school and most of those kids don't even know my name, I'm pretty sure. Most of the ones who go are just the people from the popular crowd. We had 500 students in my graduating class, though.

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    1. Awwww....you should still go to one. You never know what friend you might bump into!

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  7. You exhibit way more self control than me. Cocktails seem to make it into all three stages in my world.

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    1. I think I'm hitting that point as well.....

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  8. This fun post reminds we of why I've never attended a class reunion.

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    1. C'mon, you have to go to at least ONE. It's fun!

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  9. I loved the 40th, and you're right, it did require a whole lot of preparation.By the 40th people are so much more comfortable with themselves, though I was grateful to be on crutches so I didn't have to try to bust a move on the dance floor. Whew - dodged that embarrassing bullet.
    You made me laugh, as always!

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  10. so fun!!!!I invite you to share this post at my blog party you can still link up until midnight hugs!

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