See You At The Reunion! No, You Won’t!
My ten-year high school reunion was tonight and I chose not to go. Initially I was indifferent to the idea of a reunion. I didn’t really enjoy high school that much. As a matter of fact, I hated it with a passion. I went to a small college-prep school with about four hundred students, no football team and no band. It was as exciting as it sounds. What it did have was a lot of really smart people hereafter referred to as nerds. In a school full of nerds, no one is bullied, no one is an outcast and with only five hundred kids…everyone is popular! Still, I hated it.
It had the usual problems that all high schools have: cliques, inflated egos and competition. While I got along pretty well with people–I was actually Class and School President–I attribute a lot of that to associating myself with decent people and avoiding the vain ones at all costs. As the reunion drew near, I tried to boost my enthusiasm towards going. Epic Fail! Looking through the yearbook I realized that I still talk to just about everyone that I was close to in high school. I mean the same people are on my speed dial. So what about the other people?
There was a time when I would’ve paid to go to the reunion if only to see what happened to those other people that I was cool with enough to hold conversation, but not close enough to maintain a friendship with for the last ten years. That time was five years ago BEFORE I discovered Facebook. For the last five years I’ve found people on Facebook who fit the bill of “cool but not close” and I’ve seen their photos, read their profiles and know enough about them to satisfy any curiosity that I may have had.
That still doesn’t answer the question: Why not go?
The answer is simple. Those other people. The ones I wasn’t close to, didn’t converse with and avoided at all costs to keep my sanity. The egos, the cliques and the superficial folks. Yeah, ten years is a long time and people change. Some people, not all people. I went up to my high school a year ago because there was some issue at the time where the administration wanted some alumni to come by to help. There were about three hundred former students from various classes present.
For four long hours, I listened to people who’d graduated from the college-prep high school and were now ready to accept their place as masters of the universe. A conversation so simple as “save our school” turned into a four hour long platform where every shared just how smart, great and powerful they were.
I would have loved to have gone to my reunion, sat and talked with old friends–close and not so close–but I think deep down I didn’t want to risk it turning into another I’m better than you function. So, I spent the night looking at Facebook profiles and reminiscing on the good times that I had in high school. My wife and I sat and played with our two-month old daughter and watched a movie.
I once heard this in Jerry Maguire:
I don’t have all the answers. I’ve succeeded as much as I’ve failed. But, I love my wife. I love my life. And I can only wish you my kind of success.