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Reunion, Schmeunion

July 31, 2009

I recently attended my High School reunion.  I won’t say exactly which one (please see disclaimer in Why Mothers Get Gray Hairs) but I will admit that Duran Duran, A Flock of Seagulls, The Fixx, The English Beat, Squeeze, AC/DC and The Cars all hold top spots in the soundtrack of my high school life. 

I was never in the popular group at school.  I had a lot of friends, but I was more on the fringe (a very long fringe) with a couple of good friends who were friendly with some of the in-crowd.  There were a few popular kids who I spoke to occasionally, but many more that I never even said one word to – because, as I remembered, they never spoke to me.

I don’t know about your reunion experiences, but the kids at my school have all mellowed with age.  The cliques are long gone.  Everyone was talking to everyone, regardless of the circle of friends they belonged to in high school.  I stood around for nearly eight hours chatting not only with good friends, but with people I had previously known only as a name and a face.  While speaking with a guy (oops…guess now he’s officially “a man”) who was at the very apex of the pecking order, I had an epiphany.  He said he’d been chatting with someone else who told him he was too cool to speak to her in high school, and was genuinely surprised by her comment.  “I would have talked to her,” he said, then asked if I shared her point of view.  As I opened my mouth to say yes, I realized that I had never tried to talk with him.  I just assumed I would be rebuffed, so I didn’t even bother.  It never occurred to me in the intervening years that I played a role in my own teenage angst; I always saw myself as the innocent victim of an oppressive social caste.

I wouldn’t exactly want to relive my high school years (which actually really weren’t that bad – I had great friends and a great family to smooth out the rough edges of growing up) but it would be nice to be able to whisper some wisdom in my adolescent ear.  I think I’d start with, “Just relax and enjoy yourself…life’s too short to sweat the silly stuff.”

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