The Reunion To Which I Am Not Going

I got a message on my machine yesterday from the president of my high school graduating class, asking if I was going to be able to make it to our ten-year reunion over Thanksgiving weekend. I’m not. I am going home for a big chunk of December and can’t justify going to Miami twice in thirty days, money-wise. Also, flying coast-to-coast for just three or four days is just awful. It takes weeks to recover. At least for me it does. I’m sure there are other, hardier travelers out there who could do such a thing with no problem whatsoever. Not me though. So I’m not going.

That’s not the only reason I’m not going, of course. If I was really fired up to see the rest of the Class of ’93 then I’d find a way. If I thought I was going to enjoy myself, if I thought that I could really get anything out of going, I’d go. Even if I was closer, like, say, Montana, I’d maybe go. Just to see.

I have, honestly, no idea what most of the people in my class are doing now. Several people I was friends with are doing very well, so I understand. One’s a chef. Several are doctors. One created this show . I’m sure many are married and have kids and dogs and houses now. Another is doing movies. The boy in my class voted “Most Creative” has turned out, unsurprisingly, to be an enormously talented artist who actually gets paid to do his art. And randomly, a girl with whom I was in L’il Abner is now a journaller, among other things. She was a few classes below me though, so she wouldn’t be there. These were just people I hung out with and knew, though. I don’t know what’s going on with anyone else. I’m guessing a lot of them are like, lawyers or something, or vice-presidents of their dads’ companies. Probably some have been to rehab.

It was (and is) a small private school and is supposed to be the best in Florida, although that’s not saying much. It was in a horrible movie which I saw just so I could go “Hey, there’s the school auditorium! There’s the Grove House! There’s the tennis courts!” The first time Carl came with me to Miami I took him there…it happens to be right by what passed for a strip when I was in high school and I think we were having lunch or going to Old Navy or something. We walked down to the bay (Ransom has its own docks and there were kids who sailed to school sometimes) and looked at all the new buildings and I hardly recognized it. We went into the library that was built when I was a sophomore and saw a sign saying “No Day Trading During School Hours” over the computers. My senior year the campus was pretty much trashed from the hurricane but of course it’s all fixed up now. The Senior Benches that used to have all these little white rocks under them for throwing at a tree were paved over now and they didn’t look half as big and imposing as they did when I was fifteen or whatever. But duh. That’s what everyone says when they revisit old places. I am firmly entrenched in every possible clich頡bout high school reunions. There’s no escaping it.

And so I might as well fall face first into the real reason I’m not going to go to my ten year high school reunion, and that is that I feel spectacularly unsuccessful and as though I haven’t lived up to the potential I showed occasionally as a teenager. The joke? I was the girl voted “Most Creative” my senior year, and now, look at me now! Nothing to show for it! (They didn’t have a category for Most Melodramatic. I’m thinking I would have swept that one). I mean, I do have stuff to show for the last ten years. I recognize that. It’s just I sort of shrivel up inside thinking about the “So, what are you up to?” question.

So I’m not going. I thought about it a little over the summer, then decided I’d rather go to JournalCon instead, a decision that has proven itself to be the correct one, fake hangover notwithstanding. I’m going to go home for a couple of weeks around Christmas and spend time with the people I know and love that I happen to have gone to high school with or who happened to carpool me to high school or whatever. I’m not saying I might not take a stroll down to the bay if I happen to be in the Grove some afternoon. I’m not even saying I’m not sort of curious as to what all those people I used to know are doing now, ten years after Extreme (“More than woooooooords…”) and grunge and the Apple IIE I upon which I wrote my college applications and those dresses that had the weird clippie things on the backs. I’m not even saying that I haven’t sort of thought about going, but in costume. Like as a crack whore or a flight attendant or a minor cultural attach頯r something. I’m not saying I didn’t call My Friend Ashley last night and give her detailed instructions about the kind of gossip I want her to reap from the evening, since she’s going to be there anyway. I am sort of intrigued, after all. I mean, obviously.

I just wish I’d signed up to do NaNoWriMo, just so I could have the Key Girls say, “Oh, Chiara? Yeah, she’s working on a novel.” I guess I’ll have to get on that for the twenty-fifth reunion, right?

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