It had unexpected moments, both good and bad. It had old friends; it had new revelations. It had laughter and smiles. It was my 20th high school reunion.
I'm still processing it all, so I don't know how much I actually have to say yet. But, I had fun. Especially on Friday. Saturday was more low-key. Saturday was our banquet thing, and it was more like I had expected the reunion to feel. It was nice, but... Friday was where it was at for me. A hundred and some people crammed into the top floor of Glory Days. The whole night was smiling for pictures, hugging old friends, trying to figure out who people were without being totally obvious about reading their nametags, and laughing... laughing a LOT. It was loud, I was sticking to the floor, people were screaming to be heard, cameras were flashing everywhere. It was great!
Here are some discoveries:
1. Some of the people that you didn't think even knew your name in high school want to talk to you.
2. 20 years erases some of the high school crap. I shared hugs and laughs with kids from elementary school. There's something about a shared history that seems to transcend time.
3. There are still some people that don't like me, or that's how it feels. I don't know if that's crazy or not. I wish I would have talked to some of them, because I wanted to, but I was inhibited. But also, after 20 years, I don't care quite as much as I did... like I said, 20 years erases SOME of the high school crap.
4. Everybody has been down a crap river of their own. There are no golden princes or princesses who manage to avoid the crap after 20 years. The new golden princes and princesses are those that have been drug through the crap and have risen above it to find themselves and to find happiness. Their stories touched and amazed me.
5. Your 20th high school reunion makes you say "crap" a lot... among other things...
6. One of the biggest joys is when you know you won't see a person. They aren't coming to the reunion. You're resigned to that fact. Then, you turn around, and they've changed their mind. That is a wonderful moment.
7. I do not have the celebratory stamina I had 20 years ago. A few still did, but I was not one of those few. I'm definitely feeling the effects of a weekend of merriment today. I need sleep!
8. Most people look exactly the same. Sure, we have some wrinkles. We have less hair or more pudge, but when people smile, you see that teenager that you knew. I couldn't believe how much everyone really looked like themselves.
9. Your biggest high school mistake could also be someone else's. And the moment that mistake is mutually revealed can be the funniest and most truthful part of an entire weekend.
10. Even if you're a little nervous, don't miss your 20th high school reunion. I'm so glad I didn't miss mine.