Reunions and Nostalgia [NOT 29/10/22]

screencap of John Cusack talking to Alan Arkin in Grosse Pointe Blank

Would you go to a reunion?

The reason I ask is that I’m going to my alma mater’s homecoming weekend today to see a good friend of mine that I haven’t seen in person for several years (mostly due to the pandemic but also due to his work and my work schedules never meshed.)

My plan is to find a good pub with a free table, hang out and talk while drinking a couple of adult drinks and eating upscale university food. At least I can afford good beer and food instead of the cheap crud I used to drink and eat as a poor student.

At every homecoming I’ve gone to, I noticed that I only want to see a few people and am indifferent to the rest.

I have never gone to my high school reunions despite getting invitations to go. I was never a popular kid in high school and didn’t have many close friends there. University is where I met my real close friends that I still keep in touch with (for 30+ years…).

FYI by the time this is posted, I should be on my way home.

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14 Comments

  1. I went to my 10 year reunion and it was fine. One of my old friends pointed out to me that everyone who was absolutely nuts back then…is absolutely nuts now. Also got to witness some folks reliving their glory days by hooking up with old boyfriends/girlfriends at the end of the night. Which was kind of sad to watch.
    As far as I know there was no 20 year reunion because it was in the darkest depths of the Great Recession. I haven’t been to any since because I’m not on Facebook so I don’t get any notices because people are fucking lazy.

  2. I don’t have any urge to go to school reunions, but I’ve been to a couple of family reunions which have been really good. School reunions seem like too much of a crapshoot, although I realize fir some people that’s even more so for family reunions.

  3. I went to my 15 and 20 year high school reunions and they were a fucking blast!

    Full disclosure I went to an all-girl’s Catholic high school, so the reunions are catered Italian food dinners (as Perdido can verify, there is literally no other option for a Catholic school event in St Louis) with open bars so we get drunk and tour the school then go to a dive bar and do bad karaoke and get drunker. No one else gets to come – no partners.

    I wasn’t even friends in high school with the people I hung out with this year at the 20th. We almost got into a bar brawl because some rando woman we didn’t know kept trying to walk up and twerk on us during our songs. I ubered home because wow I was not capable of safely driving.

      • Errybody eats the Italian food!

        Also the Polish Catholic events are mostly concentrated in North City at St. Stanislaus Church, which in a story of greed and assholery, the priest and board of directors got excommunicated by the Archbishop Raymond Burke (lots of Catholics I know called him Burke the Jerk, even before this happened, if you wanted to know how the area thought of him) because the archdiocese wanted to basically sell the property for the real estate assets.

        Parishioners and priest basically told the archdiocese to fuck off, and they got excommunicated and are now an “independent” Catholic church.

    • Well, not that I’d exactly call myself an expert on Catholic schools here, but I did have my first taste of mostaccioli – which I believe some of you gathered here would simply call “ziti” – around age 6, at a gathering sponsored by my older sister’s own Catholic high school. (It was a rival of the one where brightersider eventually went, but as I understand it, pretty much all Catholic girls’ schools are rivals with each other – or at least the ones that don’t occupy the same tiers are anyway.)

  4. I went to 10, 20, 30, and 42 year reunions. Yeah, 40 would have been during COVID.

    I was actually relatively popular in high school. I know, right? But I was solidly B-list. Got invited to most of the right parties. Had plenty of friends.

    I think I’ve mentioned before that I was diagnosed as a socialized introvert. Which basically means I watched the extroverts and learned how to effectively mimic their behaviors. But it’s learned behavior. I have to switch it on and there’s only so much gas in the tank before I have to disengage and recharge. But I learned to apply it enough to do very well for myself in high school.

    My wife still has high school PTSD from being ostracized and it’s very foreign to me. I’m like, well, why didn’t you ___________? But everybody’s not built that way. I’ve also learned that there are a LOT of other people who can’t shake what happened to them in high school. There are also a lot of people with conflicting memories of things — I’m glad that I didn’t choose the asshole route, but I know some assholes who ended up making apologies to people. The ones that grew up, that is.

    I guess what I’m saying is that high school had a profound effect on a lot of people.

    • Yeah and I think too it depends on what happened during high school.

      One friend had their mother die and their stepfather threw them out. For a chunk of junior year they were basically homeless and sleeping in 24 hr diner booths. Another friend was sexually assaulted and no one believed them. I can see why neither of them have any interest in doing anything that evokes memories of high school.

  5. I’ve never gone to mine, my wife has never gone to hers, so I’m curious what spouses or SOs do.

    Do they sit at tables with their partners and try to follow along with all of the insider stuff like at a wedding? Or do they all get lumped together like kids at the kiddie table at Thanksgiving until some bad kid convinces everyone to sneak off and look for some mischief to do to kill the time?

  6. I was still living with my parents around the time when my 10-year high school reunion rolled around, although I must’ve been working or otherwise not at home when they called about it. My dad broke the news to me later on with exaggerated enthusiasm, which my mom summarily shot down from the other room. I think they tried calling back one more time, but my very nervous system must’ve nipped that shit in the bud: When I was handed the cordless landline phone, I pressed the TALK button thinking that my parents had answered one of the other ones, but I just ended up hanging up on the call.

    There was apparently a 20-year one, but I never heard about it – either because I’d never bothered to put together a Facebook profile or because my mom may have happened to answer the phone if they’d bothered to call. I didn’t even realize it had happened at all until I happened to see a photo from it that one of my old classmates had posted on Instagram (which I also don’t have) – as a memory from five years earlier. But the guys were pretty much all dressed up in bland business-casual happy hour garb, and the women just seemed dressed for the middle-aged girls’ night out they were technically having anyway, so I don’t think it really would’ve been much my scene. Besides, the flash went off in the photo, which made almost everyone’s smiling eyes look more than a tad demonic.

  7. I didn’t go to my 10 year reunion. I’m still in touch with my good friends from highschool and the rest I don’t care enough about to keep track of. I went to an all girl Catholic high school and it was fine/borderline not fine. My half sister goes there now and apparently it is a less sexist and hypocritical establishment (nearly 20yrs later).

  8. PS

    It was a great time seeing my friend. We mostly talked about the future rather than the past and lamented some of our boneheaded life choices.

    Walked around campus to the various sites of shame and triumph, er, buildings.

    I even had a couple of selfies with students (for whatever reason I don’t know or am too old to grasp.)

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