Monday, July 25, 2005

Hey, how's it going?

Lorelai: Hey -- tomorrow, if you have time, I'm planning on despising everyone who says, "Hey, how's it going?"
Luke: You're on.
[A woman enters Luke's restaurant.]
Woman: Hey, how's it going?
Lorelai: [to herself] Oh, now that's just too easy.*

I didn’t have as bad a time as I’d expected at my reunion. Not a ringing endorsement, I know, but as we were driving over there (after I spent an eternity trying to decide which necklace to wear or something equally trivial) I was dreading the entire experience.

I went to a very unique high school, that in some respects was free from the typical inane social activity and cliquishness. (And if that was your thing and you were happy with it, then more power to you. You probably would have hated my school, and I probably would have hated yours. And that’s fine.) My school was a school full of misfits, of kids who would have been the odd ones at their old schools. And my school was a safe haven. In some respects.

The thing is, it was still high school, and we were still teenagers. So there was still a bit of that whole high school thing. Which is all a preface to saying that some things never change. And while there was never one clear popular group, there were still groups, and peripheries to those groups, and weird overlaps between groups and all that. And they’re all still there.

So, the reunion (which was an all-school reunion with people from the last 20 years) was in a private room (well, rooms) at a bar. It was packed, and loud, and I’m still getting over bronchitis so the whole shouting to be heard thing was a real treat for me. But I saw some people I wanted to see, and some people I didn’t know I wanted to see but ended up having the best conversations with. I forgot to bring business cards, so I collected a few from other people and wrote my info on little pieces of paper. And there weren’t any noticably pregnant women (at least, not from my class). One former classmate asked if we had kids (she has a 5 year old) but it seems most everyone else is still single or newly married and many are still in that post-college lifestyle -- working some job that’s vaguely interesting and living alone or with a roommate and just going about their lives. Nothing wrong with that. But it makes my almost five years of marriage and two years of homeownership look so serious and grown up. Weird.

The weirdest part of the whole thing was the discovery that there are a lot of people I don’t really care that I haven’t seen in years. Either we weren’t really close in high school or we’ve completely drifted since then. Those were the “Hey, how’s it going” crowd. You ask, and you look interested, but we both know we don’t really care what’s up with this person, and the whole forced conversation is just pointless. Then, of course, there were the people I did really want to see, who seemed to regard me as a “hey, how’s it going” kind of conversation. Which was a bit sad. As was the absence of my high school best friend, from whom I’ve drifted, but who would have been the only person fully able to grasp some of the weirdnesses. I tried to explain some of them to J, but there’s really no way of condensing three years of history into a thirty-second explanation. So I missed my former BF. But at least now I can say I survived my high school reunion.

*Gilmore Girls 1.16 (Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers) - Yes, I am rather obsessed with GG lately. Such good writing!


  1. You know, in most things, I say that surviving it is half the battle. With school reunions, though, I think it's the entire battle! Good for you for getting through it intact!

  2. You are my hero! I was too chicken to even go to my 10th. I *may* make it to the 20th.

  3. I got one coming up next year and still debating on whether or not to go. I only stay in touch with two people from high school, and that's plenty for me.