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Posts Tagged ‘nostalgia’

‎The first inkling that it was coming happened about a year ago. A random Facebook message, a couple of emails and a quick survey to determine interest. After that I kind of forgot about it – or more truthfully I blocked it from my mind with sheer willpower and an unwavering belief that it couldn’t be, could it?

Has it really been that long?

No way, impossible, I’m not anywhere close to old enough!

And then this week, another Facebook message. It’s official; it’s happening, my 20 year high school reunion.

Groan.

I don’t yet know any of the details. I don’t know the where (except it will be “back home” in the city I grew up in which is 3,000 miles from where I live now), or the when (except for a vague reference to “sometime in the summer”). Apparently more information to follow.

I was much more definitive ten years ago (yes, no matter how I try to deny it, it has been that long) when it came time for the ten year reunion. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would go, of course I would! I was still in touch with a handful of friends from back then so I hopped on a plane with my then one and a half year old daughter and headed “home” to a place I hadn’t lived in half a dozen years. She spent the night with the grandparents and I had dinner with a friend before heading out. The anticipation was high.

It ended up being something of a letdown. In reality, I’m not sure if these things can be anything but. The venue was sketchy, the “appetizers” ‎were iffy and the DJ played the music so loud that you could hardly have a conversation with the person next to you.

I remember looking around the room and feeling like a character in a bad made-for-TV movie. Over in that corner, the jock who put on 50 pounds. Over by the bowl of Doritos, the party girl who still dressed like she’s 17. It all felt so clichéd.

Sure, it was nice to see a few people I had lost touch with and a couple more that I’d always wondered about, but mostly it became a reminder that we stay connected to the people that we want to stay connected to. The rest fall away for a reason.

Ten years was long enough for people to change but not so long as to be reinvented. Everyone was still familiar in a vague, “sure, I remember you” kind of way with not enough time having passed to do any really great things, or any really bad things for that matter.

And I could still see myself as I was in high school. I could still remember who I had been at 17. Although the gap between 17 and 27 had meant a few changes of address, a university degree, a wedding and a baby (among other things), I didn’t feel like I was drastically different from who I had been.

But now, another ten years on from that, that girl is so distant, so faded, so far removed that I’m not even sure I could dust her off for another round. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing – I wouldn’t want to be 17 again – and everyone else in the room won’t be 17 again either but the thought is just exhausting.

Awkward small talk while nursing a class of white wine in a plastic cup. Avoiding eye contact with my best friend from back then, with whom I had a falling out 12 years ago and haven’t spoken to since. Agonizing over what to wear – the fine line between trying too hard and not trying hard enough is a dangerous one to navigate. Running into an ex and discovering he has not aged well or worse, that he has. An evening of “remember when’s” that‎ no one really remembers. Forced smiles, exchanging emails, a dozen new Facebook friends that weren’t friends then and definitely aren’t now.

The thought of it just makes me tired.

I tell myself I will wait; I won’t make a decision right away. Maybe I will change my mind, maybe I will be hit with a wave of nostalgia so powerful that I will book a plane ticket and make an appointment to have my hair highlighted.

Maybe.

But I doubt it.

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